Technology gap and other tensions in social support and legal procedures: stakeholders´ perceptions of online violence against women during the Covid-19 pandemic



Palabras clave:

Online violence, Women, Pandemics, Covid-19, Digital abuse, Harassment, Harmful practices, Digital participation, Hate speech, Institutional responses, Legal procedures, Social networks, Social media, Internet


As the Covid-19 pandemic intensified the digitisation of everyday lives and violent behaviours on many mainstream platforms, online violence against women raised renewed concerns. Across the literature, there has been an emphasis on survivors´ experiences and actions to cope with technology-facilitated abuse. Still, little is known about how people perceive the nature, the prevalence, and the impacts of harmful online behaviours and the appropriate social and institutional responses to tackle them. This article aims to help fill this gap. It presents a qualitative study on stakeholders´ perceptions conducted under the frame of a broader project which addresses the prevalence, nature and impact of online violence against women during the Covid-19 pandemic. Empirically, it draws on semi-structured interviews with Portuguese activists, police and law enforcement agents and different public and private service sector providers to explore perspectives on preventing, policing and coping with online violence. The findings expose several socio-technical challenges that prevent effective protection measures for victims and punitive consequences for perpetrators. They also suggest tensions in negotiating digital technology´s role in social support and legal procedures.  


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Cómo citar

Amaral, I., Basí­lio-Simíµes, R., & Poleac, G. (2022). Technology gap and other tensions in social support and legal procedures: stakeholders´ perceptions of online violence against women during the Covid-19 pandemic. Profesional De La información Information Professional, 31(4).



Artí­culos de investigación / Research articles