Sexual Violence, Cyberbullying & Social Media Stats

As a tool, social media offers unprecedented reach. While it can be used effectively for violence prevention work, it can also be used for violence. Because social media is an emerging area of study, there is limited data concerning this form of violence and we know little concerning the prevalence, frequency and sexual nature of online abuse and harassment. (1) Additionally, as with all forms of gender-based violence we know that under reporting is common and it is difficult to have accurate data.

  • Research has shown that bullying and sexual harassment are linked to dating violence in the future. When power and aggression is learned in childhood, these negative behaviours often extended to other relationships later in life. (2)
  • A Canadian national survey of students in grades 6 to 9 found that girls are more likely to experience electronic bullying than were boys. Within this age group, the rates of electronic bullying for girls were between 16% and 19%, whereas the rates for boys were between 11% and 19%. (3)
  • 98% of anti-violence workers have supported women and girls who have been intimated and/or threatened via technology (text, email, cell phone). (4)
  • 84% of anti-violence workers across Canada engage in safety planning with women and children around technology use, and explore how perpetrators might exert power and control through technology. (5)

Notes 1) Fairbairn, J., Bivens, R., & Dawson, M., 2013 2) Freeman et al., 2011, p. 168 3) Ibid. p. 175 4) Safety Net Canada; Technology Misuse and Violence Against Women 5) Ibid.   Works Cited Fairbairn, J., Bivens, R., & Dawson, M. (2013). Sexual violence and social media: Building a framework for prevention. Ottawa: Crime Prevention Ottawa/Ottawa Coalition to End Violence Against Women. Retrieved from Freeman, J.G., et al. (2011). The health of Canada’s young people: A mental health focus. Ottawa: Public Health Agency of Canada Safety Net Canada (n.d.). Technology misuse and violence against women. Retrieved from