Family Violence in the Age of Technology: Analysing the role of smart-home and remote access devices in the perpetration of Digital Coercive Control

Miss Andi Brown1

1Monash University, Clayton, Australia

The aim of this project is to investigate the current existence and potential for family violence assisted by the use of new and emerging technologies. The focus of the work is upon the use of emerging technologies, such as smart-enabled home features and remote access devices, to control victim environments and behaviour. Digital coercive control is centred as the concept of understanding this issue in order to recognise that there is a gendered nature to these forms of abuse while also drawing attention to the individualized manners in which these technologies can be used to command control of victims. The links between corporate, government and private expectations of control and agency are examined in the context of neoliberalism to identify the broader social constraints which allow, and arguably encourage, the proliferation of digital coercive control perpetrated using smart-home and remote access devices. By conducting surveys and interviews with companies producing these technologies and a range of professionals and survivors within the family violence sphere, the project aims to identify the current extent to which these forms of abuse are being perpetrated as well as the future potential for their existence, and actions required to address the issue.


Andi Brown is a PhD Candidate in Criminology at Monash University, Australia. Her thesis explores the role of smart-home technology and remote access devices in the perpetration of Digital Coercive Control. Andi’s broader research interests and experience includes feminist and critical criminology issues, cybercrime, and media analysis of crime reporting. She is also a Teaching Associate in the School of Social Sciences at Monash University.


The society is devoted to promoting criminological study, research and practice in the region and bringing together persons engaged in all aspects of the field. The membership of the society reflects the diversity of persons involved in the field, including practitioners, academics, policy makers and students.

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