The role of technology in perpetrating, and preventing, domestic and family violence: evaluating a new safety response

Stream: Family violence
Date: Tuesday, 10 September 2019
Time: 1.35 pm – 3.15 pm


In 2016 Queensland introduced a technology trial designed to assist women who are risk assessed as highly vulnerable or experiencing ongoing domestic and family violence, to stay safer in their home, where appropriate and safe to do so, through the provision of new and emerging technological enhancements to home, property and personal security.

There are two related but distinct components to the initiative. The first is the use of technology such as personal safety alarms and security cameras to enhance victims’ safety, in which technology is part of a safety response to support victims. The second is identifying and responding to technology-facilitated abuse, in which technology such as social media is used by perpetrators to stalk and monitor victims. This paper reports on the evaluation of the trial, which aimed to investigate whether and how the technology based initiative enables people to stay safer at home, which people, and under what circumstances, and if it empowers them in other ways. Findings include the benefits of technology in enhancing subjective safety, for women and their children. We also identify the need for resources to build the capacity of human services with expertise in domestic and family in identifying and responding to technology-facilitated abuse, a growing concern because of its effects on victims' space for agency, and on their safety.


kylie valentine (Presenter), Social Policy Research Centre, UNSW Sydney
kylie works at the Social Policy Research Centre, UNSW. She researches human services delivery and service systems

Sandra Gendera (Presenter), Social Policy Research Centre, UNSW Sydney
Sandra's expertise is in qualitative research, including projects involving mixed methods; longitudinal analysis; involvement of multiple stakeholder groups; and delivering research outputs to various audiences. Her research expands to various social policy fields: disability and mental health research; migration and immigration; research with young people and their families and supporters; and program evaluation.