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In today’s digital world, young people face unique challenges when it comes to managing their sexuality and sexual experiences online. It can be hard for them to find reliable guidance and support when dealing with online harms, like technology-facilitated sexual violence (TFSV). TFSV is an umbrella term that includes harmful practices like sexual name-calling, non-consensual sharing of intimate images, online harassment, up-skirting, cyberstalking, and doxing. TFSV is an urgent concern in Canada and around the world.


Parents, teachers, schools, youth organizations, community groups, tech companies, legal systems, and governments are all working to figure out how to help young people address TFSV and online harms. Unfortunately, there is often a lack specific, tangible, and evidence-informed strategies that take youth’s voices into consideration. It is crucial that the experiences and needs of young people inform these new approaches and interventions.


Digitally Informed Youth (DIY): Digital Safety aims to understand the educational, policy, and legal issues with TFSV across Canada and create resources that empower young people and help them stay safe online and in person.

DIY: Digital Safety aims to achieve four objectives:

Explore how educational curricula, policies, and legislation address TFSV.

Analyze the effectiveness of educational, policy, and legal responses to TFSV.

Identify what education, policies, and supports young people want to combat TFSV.

Create resources for youth and best practice recommendations people who work with youth.

By undertaking these objectives, we hope to contribute to a better understanding of TFSV and foster the development of practical solutions that empower young people to navigate digital spaces safely and responsibly.

Research Grants

Exploratory Research to Investigate Technology-Facilitated Sexual Violence

This mixed-methods and exploratory research project takes a multi-faceted approach to investigate technology-facilitated sexual violence (TFSV) in Canada among youth aged 13–18. This project includes five phases:

  1. Analyze current educational curricula, policies, and legislation in secondary schools to understand the extent to which TFSV is addressed by Canadian schools. This phase has produced a public report  summarizing our findings.

  2. Conduct focus groups with 200 young people in rural and urban locations in Nova Scotia, Quebec, Ontario, Alberta, and Yukon to learn about young people’s experiences with technology. We are using arts-based and participatory methods to engage with diverse youth, including BIPOC and LGBTQ+ youth. This phase is ongoing.

  3. Administer an online survey with youth across Canada to gain a greater understanding their experiences with technology and how TFSV manifests online and in person. The survey will be informed by findings uncovered in previous phases of this project.

  4. Conduct interviews with young people to develop a deep, rich, and nuanced understanding of young people’s experiences with TFSV. The interview questions will be informed by findings uncovered in previous phases of this project.

  5. Creating resources for youth and best practice recommendations for educators, policymakers, and other people who work with youth. This final phase will engage young people, community partners, and others as co-creators to ensure the resources are developed by and for youth.

Synthesizing Research on Technology Facilitated Gender-Based Violence

This project conducted a synthesis of scholarly research to map what is known and what remains unknown about technology-facilitated gender-based violence (TFGBV). This project included three parts:

  1. We conducted a national and international scoping review of English-language empirical research on TFGBV involving young people aged 13–18 to gain an understanding of the breadth of qualitative and quantitative data available for evidence-based curricula and policy making.

  2. We conducted a scoping review of French-language studies and searched for Canadian resources produced by academics, governments, and civil society organizations to understand how TFGBV is framed relative to young people in the Francophone context.

  3. We reviewed current educational curricula and resources on TFBGV in Canadian provinces and territories, including existing relevant education acts and statues related to TFGBV, to better understand how this issue is being addressed in schools.


This project produced a public report about TFGBV among young people. Le rapport est également disponible en français.

Funding provided by:

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