Technology-facilitated abuse: Interviews with victims and survivors and perpetrators
This is one of the first studies globally to engage with perpetrators using qualitative methods to understand drivers, motivations, experiences and characteristics of technology-facilitated abuse (TFA). It provides vital new knowledge that identifies gaps in our knowledge of TFA and, importantly, in explores potential solutions to prevent, detect and dissuade TFA perpetration.
This report presents Stage II findings from a larger national study examining the extent and nature of, and responses to, TFA within the Australian community. It represents the lived experiences of victims and survivors of TFA and identifies the nature of TFA perpetration utilising data from 30 semi-structured qualitative interviews with adult victims and survivors (n=20) and perpetrators (n=10) of TFA.
This research found that TFA is being experienced and perpetrated across four broad areas: harassment, monitoring and control, emotional abuse and threats, and sexual and image-based abuse. While a range of motivations and drivers underpin TFA perpetration, gaining and/or maintaining control over the victim and survivor was the primary motivation that emerged from both victim and survivor and perpetrator interviews. The harms experienced by victims and survivors of TFA were lasting, complex and wide-ranging, including physical, emotional and mental health harms, as well as feelings of fear, paranoia and hypervigilance. A gendered component to the abuse was also evident across the interviews. For example, around two thirds of the most recent experience of TFA perpetration committed by a male was against a current or former female intimate partner.
This work is part of the ANROWS research reports series. ANROWS research reports are in-depth reports on empirical research produced under ANROWS’s research program.
ASSOCIATE PROFESSOR ASHER FLYNN
Criminology, School of Social Sciences, Monash University
Research Assistant, Criminology, School of Social Sciences, Monash University
ASSOCIATE PROFESSOR ANASTASIA POWELL
Criminology & Justice Studies, RMIT University
ISBN: 978-1-922645-38-8 (paperback) | 978-1-922645-37-1 (PDF)
Flynn, A., Hindes, S., & Powell, A. (2022). Technology-facilitated abuse: Interviews with victims and survivors and perpetrators (Research report, 11/2022). ANROWS.