'Tech vs Abuse’ was commissioned to better understand the potential opportunities for technology to play a supportive role in the context of domestic abuse and how to minimise the associated risks.
Tech vs Abuse 2.0
In 2019, Comic Relief, in partnership with Esmée Fairbairn Foundation and The Clothworkers Foundation, reconvened the original research partners Think Social Tech, Snook and Safelives. Its aim was to find out how the landscape has changed since undertaking the original research in 2016. This research discovered new priorities for those organisations working in the fields of domestic and sexual abuse, particularly in terms of the need for more recovery support.
The landscape for tech currently in use is also shifting, with many more tools and resources online. On the whole, however, this research found that the experiences of victims, survivors and practitioners using technology and going online, remain largely
unchanged to that in 2016. There is still a need to make better use of technology to deliver services, whilst mitigating the risks: helping people identify abuse sooner, connecting them to support, and helping them to rebuild their lives.
See the report for more information, including latest key findings, key opportunities, and funding needs.
Tech vs Abuse original research
This research, undertaken by Chayn, SafeLives and Snook gathered insights from over 200 survivors of domestic abuse and 350 practitioners who support them.
Overall, this research identified that technology is playing a hugely positive role for a small proportion of women, as well as those practitioners who feel confident to provide online support or advice on how to use technology safely.
However, in the vast majority of cases, both practitioners and survivors could recount many negative experiences in using technology themselves or in perpetrators of abuse using technology.
Based on the findings, Comic Relief launched a grants initiative in 2017 to address these five design challenges.
The first round of the Tech vs Abuse funding call was funded jointly through the Tampon Tax Fund, a partnership between Comic Relief and HM Government, and the Big Lottery Fund, to create a fund of over half a million pounds for projects focussed on technological innovation and creative digital solutions, which improve the safety of women and girls affected by domestic abuse. Read more here.