Underserved and Hard to Reach

The Complexities of Online Disclosure of Sexual Violence, and Lessons for Critical Social Work Practice


  • Ann Ticehurst BSW University of Sydney


Online disclosure, Sexual violence, Intersectional Feminism



This article seeks to explore the complexities of online disclosures of sexual violence that are situated within digital feminist social movements and activism. The literature suggests that in the face of being let down by traditional justice systems, many are utilising techno-social spaces to meet their needs for justice and support. However, online spaces are not without their risks whereby victim/survivors are subjected to further harassment or abuse. Notably, people from marginalised groups felt that online spaces recreated the types of injustice experienced in formal justice systems. Hence, an intersectional feminist lens is applied to analyse the experiences of victim/survivors when disclosing sexual violence, and how their ‘justice needs’ are met, or not met. This presents a critical issue for social work in the twenty-first century, and as such implications for practice, policy and research are discussed.


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