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Is it Actually Violence? Framing Technology-Facilitated Abuse as Violence
Articles, Book Chapters, & Popular Press
  • Suzie Dunn, Dalhousie University Schulich School of Law
Document Type
Publication Date
  • Technology-Facilitated Violence,
  • Transgender,
  • Critical Race Theory,
  • Coercive Control,
  • Continuum of Violence,
  • Law

When discussing the term “Technology-Facilitated violence” (TFV) it is often asked: “Is it actually violence?” While international human rights standards, such as the United Nations’ Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women, have long recognized emotional and psychological abuse as forms of violence, including many forms of technology-facilitated abuse, law makers and the general public continue to grapple with the question of whether certain harmful technology-facilitated behaviors are actually forms of violence. This chapter explores this question in two parts. First, it reviews three theoretical concepts of violence and examines how these concepts apply to technology-facilitated behaviors. In doing so, this chapter aims to demonstrate how some harmful technology-facilitated behaviors !t under the greater conceptual umbrella of violence. Second, it examines two recent cases, one from the British Columbia Court of Appeal (BCCA) in Canada and a Romanian case from the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR), that received attention for their legal determinations on whether to define harmful technology-facilitated behaviors as forms of violence or not. This chapter concludes with observations on why we should conceptualize certain Technology-Facilitated behaviors as forms of violence.

Creative Commons License
Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International
Citation Information
Suzie Dunn, "Is it Actually Violence? Framing Technology-Facilitated Abuse as Violence" in Jane Bailey, Asher Flynn & Nicola Henry (eds), The Emerald International Handbook of Technology-Facilitated Violence and Abuse (Bingley, UK: Emerald Publishing, 2021).