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Children and technology-facilitated abuse in domestic and family violence situations

This world-first research explores the role technology plays in children's exposure to family and domestic violence. It shows the impacts of technology-facilitated abuse and highlights the range of strategies used for protection and intervention.

The research is based on a survey of over 500 professionals who work with domestic and family violence cases, as well as focus groups with domestic violence specialist staff and interviews with young people, mothers and perpetrators.

Key findings include:

  • Over one quarter (27%) of domestic violence cases involve technology-facilitated abuse of children.
  • Of cases involving children, the most common forms of technology-facilitated abuse they experienced are:
    • monitoring and stalking – 45%
    • threats and intimidation – 38%
    • blocking communication – 33%.
  • This abuse typically involves everyday technologies ­such as mobile phones (79% of cases), texting (75%) and Facebook (59%).
  • It causes real harm, negatively impacting children's mental health (67% of cases), their relationship with the non-abusive parent (59%) and their everyday activities (59%).
  • The research highlights options for future action such as education, hands-on technology support, screening tools for professionals and extending phone replacement programs to older children.