Workshop to address technology abuse

Perpetrator-facilitated technology abuse and helping women remain safely in their homes was the focus of a 2-day training workshop held in June 2017 for domestic violence sector representatives and government agencies.

The professional development event was part of the Keeping Women Safe in their Home (KWSITH) technology trial, which commenced in Caboolture, Ipswich, Rockhampton and Cairns in September 2016. The trial was a partnership between the former Department of Communities, Child Safety and Disability Services (DCCSDS) and the Australian Government.

Workshop attendees included representatives from the domestic violence and sexual assault sectors, women’s shelters, Queensland Police, Justice and Attorney-General, Department of Housing, and former DCCSDS.

The training focused on the use and abuse of technology and helped participants to:

  • assess how technology impacts survivors of domestic, family and sexual violence
  • identify how perpetrators, abusers, and stalkers misuse technology, such as tracking devices
  • support survivors in safety planning
  • better understand evidence collection issues.

WESNET (Women’s Services Network) delivered the training on behalf of DCCSDS.

WESNET, a national women’s peak advocacy body, has partnered with Telstra since late 2014 to help women impacted by domestic violence to stay safely connected.

Telstra provides smartphones, pre-paid credit and information on the safe use of technology to WESNET for distribution through their partner agencies nationally.

The WESNET program won an Australian Crime and Violence Prevention Award in 2016, recognising and rewarding good practice in the prevention or reduction of violence in Australia.