In today’s world, we are using digital technology in ways we never imagined were possible. People are “plugged in” through a variety of tools (mobile devices, computers, game systems, etc.) and applications (social networks, online gaming, photo and video sharing, blogs, etc.), and information and people are more accessible than ever. As we move forward and learn to adapt to this cultural shift, we must consider not only the possibilities for impacting positive social change (look for a future Special Collection dedicated to this topic), but also the potential risks that technological advancements may raise for those who experience domestic violence, sexual violence, and stalking.
This Special Collection provides information and resources to support the safety and privacy of those who may or do experience technology-assisted abuse. It reviews the ways in which technology can be misused by perpetrators of domestic violence, sexual violence, and stalking to harass, threaten, coerce, surveille, exploit, and violate their victim(s). It offers tips for enhancing data security and personal privacy online, on computers and networks, and in public records and databases. The collection also explores considerations for advocates and organizations serving survivors of abuse, including advocacy tips, security and privacy protections for programs, and online presence and services.
The digital world is ever evolving, at a rate that sometimes feels impossible to grasp. There will always be a “next big thing” which will undoubtedly raise questions about the safety of survivors of abuse. It is our role to ask those questions, to support informed, victim-centered choices around the use of technology, and to continue to advocate for the rights and needs of those experiencing abuse.
This collection was developed by the National Resource Center on Domestic Violence. Special thanks to the SafetyNet Project of the National Network on Domestic Violence for their leadership and resource development in this area.