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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.
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.
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.
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.
Media attention on nonconsensual intimate image dissemination has led to the relatively recent proliferation of academic research on the topic. This literature has focused…
Media attention on nonconsensual intimate image dissemination has led to the relatively recent proliferation of academic research on the topic. This literature has focused on many areas including victimization and perpetration prevalence rates, coerced sexting, legal and/or criminal contexts, sexual violence in digital spaces, gendered constructions of blame and risk, and legal analysis of high-profile cases and legislation. Despite this research, several gaps exist, including a lack of empirical research with service providers. Informed by in-depth interviews with 10 sexual violence frontline professionals in Southern Ontario (Canada), this chapter focuses on their perspectives of the additive role of technology. With respect to nonconsensual intimate image dissemination, technology acts as a digital “layer” that operates in addition to the commission of physical acts of sexual violence, and compounds the harms experienced by the victim by adding a virtual – and indelible – “permanent remembering” of the violence. Nuancing the contours of consent in a digital age, this chapter concludes by considering what consent means in a technological context.
This chapter examines Technology-Facilitated violence from the perspective of international human rights law. It explores current research relating to…
This chapter examines Technology-Facilitated violence from the perspective of international human rights law. It explores current research relating to Technology-Facilitated violence and then highlights the international human rights instruments that are triggered by the various forms of such violence. Ultimately, it focuses upon international human rights to privacy and to freedom from violence (especially gender-based violence) and the obligations on State and Nonstate actors to address violations of these rights. It argues that adoption of a human rights perspective on Technology-Facilitated violence better enables us to hold State and Nonstate actors to account in finding meaningful ways to address violence in all of its forms.
While research on digital dangers has been growing, studies on their respective solutions and justice responses have not kept pace. The agathokakological nature of…
While research on digital dangers has been growing, studies on their respective solutions and justice responses have not kept pace. The agathokakological nature of technology demands that we pay attention to not only harms associated with interconnectivity, but also the potential for technology to counter offenses and “do good.” This chapter discusses technology as both a weapon and a shield when it comes to violence against women and girls in public spaces and private places. First, we review the complex and varied manifestations of technological gender violence, ranging from the use of technology to exploit, harass, stalk, and otherwise harm women and girls in communal spaces, to offenses that occur behind closed doors. Second, we discuss justice-related responses, underscoring how women and girls have “flipped the script” when their needs are not met. By developing innovative ways to respond to the wrongs committed against them and creating alternate systems that offer a voice, victims/survivors have repurposed technology to redress harms and unite in solidarity with others in an ongoing quest for justice.
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.
This paper presents the findings of a project that aims to analyze the ethical treatment of the news, with special attention to the reporting of violent events, as it is…
This paper presents the findings of a project that aims to analyze the ethical treatment of the news, with special attention to the reporting of violent events, as it is carried out by digital news outlets from the State of Chihuahua (Mexico).
A media observatory was established to collect and analyze the 9,115 news reports of violent events from February to June 2019 and was published by 12 digital news outlets in Chihuahua. Quantitative data analysis was carried out using three analytical axes – ethics, human rights and violence. Each axis was, in turn, subdivided into three criteria, and this paper identifies how compliant were each news outlet and individual news report with those criteria.
Data analysis established that 5,385 of the news reports (59.1 per cent of the total news analyzed) met all the nine desirable criteria, whereas other subsets did not comply with up to a minimum five criteria. How the observed news outlets and their reports complied with the criteria used is specified in this paper.
The methodology used and the data analyzed seek to develop ethical and socially responsible journalism. Hence, this paper offers various possibilities, such as raising new questions related to journalistic deontology, helps engage responsible journalists and also represents an area of opportunity for library and information professionals who are immersed in digital environments (e.g. digital libraries and library professionals that are the ideal professionals to store, manage and disseminate the records produced by media observatories). Moreover, the data analyzed help to set a maximum limit for the non-compliance with each of the criteria analyzed, which can even lead to the development of an ethical and social responsibility accreditation that can be granted to news outlets with the best practices for journalism.