Gender-Based Violence and Technology
With the rapid progression of technology, and the ever-present issue of gender-based violence and domestic abuse, it is no wonder that they have been affected by one another.
Because of the advancement in technology, there have been many added issues and complexities involved in domestic abuse and gender violence. From breaching personal privacy through means of cell phones, social media sites, and e-mails, to unwanted tracking through a GPS system, technology can be a tool in the progression of abuse and intimidation.
According to a 2007 survey administered by breakthecycle.org, 65% of teens say being called names or put down through the use of a cellphone or computer is a serious issue, and 1 in 4 teens report having been text “checked” by their partners 10 or more times per hour.
This growing culture of abuse through technological means is an issue that is partially being solved through the same means that caused its expansion. Technology has been a huge part of the fight against domestic violence and gender abuse.
Organizations and anti-gender-based violence campaigns have utilized making videos and using the internet to enhance awareness and spread their messages. Not only do speakers against domestic violence benefit from advancements in technology, but victims benefit as well. The internet and mobile phones give women mobility and freedom in a sense that has never been offered to them before.
There have even been apps created to aid in the fight against gender based violence. Some of these apps include:
- Circle of 6 – This app consists of adding six friends you trust to keep tabs on your whereabouts through the GPS on your phone. If you are ever in a comprising situation, or a place in which you feel unsafe, all you have to do is press the “come get me” button, and your friends will be alerted of where you are and that you are in trouble.
- SafeCity – Safe City is a handy tool to geographically mark and report a safety issue faced by women and children. You can quickly locate, identify and pin the issue on the map of your city.
- InformaCam – uses the built in sensors in modern smartphones as well wi-fi, bluetooth, and cell tower information to create a snapshot of the environment in which an image or video was captured. This validates the date, time and location of capture. Digital signatures and encryption ensure that your media hasn’t been tampered with and can only be opened by the intended recipient.