Survivors of intimate partner violence during the COVID-19 crisis are depending more than ever on technology to keep them safe from harm – and Cornell Tech’s Clinic to End Tech Abuse (CETA) has created a remote program to help them use their devices without fear of monitoring or stalking.
The COVID-19 pandemic has created new ways for abusers to control victims, many of whom may have few alternatives to staying inside with people who are trying to isolate and harm them, said CETA director Sarah St.Vincent.
“Finding safe ways to give advice to abuse survivors who fear their partners are monitoring every call, chat or email has been especially challenging during this difficult time – but necessity is the parent of invention,” St.Vincent said. “We’re here to help prevent abusers from taking advantage of the crisis.”
CETA’s collaboration with the New York City Mayor’s Office to End Domestic and Gender-Based Violence and the city’s Family Justice Centers has continued during the pandemic, with caseworkers able to refer their clients to these city agencies to set up consultations with the clinic.
CETA volunteers will also produce online guides for survivors to use for self-help, while researchers at Cornell Tech study how best to serve people experiencing tech abuse during a crisis.
New Yorkers who fear their current or former partners are using technology to harm them can contact their local Family Justice Center to request an appointment with the clinic.
— Cornell Tech