Participant Information Statement


Participant Information Statement

Online Anti-Rape Activism

Researcher: Rachel Loney-Howes, La Trobe University, Melbourne, Australia


You are invited to take part in a study about the nature and use of online anti-rape activism. There has been a significant increase in activists around the world turning to online platforms as tools for raising awareness about the prevalence of rape and sexual violence. These websites are helping to challenge understandings about who gets raped, who commits rape, and what justice and social change looks like.


How you can help me?

As part of my doctoral research at La Trobe University in Melbourne, Australia, I am seeking participants to interview who have created or manage websites across the world which engage with awareness raising and activism about rape and sexual violence. I hope to gain a broad, global understanding of the nature and use of these spaces. Questions posed to you will include:


  • Who participates in these spaces?
  • What are the motivations and goals of your activism?
  • What are some of difficulties involved in maintaining momentum?
  • How do websites cope with competing views and ideas?


You have been selected because I have identified your website as a space in which some of these questions might be answered, and I wish to obtain a deeper insight into some of the motivations and challenges associated with this emerging form of activism. The questions are not designed to cause harm or ask for in-depth, detailed knowledge of your personal experiences and history. However, due to the nature of the research some questions may cause you to have a strong emotional response. Please know that you do not have to answer all the questions, and if you do choose to answer all the questions I ask of you, you can provide as little or as much information as you feel comfortable expressing.


Should you wish to participate in this research, I would like to conduct an interview with you via Skype at a time of your choosing. The interview is anticipated to take approximately one hour and will be audio-recorded and then transcribed by me. If you would like, the interview can be video conferenced so we can see each other. The footage will not be recorded. However, with your permission I might make some notes about our interaction during the process which you will be able to review and veto if you do not want the information to be used. Once I have transcribed the interview I will provide you with a copy of the transcript which you have the opportunity to amend prior to me commencing my analysis.


I will do my best to ensure all your information will be kept private and anonymous – the transcripts will be de-identified and protected by a pseudonym in any publications. Due to the public nature and accessibility of your website it may be possible for you be identified. If you wish to participate but are concerned about the potential of being identified, I can use a codename for the website to ensure your responses are not traceable to your website. As far as privacy is concerned, all of the data collected from the study will be stored on a password protected computer at La Trobe University which only I will have access to. As per the requirements of La Trobe University, the data will be safeguarded subject to legal requirements, kept for five years and then destroyed.


You will have the opportunity to withdraw from the study at any time and no questions will be asked. Please note, however, that if you wish to withdraw from the study after completing the interview, you have four weeks to inform me. If you do not, your data will be included in my analysis.


What happens to the information you provide me?

It is anticipated that the findings may be published in academic journals, books or conference presentations in addition to the thesis. A summary of the findings will be available from the La Trobe University Library upon the completion of the research. Should you agree to participate, it is a requirement that you complete the Consent Form. In the form you will need to indicate that you have understood the Participant Information Statement; you understand you can withdraw from participation; you agree to being interviewed via Skype; and that the data may be published in my thesis and in other written and verbal communication forms. Once you have read and signed the form it should be returned to me as soon as possible, prior to the commencement of interviewing. A copy of the Consent Form should be printed, signed and then scanned so I have an original copy of your signature, or you can insert an electronic signature into the Consent Form and return it via email.


This research has been approved by the University Human Ethics Committee (UHEC) at La Trobe University and is being conducted under the supervisor of Dr. Nicola Henry. If you have any further questions please do not hesitate to contact Dr. Henry ( or myself ( If you have any concerns or complaints regarding this research, you may contact the Executive Officer of Human Ethics in the Research Integrity Unit at Latrobe University, Ms Sara Paradowski on +61 3 9479 1443 or


I look forward to hearing from you. Thank you for taking an interest in this project.




Rachel Loney-Howes


Rachel Loney-Howes (Researcher)

Ph.D. Candidate, Legal Studies

Department of Politics, Philosophy and Legal Studies

Faculty of Humanities & Social Sciences

La Trobe University | Bundoora 3086 |Australia

T: +61 3 9479 2701 | M: 0421 037 863



Dr Nicola Henry (Supervisor)

Senior Lecturer, Legal Studies

Department of Politics, Philosophy and Legal Studies

Faculty of Humanities & Social Sciences

La Trobe University | Bundoora 3086 |Australia

T: 03 9479 2476 | F: 03 9479 2705





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