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Research report

Intimate partner cyber violence and separation

Intimate partner violence in adolescence and adulthood is an important issue that has serious consequences for the health of victims. Nearly one in two people will report having experienced violence at the hands of a partner or ex-partner in their lifetime, and a significant proportion of victims are women or adolescents.

The rise of technology has created new opportunities to exercise control in different contexts.

The rise of technology in recent years has facilitated interpersonal communication, but it has also created new opportunities to exercise control in different contexts, and intimate relationships are no exception. It is now easier than ever to monitor an intimate partner, to improperly obtain information about them or to contact them repeatedly.

Cyber violence can cause enormous harm to victims and often precedes episodes of physical violence or even homicide, especially in the context of separation. Studies have been published on cyber violence against women and teenagers, but their findings differ, making prevention targets difficult to identify.

This project offers a systematic synthesis of available scientific literature. It defines cyber violence in an intimate context, analyzes its different forms and notes victimization rates that are between 10% and 74%. Experiencing or perpetrating traditional forms of violence and engaging in cyber violence are among the factors associated with a higher risk of experiencing cyber violence in an intimate context, but these factors have only been examined in a few studies.

It is necessary to agree on a common definition of cyber violence and on the use of reliable measurement tools to identify with greater certainty which women and adolescents are the most vulnerable to cyber violence and what actions to take according to their profile.


Main resercher: Mylène Fernet, Université du Québec à Montréal

Original title: Les cyberviolences dans les relations intimes en contexte de séparation : une synthèse des connaissances pour mieux comprendre le phénomène et orienter les actions

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