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41 Digital technology, post separation violence and stalking
  1. Toni Kirjalainen1,
  2. Ulla Valtonen2
  1. 1Lokkit Oy, Mikkeli, Finland
  2. 2Viola Väkivallasta Vapaaksi Ry, Mikkeli, Finland

Abstract

Background Intimate partner stalking is the most common and the most dangerous form of persecution. VARJO-project (2012–2017) focuses on post separation violence and stalking. In most cases, persecution includes digital stalking

Description of the problem By the aid of digital technology, persecution has become even more intrusive. Controlling often starts already during the relationship; PINs and security numbers are known, or stalker has installed monitoring software to spouse´s computer or mobile phone. When break up happens, the stalker has already tools for stalking. Digital stalking causes a remarkable fear and distress for the victim, but the use of digital technology in relation to partner violence is a serious problem to which people have awoken only in recent years. It is important that professionals and victims understand how technology works, why it puts them at risk and how they can decrease those risks.

Changes The VARJO-project has looked for partners among the IT-professionals. Cooperation enables the exchange of know-how. As a result of this, the VARJO- project has translated Jennifer Perry’s guide and adapted it according the Finnish conditions: Digital stalking In relationship – How To Protect yourself, informed the local IT-experts about the phenomenon of stalking and has trained the workers of The Federation of Mother and Child Homes and Shelters. Security company Lokkit Ltd has trained the workers of Shelters and started cooperation with the National Institute of Health and Welfare.

Conclusions Local co-operation between intimate partner violence workers and IT-professionals enables more effective training for health care and social care staff. When IT-professionals and computer and mobile phone service staff identify the phenomenon of domestic violence and technological-facilitated stalking, better service and more privacy is enabled for the victims.

  • Post separation violence
  • digital stalking
  • protection
  • privacy

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