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When discussing the term “technology-facilitated violence” (TFV) it is often asked: “Is it actually violence?” While international human rights standards, such as the…
When discussing the term “technology-facilitated violence” (TFV) it is often asked: “Is it actually violence?” While international human rights standards, such as the United Nations' Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (United Nations General Assembly, 1979), have long recognized emotional and psychological abuse as forms of violence, including many forms of technology-facilitated abuse (United Nations, 2018), law makers and the general public continue to grapple with the question of whether certain harmful technology-facilitated behaviors are actually forms of violence. This chapter explores this question in two parts. First, it reviews three theoretical concepts of violence and examines how these concepts apply to technology-facilitated behaviors. In doing so, this chapter aims to demonstrate how some harmful technology-facilitated behaviors fit under the greater conceptual umbrella of violence. Second, it examines two recent cases, one from the British Columbia Court of Appeal (BCCA) in Canada and a Romanian case from the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR), that received attention for their legal determinations on whether to define harmful technology-facilitated behaviors as forms of violence or not. This chapter concludes with observations on why we should conceptualize certain technology-facilitated behaviors as forms of violence.
As the role and uptake of digital media, devices and other technologies increases, so has their presence in our lives. Technology has revolutionised the speed, type and extent of communication and contact between individuals and groups, transforming temporal, geographic and personal boundaries. There have undoubtedly been benefits associated with such shifts, but technologies have also exacerbated existing patterns of gendered violence and introduced new forms of intrusion, abuse and surveillance. In order to understand and combat harm and, protect and empower women, criminologists must investigate these practices. This chapter discusses how technology has transformed the enactment of violence against women.
Typically, studies have focussed on particular types of technology-facilitated violence as isolated phenomenon. Here, the author examines, more holistically, a range of digital perpetration: by persons unknown, who may be known and are known to female targets. These digital harms should, the author contends, be viewed as part of what Kelly (1988) conceptualised as a ‘continuum of violence’ (and Stanko, 1985 as ‘continuums of unsafety’) to which women are exposed, throughout the course of our lives. These behaviours do not occur in a vacuum. Violence is the cause and effect of inequalities and social control, which manifests structurally and institutionally, offline and online. Technologies are shaped by these forces, and investigating the creation, governance and use of technologies provides insight how violence is enacted, fostered and normalised.
Goal 5 of the United Nations (UN) Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) prioritises gender equality and empowerment of all women and girls. Key to achieving this is…
Goal 5 of the United Nations (UN) Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) prioritises gender equality and empowerment of all women and girls. Key to achieving this is addressing violence against women (VAW; see SDG target 5.2) and, we believe, understanding the role of technology in both enacting and combating VAW. In this chapter, we outline how technology-facilitated VAW threatens women's use of technology and discuss policies and practices of support workers and practitioners that aid safe use of digital media. We consider features of technology-facilitated VAW advocacy which differ from traditional VAW advocacy, using examples from the Global North and South. Information communication technologies (ICTs) are used by VAW advocates in a range of ways; to provide information and education about domestic violence, safe use of technology and negotiating the legal and criminal justice systems; collect evidence about abuse; provide support; and pursue social change. As the capabilities and prevalence of ICT and devices increase and access costs decrease, these channels offer new and innovative opportunities capitalising on the spacelessness, cost-effectiveness and timelessness of media. Nonetheless, technological initiatives are not perfect or failsafe. Throughout the pages that follow, we acknowledge the limitations and challenges of technology-facilitated advocacy, which could hinder application of the SDG.
While digital technologies have led to many important social and cultural advances worldwide, they also facilitate the perpetration of violence, abuse and harassment…
While digital technologies have led to many important social and cultural advances worldwide, they also facilitate the perpetration of violence, abuse and harassment, known as technology-facilitated violence and abuse (TFVA). TFVA includes a spectrum of behaviors perpetrated online, offline, and through a range of technologies, including artificial intelligence, livestreaming, GPS tracking, and social media. This chapter provides an overview of TFVA, including a brief snapshot of existing quantitative and qualitative research relating to various forms of TFVA. It then discusses the aims and contributions of this book as a whole, before outlining five overarching themes arising from the contributions. The chapter concludes by mapping out the structure of the book.
The rapid advancement of technology poses many social challenges including the emerging issue of technology-facilitated abuse (TFA) and violence. In Australia, women from…
The rapid advancement of technology poses many social challenges including the emerging issue of technology-facilitated abuse (TFA) and violence. In Australia, women from culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) backgrounds are found to be more vulnerable to domestic violence (DV) and abuse, including TFA. This chapter presents a snapshot of CALD women's technology-facilitated domestic abuse (TFDA) experiences in Melbourne through the eyes of a small group of DV practitioners. Findings show CALD women experience TFA similar to that of the mainstream, with tracking and monitoring through the use of smartphone and social media most common. Their migration and financial status, and language and digital literacy can increase their vulnerability to TFDA, making their experience more complicated. Appropriate digital services and resources together with face-to-face support services can be a way forward. Further research should focus on better understanding CALD women's perceptions of and responses to TFDA and explore ways to improve engagement with and use of community media channels/platforms.
