Personal safety mobile applications: Just another way of responsibilising survivors of IPV or a tool for empowerment? A survivor’s view!

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2019-09-03

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Peer reviewed

Abstract

Research and the academic literature have indicated the growing use of technologies such as the use of mobile phone applications as a tool either for the commission of IPV by perpetrators (‘tech abuse’) or as an ‘educational’ or ‘awareness raising’ forum/feature for both perpetrators and survivors of IPV. However, there is less exploration currently regarding whether and how this technology might be used as an empowerment tool in cases of IPV. Our research contributes towards closing this current gap.

In this paper we focus on the preliminary results of our project examining the use of a mobile personal safety application in cases of IPV with a group of individual survivors assessed as medium/standard risk of ‘Domestic Violence’ in the UK.

Our research sample consists of voluntary participants receiving services from specialist domestic abuse support agencies in one region of England. We also completed a qualitative analysis of data collected from a series of group and individual interviews.

Results Drawing on the findings we examine the perceptions of the personal safety of survivors of IPV comparing those who choose to use the personal safety application with a control group whom did not. We explore intersectional differences between groups and what role the mobile phone safety application played as both a tool to assist towards the ‘protection’ of survivors as an element of their ‘safety plans’, and whether the personal safety application was perceived as an empowerment and personal resilience tool.

We provide some recommendations which outline the strengths and challenges of personal safety mobile phone applications and how their utilisation can be disseminated more widely across the Domestic Violence sector.

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Citation

Turgoose, D, and McKie, R,. (2019) Personal safety mobile applications: Just another way of responsibilising survivors of IPV or a tool for empowerment? A survivor’s view! III Biannual ECDV Oslo Norway 3rd September 2019

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Research Institute

Institute for Research in Criminology, Community, Education and Social Justice