Technology has increased survivors’ access to information and support, but can also increase risks to privacy, and can impact our ability to deliver quality services. From the information on websites to advocacy via real time chat, text, video, or email, are you prepared to respond to survivors who reach out using technology? Everyone is welcome - no matter how comfortable (or uncomfortable) you are with technology.
Survivors’ concerns about technology, including their own use of technology, should drive the advocacy we provide. Participants will work in small groups, and then the larger group, to discuss the types of technology concerns that survivors may have in the longer-term. We will share technology tools to that can help to increase survivor privacy and empowerment, including strategies for speaking out online. The variety of both privacy threats, and tools available, can be daunting to anyone these days. This content is designed to provide advocates with a set of criteria, as well as the confidence, to support survivors in choosing the tools that best suit their unique circumstances and priorities.
We will then focus on how advocates can use technology tools in their work with survivors, while also protecting privacy, maintaining confidentiality, and adapting the core values and approaches of advocacy to new technologies. We will address this topic because many local programs are considering, or have already begun, to transition traditional service provision such as hotline or ongoing advocacy phone conversations from analog landlines to VoIP systems, mobile devices, and integration with hotline management software and databases. As vendors push these options, programs need to have the tools to consider implications for survivor privacy and security.
Technology and Sexual Assault
The role of technology in sexual assault outside of Intimate Partner Violence is distinct from other kinds of violence experienced by survivors of domestic violence. This handout describes some of the differences in how technology may be misused, giving examples in a variety of settings. It also discusses how technology is related to the root causes of sexual assault.
Assessing for Technology Misuse and Privacy Concerns in Sexual Assault
The safety and privacy of survivors is often compromised by offenders who misuse technology, as well as ways that the survivor’s personal information is shared. This handout will help you and the survivor think through how to narrow down technology misuse by the offender and identify the survivor’s potential privacy concerns.
Images, Consent, and Abuse
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. This handout looks at strategies that survivors can use to deal with images that have been uploaded as part of abuse.
Documentation Tips for Survivors of Technology Abuse & Stalking
Misuse of technology could include monitoring technology use, including computers or mobile devices, sending harassing messages, or posting negative comments or images of the survivor online. This handout helps survivors and service providers identify the kinds of information to document and how to do that.
Online Privacy & Safety Tips
Browsing the web safely and privately is a concern for many people. A good general rule is that nothing online is private. Another general rule is that you can’t be completely anonymous online. However, you can take steps to prevent sensitive and personal information from making its round on the Web.
Additionally, these two guides were developed by Safety Net in partnership with two prominent social media companies to increase survivor privacy and safety.
Agency's Use of Technology Best Practices & Policies Toolkit
This toolkit includes questions to consider when using technology to provide services, as well as best practices for communicating with survivors via phone, email, text and on mobile devices. In addition, sexual assault and domestic violence programs can find information about confidentiality, databases and many other technology issues related to service delivery.
For work with survivors experiencing sexual assault within the context of domestic, or intimate partner violence, we encourage advocates and survivors to consult the wealth of resources on TechSafety.org.
Tech Safety App
Also, download our app from iTunes, Google Plat or at TechSafetyApp.org for basic information about technology misuse, safety and privacy.