What is online abuse?

Woman in kitchen holding cupOnline abuse covers a range of behaviours that people use to control, frighten or humiliate another person using technology.

These abusive behaviours include using social media, games or other forums to make:

  • abusive, degrading or hateful comments about a person
  • threats of physical or sexual violence to a person
  • repeated or unwanted sexual requests to a person.

Abusive behaviours also include:

  • constantly checking on a person through their social media activity. Read more about cyberstalking
  • hacking into a person’s email or social media account to discover information about them or to impersonate them
  • setting up fake social media accounts in another person’s name
  • sharing, or threatening to share, intimate pictures of a person. Read more about image-based abuse 
  • spreading lies or malicious rumours about a person.

Women are particularly likely to experience online abuse in the form of sexual harassment or offensive or degrading comments about their gender.

Triple zero

1800RESPECT logo

Take the tour
Violence against women - Let's stop it at the start - www.respect.gov.au

Sign up for eSafety News

Stay up to date with online
issues, new resources, events, and the latest research.