I Feel Like We’re Really Behind the Game’: Perspectives of the United Kingdom’s Intimate Partner Violence Support Sector on the Rise of Technology-Facilitated Abuse
Tanczer, L. M., López-Neira, I., & Parkin, S. (2021). ‘I feel like we’re really behind the game’: Perspectives of the United Kingdom’s intimate partner violence support sector on the rise of technology-facilitated abuse. Journal of Gender-Based Violence, 5(3), 431–450. https://doi.org/10.1332/239868
18 Pages Posted: 23 Nov 2021
Date Written: September 26, 2021
Technology-facilitated abuse or ‘tech abuse’ in intimate partner violence (IPV) contexts describes the breadth of harms that can be enacted using digital systems and online tools. While the misappropriation of technologies in the context of IPV has been subject to prior research, a dedicated study on the United Kingdom’s IPV support sector has so far been missing. The present analysis summarises insights derived from semi-structured interviews with 34 UK voluntary and statutory sector representatives that were conducted over the course of two years (2018–2020). The analysis identifies four overarching themes that point out support services’ practices, concerns and challenges in relation to tech abuse, and specifically the Internet of Things (IoT). These themes include (a) technology-facilitated abuse, where interviewees outline their experiences and understanding of the concept of tech abuse; (b) IoT-enabled tech abuse, focusing on the changing dynamics of tech abuse due to the continuing rise of smart consumer products; (c) data, documentation and assessment, that directs our attention to the shortcomings of existing risk assessment and recording practices; and (d) training, support and assistance, in which participants point to the need for specialist support capabilities to be developed within and beyond existing services.
Keywords: Internet of Things; tech abuse; technology-enabled abuse; technology-facilitated abuse; technology-mediated abuse
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