Investigating the role of social media abuse in gender-based violence: The experiences of women police officers

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Online abuse communicated via social networking sites has increased considerably in recent years, with a significant amount of pejorative communication targeted at women. This mixed methods research study investigates the online abuse received by women police officers in the course of their work. The study considers how the abuse received in the online space echoes other forms of gender-based violence, drawing upon evidence gathered from semi-structured interviews with serving senior police officers in England and Wales. The research has devised a seven-element framework to demonstrate that the online abuse directed at women is misogynistic, frequently includes violent threats and dismisses female contributions to online discussions. The study also reveals that the abuse directed at women varies significantly, depending on occupation, with women police officers more likely to receive abuse that questions their ability or criticises their appearance.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages16
JournalCriminology and criminal justice
Early online date11 Apr 2022
Publication statusPublished - 11 Apr 2022

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