#RedFlagsAreAbuse Campaign - How digital technology facilitates coercive control

20 Sep, 2022

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#RedFlagsAreAbuse Campaign cyber security courses

In March 2022, a group of women came together to celebrate International Women’s Day by creating a webinar titled Cyber Crime Against Women. This hard but important conversation discussed the negative impact technology can have in relation to coercive control.

Fast forward to September and a collaboration between Cyber Skills, Safe Ireland and Cyber Awareness Ireland (CAI) - National Cyber Security Awareness Task Force, led to the launch of the #RedFlagsAreAbuse campaign, which highlights even further how digital technology facilitates coercive control. 

Through a series of billboards across Cork city and an online conversation, we are exposing three different scenarios that people may think are “normal”:

  1. Incessant contact - when the perpetrator constantly contacts and keeps tabs on the victim across multiple platforms. This creates a feeling there is no escape from the individual even when physically apart from one another.
  2. Location-sharing - demanding that the victim always has location sharing turned on serves as a means of keeping tabs on the victim.
  3. Restricting access to finances - with digital banking, the person can not only control access to money but can also monitor spending activity in real-time.

Following the two-week billboard campaign, CAI will launch a booklet for frontline responders and specialist domestic violence professionals outlining the nature of technology use in abuse.

Professor Donna O’Shea, Chair of Cyber Security at MTU and Project Lead at Cyber Skills, said: “The #RedFlagsAreAbuse billboard campaign is something that the Cyber Skills team and I are extremely proud of, and we will continue in our remit to improve the cyber resilience of our citizens through our funded EPE programme and initiatives.”

If you have been affected by abuse, please visit: safeireland.ie

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