OCTEVAW is dedicated to undertaking projects and programming that investigates and seeks to end experiences of gender-based violence and violence against women and girls online and on social media, otherwise known as cyberviolence.

Cyberviolence in Ottawa and beyond is happening: In 2013, with support from Crime Prevention Ottawa, Jordan Fairbairn, Rena Bivens and Myrna Dawson released the report ‘Sexual Violence and social media: building a famework for prevention’ on OCTEVAW’s behalf. Girls and young women 'appear to experience higher rates of sexual violence associated with social media' (p. 2 ), and that community-based organizations and front-line workers in the city, while aware of experiences of gender-based cyberviolence have not been tracking or monitoring its existence, specifically, and that more needs to be done to understand how diverse groups of young women and girls experience it based on other aspects of their identity such as mental health or social class (p. 3)

OCTEVAW is working with young women to address cyberviolence? Based on this knowledge, we are now working with the Youth Services Bureau’s Purple Sisters Advisory Committee on a project funded by Status of Women Canada towards improving the lives of young women and girls, in particular, by creating a strategy that can help transform digital spaces to be empowering and challenge and eliminate instances of cyberviolence.

With young women’s leadership and expertise, we will share insights to service providers and beyond: In order to do this we are connecting with multiple communities in the city, including front-line service providers responding to the needs of women and girls experiencing violence, non-profit organizations who do programming with young women and girls, academics engaged in understanding the particular and gendered experiences of girls and young women with respect to cyberviolence, the technology business sector who help design, implement and govern platforms where cyberviolence may occur, and most importantly young women and girls themselves.

Read our comprehensive report on the state of cyberviolence, and how the young women in the Purple Sisters want to tackle it.