Digital Platforms and Violence against Women: User Experiences, Best Practices, and the Law

Presented by: Abigail Curlew, Raine Liliefeldt & Cynthia Khoo.
This Webinar was presented and recorded in October 2020.

This Webinar presents a personal experience of being targeted by digital hate groups in order to describe experiences of violence, doxing, the precarity of being visible in online spaces, and the importance of fostering a feminist security culture. It provides an overview of key privacy, safety and security tips and resources and offer participants tools to create safer spaces for themselves and others. It also provides an overview of key laws that apply to online platform-facilitated violence, abuse, and harassment, including privacy law, tort law, criminal law, and the developing law on platform regulation.

Webinar Recording


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Learning Objectives 


  • Were able to understand how the visibility afforded to us by a social media saturated society fosters opportunities for new forms of risk and gendered violence and how to resist visibility through feminist security culture.
  • Developed a better understanding of digital literacy and the consequences of what we disclose and consume in order to better support women in the context of shelters, transition housing and beyond experiencing tech facilitated violence.
  • Better understood the various major types of legal strategies available to address platform-facilitated abuse, including what specific issues they can address and their limitations.


Abigail_photo.jpgAbigail Curlew is a journalist, doctoral candidate, and trans feminist who specializes in advocacy around LGBTQ+ human rights, surveillance studies, and research around social media, doxxing, and trolls. She currently holds a Social Science and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) doctoral fellowship and a 2019 scholarship with the Pierre Elliot Trudeau Foundation (PETF) for her digital ethnographic research and investigative work into the practices of anti-transgender vigilantes and hate groups. Abigail is currently writing a book titled "DIY Gender Police: Doxxing, (Trans)Misogyny, and the Blight of Far-Right Digital Abuse" for Between the Lines Press. Her bylines have appeared in Briarpatch Magazine, Daily Xtra, The Conversation, and Vice Canada.

Raine-Liliefeldt.jpgRaine Liliefeldt is a communications professional and relationship builder with over 18 years in the non-profit sector. A creative organizer, educator and project manager, she has extensive experience in program planning, organizing grassroots initiatives, youth conferences, producing concerts and cultural festivals. As the Director of Member Services and Development at YWCA Canada, Raine is responsible for a number of mission impact projects including Project Shift, a knowledge exchange project on ending tech-facilitated violence against women and girls and DigitalSmarts, in partnership with MediaSmarts, a national project that provides free, accessible and supportive digital literacy training that meets the specific needs of participants from vulnerable populations. She also coordinates national organizational meetings, capacity building and training events.

headshot_cynthia.jpgCynthia Khoo is a technology and human rights lawyer and researcher. She is called to the Bar of Ontario and holds a J.D. from the University of Victoria and LL.M. (Concentration in Law and Technology) from the University of Ottawa, where she interned at the Samuelson-Glushko Canadian Internet Policy and Public Interest Clinic (CIPPIC). Cynthia has extensive experience across key technology and human rights issues such as privacy and data protection, freedom of expression, algorithmic decision-making, technology-facilitated abuse, intermediary liability, copyright, and net neutrality. She is the principal lawyer at Tekhnos Law, a sole-practice digital rights law firm, and has represented clients as interveners before the Supreme Court of Canada.