Safety Net Handouts
WESNET’s Safety Net Australia project provides resources to help victims and agencies respond effectively to the many ways that technology impacts victims of domestic and dating violence, sexual violence and stalking. WESNET gives thanks and acknowledgement to the great team at NNEDV for letting us adapt their handouts for the Australian context.
Stalkers are increasingly misusing a variety of telephone, surveillance, and computer technologies to harass, terrify, intimidate, coerce, and monitor former and current intimate partners. Perpetrators are also misusing technology to stalk before, during, and after perpetrating sexual violence. This one page tipsheet introduces why it’s important to respond and what agencies and services can do.
The Technology Power and Control Wheel is modeled after the original Power and Control Wheel developed by the Domestic Abuse Intervention Project in Duluth, MN. The Technology Power and Control Wheel is an is an attempt to provide specific examples of ways technology is used in the context of domestic violence, sexual assault, and stalking.
The wheel helps to illustrate tactics perpetrators use and the dynamics of abuse. The center of the wheel illustrates the abuser’s central goal, which is to maintain power and control over the victim. Each spoke of the wheel represents a different tactic that an abuser can use to maintain this power and control. The wheel’s rim, which holds everything together, symbolizes the way that an abuser will use physical or sexual violence or the threat of it in order to reinforce the power of the other tactics.
This handout provides some simple but critical tips about phone, computer, email, instant messaging and other technologies to discuss if someone you know is in danger.
Do you want to know what spyware is, how it works, how it can end up secretly monitoring your computer? This handout answers those questions, discusses risks, and provides safety tips for survivors of abuse, for organizations that assist victims, and for parents.
Billions of images are captured, uploaded online, and distributed electronically every day. As several high-profile cases have documented in recent years, some of these images raise serious safety, privacy, and legal issues around the intersection of abuse and assault, consent, and privacy. Moreover, the digital age that we live in not only allows for rapid distribution and sharing but also creates an irreversible, permanent record of our actions.
Browsing the web safely and privately is concern for many people. However, you can take steps to prevent sensitive and personal information from making its rounds on the Web. This one page handout has privacy & safety tips about email, passwords, social networks, online accounts, web browsing and more.
The Internet is full of opportunities for us to share things about ourselves, whether it’s a blog entry, updating our Facebook or MySpace status, or posting videos on sites like YouTube or Metacafe. Some people may not mind that the things they share about themselves can be viewed by anyone, but other people may be more concerned. For those who want to be more protective of their online information, here are some questions to consider when posting content online.
Privacy and Safety on Facebook: Two Guides
A Guide to Staying Safe on Facebook* is a short, summary guide that provides quick and easy explanations of important settings. This information will be helpful to anyone using Facebook who is interested in increasing their privacy and security. This quick guide is currently available in English and we hope to have additional translations in the future.
Safety & Privacy on Facebook: A Guide for Survivors (2015)* is a more in-depth, detailed resource that provides step-by-step assistance to users who are experiencing harassment or are concerned about their privacy and safety due to an abusive person. It provides guidance for using features and settings within Facebook to increase privacy and security, report harassing or harmful content for removal, and document abusive behaviors in the event a user wants to seek legal assistance. This recently updated guide addresses privacy concerns and provides safety tips for Facebook users.
This guide provides specific tips and guidance for Twitter users on increasing their privacy and responding to other users who misuse the platform. It includes guidance on how to be private while being social, how to keep your account secure, as well as explaining how Twitter defines harassment and how to report and document abuse.
Mobile phones are integrated into our lives in a way that allows us, and potentially others, access to a lot of personal information, including our activities, social circles, and even location. The following information will help you assess whether you think your activities and location are being monitored through your cell phone and offer strategies to consider that can help maximise your safety needs.
Mobile Phone Location, Privacy, and Intimate Partner Violence Article*
Our sister project in the USA, Safety Net, wrote an article in 2013 on mobile phone (called cell phones in the US) location privacy and safety that was published in a major Domestic Violence Report. This comprehensive article discusses how cell phone location is misused by abusers to stalk and monitor victims and tips on what victims can do. It explores the different ways cell phone location information can be revealed, including location sharing application and social media-based location sharing. The article concludes with proposed federal legislation on location privacy and best practices for app developers wanting to collect location information through their apps.
NNEDV Safety Net Project created this piece to assist agencies, services, and communities with understanding mobile phone application options and considering how they can best help victims of domestic violence.
Download: Safety in a Mobile Word: A Look At Apps.
This paper highlights research literature and survivors’ reports on the use of technology in intimate partner stalking. It discusses use and abuse of: telephone technologies including TTY and Caller ID; location and surveillance technologies including GPS devices and cameras; and, computer and Internet technologies including spyware and online databases. It includes tips for social change and advocacy, and safety strategies for survivors. (2005)
The New Age of Stalking: Technological Implications for Stalking (2010 Juvenile and Family Court Journal article)*
Technology has led to tremendous advancements in our society but has also brought more danger to victims of stalking and given more tools for stalkers to use. New technology has made it more difficult for prosecutors and judges to hold stalkers accountable for their crimes, and without an understanding of how technology is misused by stalkers to track and monitor their victims, many victims don’t get the justice they deserve. This article addresses the tremendous impact of technology on stalking, especially within the context of intimate partner stalking.
Citation: Fraser, C., Olsen, E., Lee, K., Southworth, C. and Tucker, S. (2010, November). The New Age of Stalking: Technological Implications for Stalking, Juvenile and Family Court Journal, 61 (4), 39–55. doi: 10.1111/j.1755-6988.2010.01051.x
There are many benefits to joining a social network: networking with peers, reaching out to potential funders and allies, and raising awareness. However, there are legitimate concerns about safety risks and confidentiality. This one page handout introduces a few important issues
The use and availability of Assistive Technology in programs and agencies is a critical component of ensuring accessible and safe services for victims and survivors. This tip sheet briefly highlights: how different assistive technologies work; how agencies and partnerships are or might use assistive technology; and, several benefits, risks and considerations around safety planning, confidentiality, and informed consent.
This piece was created by the NNEDV Safety Net Project to assist U.S. DOJ Office of Violence Against Women (DOJ-OVW) grantees and other agencies and partnerships, with identifying and addressing victim safety and accessibility concerns that can arise from using technology. This technology safety tip sheet is meant to help with issue spotting. It is understood that a more in-depth look at the agency’s or partnership’s technology plans and implementation may be necessary to fully ensure it is most effectively addressing victim safety and accessibility concerns.
People with disabilities and people who are Deaf or hard-of-hearing experience high rates of sexual violence. If our agencies are not accessible, these survivors can face additional barriers to safety and healing. Assistive technology can be a critical component in ensuring that sexual assault programs provide accessible services for all victims of sexual violence. This 3 page article provides five steps sexual assault programs can take to increase safety and accessibility for survivors by using assistive technology.
*Links with an asterisk will take you to the NNEDV version of these handouts. WESNET is progressively adapting these handouts to the Australian context.