Technology Facilitated Intimate Partner Violence (TFIPV) is the term that describes any type of abuse (financial, sexual, physical, psychological) and coercive control between current or former intimate partners that is perpetrated or facilitated via technological means, and causes its recipients to experience fear or intimidation, image-based offenses, privacy violation, unwanted sexual attention or physical offenses.

Technology facilitated intimate partner violence (TFIPV) has evolved considerably with
developments in both the nature and accessibility of interactive communications. Following the COVID-19 global pandemic and subsequent lockdowns and restrictions, the move to remote working and engagement in online leisure activities provided ample opportunities for perpetrators to harass, monitor, and control their victims online (Yardley, 2020). Research has recognised the use of smartphones, social media and GPS location tracking as examples of technologies used to perpetrate abuse both pre COVID-19 and during it (Douglas, Harris & Dragiewicz, 2019; Gilchrist et al, 2017; Yardley, 2020).

An interdisciplinary team formed of members of Kent’s Institute of Cyber Security for Society (iCSS) comprising Drs Afroditi Pina & Jennifer Storey who led the project and team members Drs Marian Duggan & Virginia Franqueira assessed the existing research on TFIPV (e.g., controlling technology use, hacking, tracking, image-based abuse, harassment, isolation etc) before exploring what patterns, trends and adaptations perpetrators employed in the period leading up to, and during, the COVID-19 pandemic. The findings inform a range of policy recommendations on TFIPV.

On this blog you can find information about the project team, as well as full copies of the report and any appendices and materials.