Source: National Network to End Domestic Violence (NNEDV)
Technology has a major impact on survivors of abuse. It can be used by a victim to access help, to strategically maintain safety and privacy, and to remain connected to family and friends. It is often used to prove guilt and hold offenders accountable. Yet, technology, in its various forms, is also misused by abusers and perpetrators in crimes of domestic violence, sexual assault, stalking, and trafficking.
NNEDV’s Safety Net Project focuses on the intersection of technology and intimate partner abuse and works to address how it impacts the safety, privacy, accessibility, and civil rights of victims.
The Safety Net Project:
- Works with communities, agencies, and technology companies to address how ongoing and emerging technology impacts the safety, privacy, and accessibility rights of victims.
- Educates victim advocates and the general public on ways to use technology strategically to increase and maintain safety and privacy.
- Trains law enforcement and justice systems, social services, coordinated community response teams and others on tactics of technology misuse and offender accountability.
- Advocates for strong local, state, national and international policies that ensure the safety, privacy and civil rights of all victims and survivors.
Keep up with the Safety Net Project by visiting the Tech Safety Blog.
Safety Net accomplishes this work through various projects and initiatives, listed below.
Trainings & Resources
The Safety Net Project provides engaging and interactive trainings, both in-person and through webinars, to enhance the ability of programs and community agencies to respond to the needs of survivors in ways that both tech-savvy and non-techie audiences can understand. The project has trained more than 60,000 advocates, police officers, prosecutors, and other community agency members across the U.S. and internationally since its inception in 2002.
For over a decade, Safety Net has also focused on developing a network of technology safety trainers at the U.S. state and territorial coalitions against domestic and sexual violence, as well as other key national and international allied anti-violence organizations. In 2013, the project hosted the its inaugural Technology Summit, bringing together advocates, victim service providers, law enforcement, technologists, and other professionals to address the intersections of technology, safety, and privacy.
Additionally, the Safety Net Project has created a variety of resources and tip sheets for survivors and agencies working with survivors.
For more information on organizing a training near you, click here to contact NNEDV.
Relocation Counseling and Identity Protection Technical Assistance Project
A joint initiative between NNEDV and Greater Boston Legal Services, the Relocation Project uniquely addresses all facets of survivor relocation and privacy, providing strategic advice to assist survivors in making informed choices when they need to relocate for their personal safety. Advice and counseling may address issues regarding: housing, employment and education credentials, child custody and other family law issues, interstate enforcement of custody and restraining orders, immigration, vital records problems, credit history, myths and realities of identity change, and referrals to attorneys and other service providers. This service is free and available nationwide.
The Initiative also provides community outreach surrounding all facets of relocation. Project staff will offer information to service providers regarding current legal developments and emerging trends in victim safety and privacy.
This Relocation Project is supported by the U.S. Department of Justice, Office on Violence Against Women.
Technology, Education, & Confidentiality (TEC) Project
The TEC Project focuses on confidentiality and privacy issues and the use of technology within agencies and partnerships. Technology can greatly increase accessibility and communication options for survivors connecting with services. It is also used to connect services within communities, close gaps in services and better meet the needs of survivors.
Through this project, the Safety Net team provides resources, trainings, and in-depth technical assistance to OVW grantees, domestic and sexual violence programs, coordinated community response teams, law enforcement, prosecutors, corrections, and other criminal justice professionals. The goals of this project include:
- Educating about technology & confidentiality issues within and beyond partnerships.
- Enhancing capacities to address agency technology use in responding to survivor safety, confidentiality, and accessibility needs.
- Providing strategies for enhancing safety planning for victims around technology risks and increasing offender accountability when misusing technology.
As part of this project, Safety Net developed the Technology & Confidentiality Resources Toolkit as a resource for non-profit agencies and advocates working with survivors.
This TEC Project is supported by the U.S. Department of Justice, Office on Violence Against Women.
Using Technology to Improve and Enhance Victim Services
The Safety Net team also works on a project specifically designed to improve domestic violence, stalking, and trafficking victims’ access to services and safety and to enhance the ability of service providers to provide resources to crime victims on technology misuse and safety.
Through this project, the Safety Net team develops educational resources and materials intended for victim service agencies and survivors. The team also provides trainings and technical assistance to victim service providers on the safe and effective use of various technologies and how to respond to the needs of survivors.
This project is supported by the Office for Victims of Crime.
Advocacy and Education
The staff of the Safety Net Project participates on many advisory boards including: MTV’s A THIN LINE digital abuse campaign and the Privacy Rights Clearinghouse. The NNEDV Safety Net Project is one of 5 organizations internationally that serves on the Facebook Safety Advisory board.