Street harassment is a widespread problem that can constrain people’s freedom to enjoy public spaces safely, along with many other
negative psychological impacts. However, very little research has
looked at how immersive technology can help in addressing it.
We conducted three studies to investigate the design decisions,
ethical issues and efficacy of an immersive simulation of street
harassment: an online design study (n=20), an interview study with
experts working in the area (n=9), and a comparative lab study
investigating design, ethics and efficacy (n=44). Our results deepen
understanding of the design decisions that contribute to a realistic
psychological experience, such as the effects of screen-based video
vs passive VR vs interactive VR. They also highlight important
ethical issues such as traumatisation and potential for victim blaming, and how they can be approached in an ethical manner. Finally,
they provide insights into efficacy in terms of perceived usefulness,
competence and empathy
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationCHI 2022 - Proceedings of the 2022 CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems
PublisherAssociation for Computing Machinery
ISBN (Electronic)9781450391573
Publication statusPublished - 29 Apr 2022

Publication series

NameConference on Human Factors in Computing Systems - Proceedings

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported and partly funded by the Centre for the Analysis of Motion, Entertainment Research and Applications (CAMERA 2.0; EP/T022523/1) at the University of Bath.


  • design
  • ethics
  • street harassment
  • virtual reality

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Human-Computer Interaction
  • Computer Graphics and Computer-Aided Design
  • Software


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