NNEDV Technology Safety Blog (techsafety.org)
TECH ABUSE is a widespread problem seen by advocates and legal systems professionals across the US. Our new report, “Tech Abuse in the Pandemic and Beyond,” shares findings from a needs assessment that included the participation of over 1,000 advocates and legal systems professionals. They told us that tech abuse increased during the COVID-19 pandemic. Survivors and their communities also encountered additional barriers to safety, justice, and healing.
The most common types of tech abuse – harassment, limiting access to technology, and surveillance – increased during the pandemic.
Phones, social media, and messaging were the technologies most commonly misused as a tactic of tech abuse.
Internet of Things (IoT) devices, next generation location trackers, and other emerging technologies are increasingly misused in tech abuse.
Survivors’ lack of access to technology, sometimes called the “Digital Divide,” is a barrier to accessing services, legal support, courts, and other services and social supports.
- We should be prepared for the likelihood that tech abuse tactics adopted during the pandemic will not be given up easily.
- We should work together to promote digital equity and tech safety.
Technology can amplify abuse but is also used strategically by survivors and those who support them. Moving forward, we should bring this knowledge even more deeply into our work to respond to and prevent violence and abuse while supporting the well-being of providers.