Keeping women and their children safe from tech-based abuse

esafety Commissioner

Digital disruptor tools, anti-harassment software, perpetrator intervention schemes and a major national awareness campaign are among projects funded under the Australian Government’s $10 million Preventing Tech-based Abuse of Women Grants Program.

Minister for Communications Michelle Rowland announced today seven grants totalling $3 million had been awarded by eSafety to universities and non-government organisations in the first round of grants under the program.

eSafety Commissioner Julie Inman Grant said the projects demonstrated innovative approaches to support safe, gender-equal online spaces for women and their children.

“These initiatives leverage the unique expertise of our successful applicants to address tech-based abuse from a number of angles, complementing eSafety’s broader prevention efforts,” Ms Inman Grant said.

“Online abuse is strongly linked to family, domestic and sexual violence. All too frequently we see technology misused by perpetrators to harass, coerce and abuse women and children. “Interventions like those funded today will help prevent gender-based tech abuse before it occurs, building community capability and nurturing violence-free online spaces.”

The successful grant recipients are:

  • Centre for Cyber Resilience and Trust (Deakin University) – Preventing and disrupting technology-facilitated abuse against women using targeted digital advertising and search engine optimisation techniques ($341,562)
  • Collingwood Football Club Community Foundation – Raising awareness of tech-based abuse of women and promoting positive and respectful behaviour in men and boys ($495,355)
  • Gippsland Women’s Health – Engaging rural and regional women to co-design violence prevention training modules and digital self-defence resources to address the drivers of tech-based abuse and improve women’s safety ($493,486)
  • Global Institute for Women’s Leadership – Developing an evidence-based approach to primary prevention of tech-based abuse of women, including digital training modules, self-defence resources and a prevention-based communication strategy to help individuals and communities address problematic tech-based behaviours. ($494,610)
  • Settlement Services International Limited – Improving digital literacy and increasing understanding of tech-based abuse among culturally and linguistically diverse women and children, particularly newer arrivals and refugees. ($488,471)
  • The Monash Gender and Family Violence Prevention Centre (Monash University) – Developing guidance material and interactive workshops for workers in the perpetrator intervention sector, including resources and activities for behaviour change programs, and a virtual reality application ($444,495)
  • The University of Melbourne – Developing anti-harassment software, co-designed with girls and young women utilising natural language processing, generative artificial intelligence (AI), and machine learning. ($243,017)

About the Preventing Tech-based Abuse of Women Grants Program:

The Preventing Tech-based Abuse of Women Grants Program is a five-year program designed to achieve four objectives:

  • Increase public awareness about the prevalence and impact of tech-based abuse against women and their children
  • Support development of innovative initiatives that address the underlying causes of tech-based abuse and enhance women’s safety online.
  • Challenge and shift prevailing social norms contributing to tech-based abuse against women and their children
  • Promote positive and respectful behaviour and accountability among those perpetrating tech-based abuse.

Grants of between $80,000 and $500,000 are available to help non-government organisations deliver innovative online safety education prevention projects, especially for at-risk audiences.

Applications are assessed by a panel of experts comprising officers from eSafety and partner agencies in accordance with the Program Guidelines. F

/Public Release.