Dr Jason Nurse article outlines findings on domestic abuse and technology in context of current research

Person looking at phone

Dr Jason Nurse, Senior Lecturer (Associate Professor) in Cyber Security at the University of Kent, together with Lisa Sugiura, Senior Lecturer in Criminology and Cybercrime at the University of Portsmouth, have published an article for The Conversation titled ‘Domestic abusers are weaponizing everyday tech — and there’s no quick fix’.

Last month we provided some background into a new Home Office report co-authored by Dr Jason Nurse, and highlighted some key findings. In this new write-up, published in The Conversation, the findings are outlined in the context of current research:

‘Perpetrators of domestic abuse are increasingly exploiting digital tools to coerce and control their victims. Where there is abuse in a relationship, technology will also feature in how that abuse is conducted. Police forces now expect as much, when responding to cases of domestic abuse.

Such technological abuse features everyday tools, from smart devices to online platforms and mobile phone apps. And the information on where to find them and how to use them is easily accessible online, often using a simple Google search.

To understand the extent of this problem, we conducted a wide-ranging study for the UK government. We reviewed 146 domestic abuse cases reported in British and international media, and conducted in-depth interviews with support charity workers and frontline police officers in England.

We found that abusers often have physical access to their partners’ devices and use them to monitor, harass and humiliate. Abusers can force their victims to disclose passwords, PIN codes or swipe patterns to get into their devices so they can install sypware – all without sophisticated tech knowledge.

Geolocation software and other surveillance spyware provide new possibilities for abusers to monitor and track victims’ movements. In our study, we found hundreds of tools online that could be used for these purposes’.

The full article is available to read on The Conversation website, here: