Technology as a vehicle for domestic and sexual violence against women
Date of this Version
In recent years, there has been an exponential growth in the use of technology, which has now become and everyday part of our lives. Technology created with good intentions is now being used to facilitate criminal behaviour. Traditional offences such as domestic and sexual violence are now moving from the terrestrial to the cyber world. This transference to a new medium allows perpetrators to commit offences remotely, rather than face-to-face, and can provide offenders with a perceived cloak of anonymity. Recognition of this is provided for as part of the expansion of domestic violence and victim injury definitions to include injuries other than the merely physical. In Australia and overseas, we are seeing the introduction of legislation aimed specifically at the use of technology to commit traditional crimes. The focus of this paper examines the emerging trend of cyber offences, particularly as they relate to domestic and sexual violence, and analyses criminal justice responses both in Australia and internationally. It also explores the emergence of new offences and socially deviant behaviours such as revenge pornography.