The Open University Law School academics are engaged in a wide range of projects, many in partnership with commercial, public and voluntary organisations.
The Protecting Girls from Online Harm: an inner-city exploration (PGOH) project, funded via the REPHRAIN Centre and the EPSRC, aims to address the challenge of protecting young people (under 18) from online harms (including, but not limited to: racist, sexist, fundamentalist, self-harm content; sexual harassment, cyberbullying, image-based harms). By focusing on online harms experienced by teenage girls (age 12-16), the project aims to close a knowledge gap in relation to how young girls, especially those from diverse socio-economic and cultural backgrounds, experience and respond to harmful behaviours online.
This study adopts a comprehensive approach by combining a systematic literature review with empirical investigations involving survey questionnaires and focus groups, placing the lived experiences of teenage girls in the centre of the academic inquiry. By focusing on online harms faced by teenage girls aged 12-16, the project aims to close a knowledge gap in relation to how young girls, especially those from diverse socio-economic and cultural backgrounds, experience and respond to harmful behaviours in the online environment.
Combining a desk-based study with empirical research, this project places girls’ lived experiences at the centre of the academic inquiry and uses it to inform a critical review of the current socio-educational, legal, and policy approaches concerning online harms, especially those experienced by children. The findings from this study will contribute to a critical evaluation of current socio-educational, legal, and policy approaches related to online harms, especially those affecting children. By prioritizing the experiences of young people, especially those from diverse socio-economic and cultural backgrounds, the project aims to inform and shape effective policies for protecting children from online harm.
This research project is conducted by academics based in the Open University Law School (attached to the Observatory on Online Violence Against Women, located in the Faculty of Business and Law (FBL).
This research project is funded through the EPSRC, via the REPHRAIN Centre at the University of Bristol.