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Access to justice is a human rights and equity issue that is significant to all Canadians, including women experiencing violence. In the last decade, technology has been identified as a potential mechanism to address the barriers to justice. Technology has changed how organizations and sectors deliver legal services, information and support. While there is a common narrative around technology in literature as a tool to perpetuate violence, there is a need to understand how technology can improve survivor’s access to justice and help facilitate their safety.

This literature review explores the literature at the intersections of these three areas of discourse – violence against women, access to justice and technology. It explores the role of technology in increasing survivor’s access to legal information and services as well as potential risks and considerations.

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Technology and violence against women are closely connected. While technology can help women access information and services, it can also be used to perpetuate violence.

This infographic looks at the ways in which technology and gender-based violence are related.

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Technology creates new ways to perpetuate violence against women, including sending harassing text messages, tracking someone using the GPS on their device or threatening to share someone’s private images without their permission.

This infographic looks at the different types of technology-based violence and ways we can address it.

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Technology-based intimate partner violence encompasses acts of abuse that are committed with the use of technology to exert power or control over a current or former spouse. While the causes and consequences of this form of violence remain largely the same as other forms of violence against women, the use of technology can create new mechanisms to exert controlling behaviour.

This issue brief explores the definition of technology-based intimate partner violence and discusses different types, including harassment, stalking, isolation and impersonation. The issue brief also suggests some ideas for preventing and responding to technology-based intimate partner violence.

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