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Mechanisms of Moral Responsibility: Rethinking Technologies for Domestic Violence Prevention Work

Lookup NU author(s): Rosanna Bellini, Professor Simon Forrest, Dr Jan SmeddinckORCiD



This is the authors' accepted manuscript of a conference proceedings (inc. abstract) that has been published in its final definitive form by Association for Computing Machinery, 2020.

For re-use rights please refer to the publisher's terms and conditions.


This paper provides a critical examination of how digital systems within a charitable organisation in the North of England are being used to both support and challenge male perpetrators of domestic violence. While there exists a range of digital tools to support the victim-survivors of domestic violence, no tools are available to challenge the abusive and harmful behaviours of perpetrators. Through this work, we uncovered the compelling moral responsibilities intrinsic within interactions with technological systems between perpetrators and support workers. As such, we highlight four spaces of negotiation concerning a person's responsibility in changing their abusive behaviour, which we have coined as mechanisms to represent their fundamental and interconnected nature. These mechanisms include self-awareness, acknowledging the extent of harms, providing peer support and respecting authorities. These insights are the basis for offering some practical considerations for HCI scholars, policymakers and intervention designers in their work with perpetrators of violence.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Bellini R, Forrest S, Westmarland N, Smeddinck JD

Publication type: Conference Proceedings (inc. Abstract)

Publication status: Published

Conference Name: CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (CHI '20)

Year of Conference: 2020

Online publication date: 25/04/2020

Acceptance date: 20/12/2019

Date deposited: 29/04/2020

Publisher: Association for Computing Machinery


DOI: 10.1145/3313831.3376693

Library holdings: Search Newcastle University Library for this item

Series Title: Proceedings of the 2020 CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems

ISBN: 9781450367080