Research to investigate prevalence of Technology Facilitated Domestic Abuse

Shadow of a hand over a keyboard

A multidisciplinary research team from the University’s Institute of Cyber Security for Society (iCSS) is carrying out an investigation to examine the role of technology in intimate partner domestic abuse.

The research, funded by the Home Office Domestic Abuse Perpetrators fund, will explore the prevalence of Technology Facilitated Domestic Abuse (TFDA) in the UK and the particular types of technologies used to perpetrate TFDA.

The project will be led by psychologists Dr Afroditi Pina and Dr Jennifer Storey (from the School of Psychology‘s Centre of Research and Education in Forensic Psychology [CORE-FP]), alongside Dr Virginia Franqueira (School of Computing) and Dr Marian Duggan (School of Social Policy, Sociology and Social Research [SSPSSR]), all members of iCSS with extensive experience in domestic abuse, online abuse and cyber security.

Research will be carried out in partnership with The Cyber Helpline, the only UK not-for-profit helpline directly supporting victims of cyber-crime. By utilising case data and conducting in depth interviews with front-line responders of The Cyber Helpline, the researchers will look to identify the specific technologies used by perpetrators and establish the requirements for high quality victim assistance from a cyber security perspective.

The findings of this research will produce necessary data for government, law enforcement, practitioners, front-line responders and stakeholders to inform on appropriate interventions with perpetrators and victims of TFDA, as well as the most suitable technical support.

Dr Pina said: ‘Domestic abuse cases have risen during the Covid-19 pandemic, with many victims unable to escape from abusive partners at home. This research project is timely and necessary to identify the evidence base on intimate partner domestic abuse and a newly established constellation of methods of TFDA perpetration.’