“It was everywhere all at once”: Exploring digital coercive control in the context of intimate partner violence through mix-method research

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University of New Brunswick


This thesis adds to the growing body of literature expanding traditional conceptions of intimate partner violence (IPV) from purely physical harms to account for subtle, but equally harmful, patterns of coercive control (CC) that are imposed by a subset of men, to tyrannize and deny women of personal autonomy – even through digital technologies, in what is known as digital coercive control (DCC). It fills gaps in the literature by answering three questions: how have IPV survivors in Canada experienced and been impacted by DCC; what challenges has DCC created for Canadian IPV stakeholders; and how have these stakeholders utilized technology, including their organizational websites, to educate and respond to DCC? Employing mixed-method research, including a quantitative content analysis of stakeholder websites and qualitative semi-structured interviews with survivors and stakeholders, this thesis reveals broad implications. Calling for further research, education, and training initiatives on DCC, alongside the modernization of available tools to respond to DCC, including emergency protection orders, risk assessment tools, and the Criminal Code of Canada.