Day 1 – Tuesday, 20 September 2022
Tech Abuse: The Lowdown
Presenter(s): Sarah Biordi and Joanna Colautti (WESNET)
Tech abuse is a form of abuse that involves the misuse of technology in order to hold power and control over someone. It is often used by perpetrators of domestic abuse as part of a larger pattern of coercive control. This presentation WESNET’s Technology Safety Specialists will provide an overview on how abusers misuse technology to stalk, harass and abuse victim-survivors and the impact of this abuse on survivors. There will be discussion of the most common ways abusers misuse technology as well as what measures can be taken to try and prevent this abuse or deal with the fallout.
Nothing about us without us – marginalised women and tech
Presenter(s): Omaim Al-Baghdadi and Libbi Cunnington (WWDA)
In this session two presenters will explore issues as they relate to culturally and linguistically diverse women and women with disabilities. In the first half, Omaim Al-Baghdadi will share some of her research on the challenges facing women from diverse backgrounds transitioning to technology-facilitated service delivery during the pandemic. She will also discuss her findings on the cultural and linguistic appropriateness of digital services, such as personal safety apps offered in Australia, to highlight not only the hurdles and safety concerns facing marginalised women when engaging with this tech, but also how it may be useful in assisting them. In the second half, Libbi Cunnington from WWDA talks about how co-design with the group you are designing for is the answer for creating resources that are accessible and usable.
Day 2 – Wednesday 21 September 2022
Keynote: Predators & Perpetrators: White settler violence online
Keynote Speaker: Prof Bronwyn Carlson (Macquarie University)
Since early contact, white settlers, across the continent now known as Australia, have violently imposed on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander lives. Developments in digital communication and technology have given white users new means to engage in hostile, racist, transphobic and homophobic, and misogynistic behaviours. This presentation examines white violence towards Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples as it occurs on social media platforms. I draw on qualitative data shared and discussed by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in news media and interviews who have experienced abuse and harassment from white settlers on social media. Analysis of this data exposes patterns of predatory behaviour among white settlers towards Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. These patterns can also be read as perpetration of colonial violence.
Technology-based interventions and responses
In this session we will hear about some of the ways that technology is used in domestic and family violence responses. Firstly, Dr Mary Iliadis will present on the findings of recent research about the role of body-worn cameras when used in the context of domestic and family violence. Secondly, Dr Diarmaid Harkin will provide an of the limits and possibilities of tech-based ‘solutions’
Police body-worn camera technology in family violence responses: A national study on police, family violence stakeholders and victim/survivors
Speaker: Dr Mary Iliadis (Deakin University)
Body-worn cameras (BWCs) have been promoted internationally to enhance responses to domestic and family violence (DFV). Preliminary evidence suggests that when used in the context of DFV, BWC footage may strengthen evidential cases and prosecutions. Mary presents the findings on behalf of her research team which includes: Dr Zarina Vakhitova, Monash University, Associate Professor Bridget Harris, Monash University, Associate Professor Asher Flynn, Monash University and Associate Professor Danielle Tyson, Deakin University
Technology-based responses to technology-facilitated domestic and family violence: An overview of the limits and possibilities of tech-based ‘solutions’
Presenters: Dr Diarmaid Harkin (Deakin University) & Dr Robert Merkel
A variety of technology-based responses have emerged to address technology-facilitated abuse (TFA). This can include internet-based information or reporting services, efforts to promote safer design of technological products and platforms, or the creation of technical solutions such as spyware detection. This presentation aims to take stock of these technology-based responses arguing that they are often necessary without being sufficient, and that they have persistent strategic and technical limitations. It will be argued that there should be on-going emphasis on the development of human resources as a support for those experiencing TFA, particularly the use of professional DV support workers.
Tech safety strategies for survivors
Presenters: Karen Bentley, CEO WESNET and Apple
Karen Bentley and colleagues will explore some of the strategies survivors can use to increase their safety when experiencing technology facilitated abuse. This will include exploring some of the new inbuilt features of devices such as Apple’s new ‘Safety Check’ as well as other tips and advice you can provide your clients to help them remain on tech and potentially disrupt the abuser’s behaviour safely.
