1Western Sydney University, NSW
The 21st century, which is characterised as the digital era, domestic violence is increasingly being committed through electronic means. Technology allows abusers to overcome geographic and spatial boundaries that would have otherwise prevented them from contacting their victims. This paper is about ‘cyber-violence’, which refers to repeated abuse committed by one person (the abuser) against a current or former intimate partner through the use of digital technology. It includes a range of controlling and coercive behaviours such as threatening phone calls, cyber-stalking, location tracking via smartphones, harassment on social media sites, and the dissemination of intimate images of partners without consent (colloquially known as ‘revenge porn’). Consequently, while some individuals are physically leaving their abusive partner, technology has prevented them from completely severing ties. This presentation discusses the rise of cyber-violence and questions the adequacy of the existing criminal laws in tackling such behaviour.
Hadeel Al-Alosi is an early career academic who completed a PhD in Law/Criminology in 2017 from the University of New South Wales. Her dissertation involved extensive socio-legal research on Australia’s child abuse material, as well as equivalent legislation in Canada, Japan, the United Kingdom, and the United States. Hadeel is currently a lecturer and lawyer. Hadeel has a strong interest in tackling domestic violence, children’s rights, and addressing access to justice issues for vulnerable groups.