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Conference Unveils Alarming Role of Technology in Facilitating Abuse

Conference Unveils Alarming Role of Technology in Facilitating Abuse


Recently, a significant conference in London brought together a diverse group including police forces, government representatives, charities, and businesses.

Sponsored by Forensic Analytics, Kulpa, and Parfitt Cresswell and hosted by IBM, this event shed light on a distressing reality: modern technology is increasingly being exploited to perpetrate abuse.

Several speakers emphasized the concerning ways technology is now enabling abuse:

  1. Home Technology: Abusers are manipulating in-home security cameras and smart devices to control victims without giving them access.
  2. Medical Devices: There have been instances of tampering with smartly controlled medical devices, such as altering the dosage of a glucose pump.
  3. Online Abuse: The rise of online threats and abuse is alarming.
  4. Tracking Devices: These are being used to stalk women, exacerbating safety concerns.

Eve Geere, a lawyer from Parfitt Cresswell, highlighted a significant challenge: securing evidence. Due to confidentiality concerns, authorities often demand court orders before releasing evidence, prolonging and adding expense to victim protection and justice.

However, amidst the harrowing stories of abuse shared by the police, there were also encouraging accounts of effective police collaboration leading to improved detection and harsher penalties for abusers. The City of London Crime Prevention Association Chair discussed initiatives like 'Safe Havens,' which have supported hundreds of women.

Acknowledging the private sector's pivotal role, there was consensus on the need for technology companies to anticipate and actively address potential misuse of their products.

Moreover, there's a critical need for education. Many victims are unaware they're being abused, indicating a need to educate people, especially children, about distinguishing normal behavior from concerning actions. Organizations like the Hollie Gazzard Trust and the Suzy Lamplugh Trust are actively engaged in this area, driven by tragic incidents like Hollie Gazzard's murder following an abusive relationship.

Lady Mayoress of the City of London voiced concern over the misuse of technology for abuse and pledged support for Prevent VAWG, aiming to raise awareness and combat such behavior during her tenure.

Marc Lee, Founder and Chairman of Cityforum, highlighted the complex nature of Violence Against Women and Girls (VAWG), expressing gratitude to the speakers, sponsors, and attendees for their contributions. He announced plans for a forum in 2024 focusing on preventing VAWG, particularly during an election year, aiming to propose impactful measures.

The conference underscored the urgent need for collaborative efforts across sectors to combat the distressing trend of technology-enabled abuse, emphasizing education, prevention, and a unified approach towards this critical societal issue.