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

See all articles by Leonie Tanczer

Leonie Tanczer

University College London - Department of Science, Technology, Engineering and Public Policy (STEaPP)

Isabel Lopez-Neira

University College London

Simon Parkin

University College London

Date Written: September 26, 2021

Abstract

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

Suggested Citation

Tanczer, Leonie and Lopez-Neira, Isabel and Parkin, Simon, 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 (September 26, 2021). 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, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3931045 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3931045

Leonie Tanczer (Contact Author)

University College London - Department of Science, Technology, Engineering and Public Policy (STEaPP) ( email )

Shropshire House (4th Floor)
Capper Street
London, WC1E 6JA
United Kingdom

Isabel Lopez-Neira

University College London ( email )

Gower Street
London, WC1E 6BT
United Kingdom

Simon Parkin

University College London ( email )

Gower Street
London, WC1E 6BT
United Kingdom

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