How do ICTs mediate gender-based violence in Jamaica?
Gender-based violence (GBV) continues to be a serious problem in Jamaica and the wider Caribbean region. Jamaicans have increasingly adopted information and communication technologies (ICTs) over the last two decades. In the era of ICTs, new forms of online GBV are evolving, and ICTs also offer a means of facilitating and escalating offline forms of GBV. Unfortunately, there is very little research in the region to date examining the relationship between GBV and ICTs, apart from anecdotal reports into forms of GBV where ICTs are a factor, including stalking, harassment, invasion of privacy, and ‘revenge porn’. This article draws on one of the very few research studies undertaken in Jamaica so far into online abuse and harassment of women, and the role that ICTs play in offline GBV against women in Jamaica. The research suggests that more needs to be done by different actors – including government and civil society – to recognise and respond to GBV and ICTs. Responses should include both specific policy reforms and targeted educational/awareness programmes.
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