Research Report 2021: The Trends and Impact of Technology Assisted Violence Among Communities of Structurally Silenced Womxn.

Technology Assisted Violence (TAV) is a complex worldwide phenomenon with devastating results. Research to date shows that victim-survivors of intimate partner violence are tracked by their abusive partners who use technology to monitor their movements and communication. Many womxn, journalists, human rights defenders and politicians – especially female politicians, vocal LBTQ activists face daily death threats and rape threats for speaking out about various issues.

Those with intersecting marginalized identities are especially at risk, with Black, Indigenous and people of color; lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) people, sex workers and people with disabilities facing higher rates of attacks as well as concerted attacks that specifically target their identities. These attacks create legitimate safety concerns, involve appalling degrees of invasions of privacy and can have significant financial costs for those targeted. One of the most serious impacts is the silencing of womxn’s and LGBTQ people’s voices in digital spaces. TAV makes it unsafe and unwelcoming for womxn and LGBTQ people to express themselves freely in a world where digital communication has become one of the primary modes of communication.

As a fairly new phenomenon, TAV is not generally well understood. There has been relatively little empirical research conducted on TAV, and the bulk of the research on this topic to date is focused on higher-income countries. To better understand TAV, HER Internet is commissioning this research.

This comprehensive assessment on experiences of TAV against LBQ womxn and FSW in Uganda was prepared pursuant to the changing trends in the use of technology, the overwhelming need to determine their needs and challenges in relation to this form of violence, and the development of contextualized response strategies to mitigate the recurrence of this violence.

The increasingly rapid technological advances have created new possibilities for the criminal misuse of new Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs). It is therefore important we interrogate how far the harm goes, the avenues of access to justice for these violations and what LBQ womxn and FSW needs are in this regard.

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