The Intersection Between Tech Abuse and Financial Abuse
Presenters: Jo Colautti (WESNET) & Amelia Klein (Financial Abuse Legal Service NSW)
Tech abuse and financial abuse are types of domestic abuse that can increase isolation, increase risk to safety and significantly impact a survivors wellbeing. These types of abuse do not occur in a vacuum and often form a larger part of a pattern of coercive control. Most people now access and manage their finances online therefore these types of abuse often occur concurrently. In this presentation we will discuss common scenarios in which tech abuse and financial abuse are experienced together, possible legal outcomes for someone who has experienced this sort of abuse and how to increase your digital financial security.
Tech Abuse and Children
In this session we have two different presentations discussing tech abuse, coercive control and children. In the first Dr Molly Dragiewicz will discuss how children are involved in tech abuse in the context of adult domestic and family violence. In the second half, A/Prof Michael Salter and Dr Delanie Woodlock discuss their latest research on the disturbing overlap between domestic violence perpetration and child sexual abuse material.
How children are involved in technology-facilitated coercive control
Presenter: Molly Dragiewicz (Griffith University)
Technology is increasingly integrated into our lives, so it’s not surprising that it is integral to the dynamics of domestic violence. This presentation will provide information about how children are involved in technology-facilitated abuse in the context of adult domestic and family violence. Topics includes the role of technology in children’s exposure to domestic and family violence, the impact of technology-facilitated abuse on children and young people, professionals’ knowledge about technology-facilitated abuse involving children in the context of domestic and family violence, and strategies and resources to protect children from technology-facilitated abuse.
The crossover between domestic violence, coercive control and child sexual abuse material offending
Presenters: Michael Salter (UNSW) & Dr Delanie Woodlock (Monash University)
This presentation examines an under-recognised form of technology-facilitated abuse and gender-based violence – child sexual abuse material (CSAM) offending. CSAM not only harms children, but emerging evidence shows that it also shapes men’s use of violence and abuse against female partners. We discuss the impact of CSAM offending on women’s lives before, during and after the arrest of their partner. We describe the support needs of non-offending partners and their children, including managing intersecting criminal, child protection and family law matters. We present ‘red flags’ and typologies for CSAM offending in a relationship and consider how paedophilia intersects with violence against women.
Day 3 – Thursday 29 September 2022 (NEW DATE)
Privacy, safety, and women: Perspectives from leading technologists – a panel discussion
Facilitator: Karen Bentley (WESNET)
Panellists: Telstra, Google, Meta, Match Group, Uber and CommBank
A conversation with leading technologists in Australia and the United States. Learn about what major technology companies and other corporations are doing about privacy, safety and women’s issues.
Legal Remedies for Tech Abuse
Presenters:Jo Colautti (WESNET) & Julie Sarkozi (Women’s Legal Service QLD)
This session will cover the legal implications and remedies relating to tech abuse. It will cover Commonwealth and some State legislation with reference to our updated Legal Guides. The presentation will discuss harassment via technology, image-based abuse and stalking/ surveillance. Participants will have a deeper understanding of the laws applicable to people experiencing tech abuse, get a sense of practical strategies for evidence collection and reporting, tips on where to refer clients for legal help and have an opportunity to ask questions of experienced lawyers.
Spyware and other Monitoring and Surveillance Tactics
Presenters: Sarah Biordi (WESNET) & Martijn Grooten (Coalition Against Stalkerware)
This session looks at the ways Australian victims are being monitored, surveilled and tracked through their tech, from abuse of everyday accounts and apps, through to the deployment of spyware, mobile device management (MDM) and remote access trojans (RATs). We’ll cover some examples of what we’re currently seeing, the ways in which tech is being compromised, and how we can manage the risk around this intrusive and terrifying type of tech abuse.
Keynote – Technology and Violence Against Women – where to now?
Presenter: Karen Bentley (WESNET)
Karen Bentley, CEO of WESNET and co-founder of the Safety Net Australia project will discuss some of the major issues relating to the intersection of technology and violence against women. Drawing on her experience over the past 10 years in the field. How have things evolved since this issue was first brought to the attention of the sector, what’s changed and where to next.