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‘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, LM; 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 10.1332/239868021x16290304343529. (In press). Green open access

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Abstract

<jats:p> 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.&lt;br /&gt;&lt;br /&gt;<jats:bold>Key messages</jats:bold>&lt;br /&gt;&lt;ul&gt;&lt;li&gt;UK statutory and voluntary support services do not feel well equipped to respond to tech abuse.&lt;/li&gt;&lt;br /&gt;&lt;li&gt;Shortcomings in documentation and assessment practices make it difficult to estimate the full scale and nature of tech abuse.&lt;/li&gt;&lt;br /&gt;&lt;li&gt;Tech abuse training and other support mechanisms are needed to amplify the UK sector’s ability to assist IPV victims/survivors.&lt;/li&gt;&lt;/ul&gt; </jats:p>

Type: Article
Title: ‘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
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1332/239868021x16290304343529
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1332/239868021X16290304343529
Additional information: This version is the author accepted manuscript. For information on re-use, please refer to the publisher’s terms and conditions.
Keywords: Internet of Things; tech abuse; technology-enabled abuse; technology-facilitated abuse; technology-mediated abuse
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Engineering Science
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Engineering Science > STEaPP
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10135012
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