New guide launched to tackle tech abuse in Cork

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AN ONLINE course in technology-enabled domestic violence will soon be launched at UCC, building on new national guidelines on how to identify and respond to abuse and coercion perpetrated using technology. technology.

Technology-facilitated abuse is any type of abusive behavior that uses technology. This can include things like harassing a victim on social media, “bombarding” someone’s phone with excessive calling and texting, or accessing someone’s personal accounts without their knowledge or consent.

Joanne O’Connor (Hewlett Packard Enterprise & Cyber ​​Awareness Ireland), Annie Hennelly (Hewlett Packard Enterprise & Cyber ​​Awareness Ireland), Connor McEnroe (Hewlett Packard Enterprise) Claire Kearney (Safe Ireland) Mary McDermott (Safe Ireland) Deborah O’Flynn (Oss Cork) and Ruth Lehane (YANA North Cork Domestic Violence Project), pictured at the launch of ‘Supporting Women: Responding to Technology Facilitated Domestic Violence’ in Cork. Wednesday October 5th. Photo: Jean-Claude

Safe Ireland, in association with the National Cybersecurity Awareness Task Force, launched a new safety guide on Wednesday entitled “Supporting Women: Responding to Technology-Facilitated Domestic Violence”.

The booklet was launched at the Cyber ​​Ireland National Conference in Cork on Wednesday, and follows a two-week poster campaign in Cork to raise awareness of red flags that point to technology-facilitated abuse.

Mary McDermott, CEO of Safe Ireland, said the safety guide will be a “powerful” tool for frontline domestic violence responders; Gardaí, doctors, nurses, social workers, pharmacists, healthcare professionals, and even friends and family of someone at risk, to enable them to identify and support victims of technology-facilitated abuse.

From left to right: Lisa Culloty (West Cork Women Against Violence Project), Claire Kearney (Safe Ireland, Mary McDermott (Safe Ireland) Deborah O'Flynn (OSS Cork) and Ruth Lehane (YANA North Cork Domestic Violence Project), photographed during of the launch of 'Supporting Women: Responding to Technology-Enabled Domestic Violence
From left to right: Lisa Culloty (West Cork Women Against Violence Project), Claire Kearney (Safe Ireland, Mary McDermott (Safe Ireland) Deborah O’Flynn (OSS Cork) and Ruth Lehane (YANA North Cork Domestic Violence Project), photographed during of the launch of ‘Supporting Women: Responding to Technology-Enabled Domestic Violence’ in Cork. Wednesday 5th October. Photo: Jean Claude

Lisa Culloty of the West Cork Women Against Violence Project said technology-facilitated abuse is something they have seen “a lot” and can be particularly difficult for rural women.

“We have seen numerous instances where abusers will post highly offensive and defamatory messages on social media accounts. It really has a huge impact on any woman, but especially on how these messages portray women in a rural setting, in a small, tight-knit community,” she said.

Deborah O’Flynn of OSS Cork, a city center resource for victims of domestic violence, said technology-facilitated abuse has always been in the background, but has really accelerated in the last five years. years.

“Before, we would have seen it being young people with social media posts, and it still is… but now it’s moved into the middle age bracket with surveillance, and more recently with older adults, their children are adults and taking control over PINs and passwords and financially abusing them, so different age groups are enjoying different types of abuse through technology,” he said. she declared.

Booklet users will also have access to a number of support training initiatives, including free Cyber ​​Security Essentials training webinars provided by Hewlett Packard Enterprise and a series of informational videos created by the development company Trend Micro security software.

The booklet and training can be accessed on the Safe Ireland website safeireland.ie.

This will be complemented later in the year with access to a new accredited online course in Technology-Assisted Abuse which is currently being developed at University College Cork.

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