The Safety Net Project at the National Network to End Domestic Violence is thrilled to be teaming with safetyNed for the launch of a national project in the Netherlands focused on addressing how victims of domestic violence are impacted by the misuse of technology by abusive partners. The new safetyNed project will offer help to victims of domestic violence by providing assistance in figuring out how the abuser may be using technology to harm them, and offering safety tips and privacy strategies for future technology use.
In a 2014 study led by the Safety Net Technology Project at the National Network to End Domestic Violence, we found that 97% of domestic violence victim service providers reported abusive partners were using technology to stalk, harass and control their victims. Such abuse is often done by monitoring a victim’s phone, tablet or computer; tracking their location; harassing them via phone, email or social media; spying on phone calls or discussions; and sharing personal information online. This kind of abuse can be particularly traumatic because it can be difficult to determine exactly how the abusive partner is misusing the technology and what can be done to stop it. But for all the harm an abusive partner can cause through the misuse of technology, having access to technology is still an essential part of everyday living, and for survivors it can be a way to not only escape from the isolation of abuse, but to also seek safety and resources to help them break free. This is why projects like safetyNed are essential.
In our 17 years of working on this issue, we’ve learned how critical it is for everyone to be working together and a have a voice in this conversation. From advocates and service providers to law enforcement, policymakers, and technology companies, the collective knowledge, skills, and expertise of everyone is needed to address the multifaceted needs of survivors and move forward towards an end to violence. By coming together on 22 June 2017 for the Combine Congress and working in partnership, your collective efforts can truly make a difference in the lives of survivors!
Cindy Southworth is Executive Vice President & Founder of the Safety Net Technology Project at the National Network to End Domestic Violence (NNEDV). SafetyNed is currently in the process with the NNEDV to conclude a Memorandum of Understanding in order to implement the Safety Net project in the Netherlands.