Technology-facilitated violence against women (TFVW) is readily becoming a key site of analysis for feminist criminologists. The scholarship in this area has identified…
Technology-facilitated violence against women (TFVW) is readily becoming a key site of analysis for feminist criminologists. The scholarship in this area has identified online sexual harassment, contact-based harassment, image-based abuse, and gender-based cyberhate – among others – as key manifestations of TFVW. It has also unpacked the legal strategies available to women seeking formal justice outcomes. However, much of the existing empirical scholarship has been produced within countries like the United States, United Kingdom, and Australia, and there has been limited research on this phenomenon within South East Asia. As such, this chapter maps how technology is shaping Singaporean women's experiences of gendered, sexual, and domestic violence. To do so, it draws upon findings from a research project which examined TFVW in Singapore by utilizing semistructured interviews with frontline workers in the fields of domestic and sexual violence and LGBT services. Drawing from Dragiewicz et al.’s (2018) work on technology-facilitated coercive control (TFCC), I argue that victims-survivors of dating, domestic, and family violence need to be provided with support that is TFCC informed and technically guided. I also suggest that further research is needed to fully understand the prevalence and nature of TFVW in the Singaporean context.
Technology increasingly features in intimate relationships and is used by domestic violence perpetrators to enact harm. In this chapter, we propose a theoretical and…
Technology increasingly features in intimate relationships and is used by domestic violence perpetrators to enact harm. In this chapter, we propose a theoretical and practical framework for technology-facilitated harms in heterosexual relationships which we characterize as digital coercive control. Here, we include behaviors which can be classified as abuse and stalking and also individualized tactics which are less easy to categorize, but evoke fear and restrict the freedoms of a particular woman. Drawing on their knowledge of a victim/survivor's experiences and, in the context of patterns and dynamics of abuse, digital coercive control strategies are personalized by perpetrators and extend and exacerbate “real-world” violence.
Digital coercive control is unique because of its spacelessness and the ease, speed, and identity-shielding which technology affords. Victim/survivors describe how perpetrator use of technology creates a sense of omnipresence and omnipotence which can deter women from exiting violent relationships and weakens the (already tenuous) notion that abuse can be “escaped.” We contend that the ways that digital coercive control shifts temporal and geographic boundaries warrant attention. However, spatiality more broadly cannot be overlooked. The place and shape in which victim/survivors and perpetrators reside will shape both experiences of and response to violence. In this chapter, we explore these ideas, reporting on findings from a study on digital coercive control in regional, rural, and remote Australia. We adopt a feminist research methodology in regard to our ethos, research processes, analysis, and the outputs and outcomes of our project. Women's voices are foreground in this approach and the emphasis is on how research can be used to inform, guide, and develop responses to domestic violence.
As the means and harms of technology-facilitated violence have become more evident, some governments have taken steps to create or empower centralized bodies with…
As the means and harms of technology-facilitated violence have become more evident, some governments have taken steps to create or empower centralized bodies with statutory mandates as part of an effort to combat it. This chapter argues that these bodies have the potential to meaningfully further a survivor-centered approach to combatting technology-facilitated violence against women – one that places their experiences, rights, wishes, and needs at its core. It further argues that governments should consider integrating them into a broader holistic response to this conduct.
An overview is provided of the operations of New Zealand's Netsafe, the eSafety Commissioner in Australia, Nova Scotia's Cyberscan Unit, and the Canadian Centre for Child Protection in Manitoba. These types of centralized bodies have demonstrated an ability to advance survivor-centered approaches to technology-facilitated violence against women through direct involvement in resolving instances of violence, education, and research. However, these bodies are not a panacea. This chapter outlines critiques of their operations and the challenges they face in maximizing their effectiveness.
Notwithstanding these challenges and critiques, governments should consider creating such bodies or empowering existing bodies with a statutory mandate as one aspect of a broader response to combatting technology-facilitated violence against women. Some proposed best practices to maximize their effectiveness are identified.
Purpose – This chapter presents some innovative ways in which researchers can collect survey data on various types of violence against women.Methodology/approach – The…
Purpose – This chapter presents some innovative ways in which researchers can collect survey data on various types of violence against women.
Methodology/approach – The suggestions made here are drawn from over 30 years of national, international, and local survey research.
Findings – The methods described in this chapter minimize underreporting, produce theoretically relevant data, and have meaningful policy consequences.
Originality/value – The research techniques reviewed here have made many important contributions to the field and the data they uncovered have helped raise public awareness about one of the world’s most compelling social problems.