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Digital Strategy for the Social Inclusion of Survivors of Domestic Violence

Lookup NU author(s): Professor Aad van Moorsel, Dr Martin Emms, Dr Leonardus Arief



For most of us advances in digital technology have made our lives easier, by providing access to information and services whenever and wherever we want. In a perfect world this should be true for Survivors of domestic violence, with technology providing access to domestic violence support services at a time and place that is convenient to the Survivor, thereby arousing less suspicion from their partner.Unfortunately the technologies Survivors are using to access help and support (i.e. mobile phones and Internet browsers) are recording a trail of “electronic footprints” which can be followed; consequently Survivors are being prevented from accessing the services that have been provided to help them.Related research shows that intimate partner cyber stalking represents a genuine threat to Survivors, with a proven link between the stalking behaviour and the controlling / abusive behaviours common to cases of domestic violence.The aim of this research was to improve the ability of Survivors to access domestic violence support services. This has been divided into two objectives, the first objective is to make the services more accessible (easier to find and more targeted in the information they provide), the second objective was to give Survivors the tools they require to erase their electronic footprints so that they can access support services safely (and thereby be more willing to use the services provided).To achieve these objectives the project looked at existing support services, carried out a survey of Survivors to find out what they needed from the services, identified the issues with existing Internet and mobile phone technologies and proposes new and innovative solutions to help Survivors access the services they need.In this document we present a case study based on our work with the Angelou Centre, this case study serves as the core of our research, in which we outline the technology issues facing survivors and present number of technology solutions that can be used to address these issues. The technology requirement of each survivor and each organisation providing domestic violence services is unique, so the proposed solutions presented in this document are intended to be used individually or in combination as is most appropriate for the survivor and / or organisation providing the service.

Publication metadata

Author(s): van Moorsel A, Emms M, Rendall G, Arief B

Publication type: Report

Publication status: Published

Series Title: School of Computing Science Technical Report Series

Year: 2011

Pages: 21

Print publication date: 01/09/2011

Source Publication Date: September 2011

Report Number: 1277

Institution: School of Computing Science, University of Newcastle upon Tyne

Place Published: Newcastle upon Tyne