The Safety Net Project
Technology has a major impact in the lives of survivors. It is often misused by abusive partners and perpetrators against victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, stalking, and trafficking. Technology, in its various forms, offers essential tools victims can use to access help, strategically maintain safety and privacy, and remain connected to family and friends. It can also be used to prove guilt and hold offenders accountable.
NNEDV’s Safety Net project focuses on the intersection of technology and domestic and sexual violence and works to address how it impacts the safety, privacy, accessibility, and civil rights of victims by:
- Working with communities, agencies, and technology companies to address how current and emerging technology impacts the safety, privacy, and accessibility rights of victims.
- Educating victim advocates and the general public on ways to use technology strategically to increase and maintain safety and privacy.
- Training law enforcement and justice systems, social services, coordinated community response teams and others on tactics of technology misuse and offender accountability.
- Advocating for strong local, state, national and international policies that ensure the safety, privacy and civil rights of all victims and survivors.
Safety Net Areas of Expertise
The Safety Net project provides engaging, interactive trainings and webinars to enhance the ability of local programs, community agencies, and other groups to respond to the technology and privacy related needs of survivors. Founded in 2002, the project has trained more than 96,000 advocates, law enforcement officers, legal services providers, prosecutors, and other community agency members across the United States and around the world. For more information on organizing a training near you, contact us.
Each year in the heart of Silicon Valley, Safety Net hosts an annual Technology Summit to address the intersections of technology, safety, and privacy. Each Technology Summit attracts an international audience of attendees that includes victim advocates, law enforcement officers, legal service providers, prosecutors, technologists, and other professionals. Learn more about NNEDV’s Technology Summit.
Technical Assistance (TA)
Safety Net provides comprehensive, specialized consultation and assistance to support the work of local victim services programs and other professionals in the legal and criminal justice systems. Technical assistance topic areas include:
- How to identify what types of technology are being misused against victims.
- How to help survivors safety plan around technology risks, increase their privacy while using technology, and document abuse.
- Best practices for evidence collection.
- Understanding what laws apply to technology-related abuse.
Technology in Victim Service Agencies
- How to safely and effectively use technology to provide services to survivors, while ensuring confidentiality and privacy are prioritized.
- Technology and confidentiality issues within collaborations and partnerships.
Confidentiality in Victim Service Agencies
- Understanding and following federal and state confidentiality obligations, including those mandated by the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA), the Family Violence Prevention and Services Act (FVPSA), and the Victims of Crime Act (VOCA).
- Creating and implementing survivor-centered policy and procedures that prioritize safety and confidentiality.
- Developing and maintaining community collaborations that prioritize safety and confidentiality.
- How to navigate the relevant state, federal, and tribal laws that intersect with confidentiality obligations, including mandatory reporting, guardianship, medical privacy, and privileged communications.
Relocation and Identity Protection
- How to support victims of domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, stalking, and trafficking who are relocating and seeking identity protection.
- Navigating privacy and safety issues as they relate to housing, employment and education credentials, child custody and other family law issues, interstate enforcement of custody and restraining orders, immigration, vital records problems, credit history, myths and realities of identity change.
- Referrals to attorneys and other service providers.
For more information or to receive technical assistance, contact us.
Safety Net maintains several online toolkits that contain resources, tip-sheets, and templates for survivors and professionals working with survivors across the following topics:
- Technology Safety & Privacy: A Toolkit for Survivors
Survivors of domestic violence, sexual assault, stalking, and trafficking often need information on how to be safe while using technology. This toolkit contains safety tips, information, and privacy strategies for survivors on the use of technology. While survivors are not responsible for nor can they control the abusers’ actions, with knowledge and understanding, they can take back some control and strategize for their own safety.
- Agency’s Use of Technology Best Practices & Policies Toolkit
The way domestic violence, sexual assault, and other victim service agencies use technology can impact the security, privacy, and safety of the survivors who access their services. This toolkit contains recommended best practices, policy suggestions, and handouts on the use of common technologies.
- Confidentiality Toolkit
This toolkit is a collection of information and resources on the confidentiality and privacy obligations for programs that receive U.S. Department of Justice, Office on Violence Against Women grants that serve victims of violence, sexual assault, dating violence, and stalking.
- App Safety Center
The App Safety Center provides tips, information, and resources for the safe development and use of smartphone apps addressing domestic violence, sexual assault, dating violence, harassment, and stalking.
- Tech Safety App
Safety Net’s Tech Safety App is an educational resource app. It was created for anyone who thinks they might be experiencing harassment or abuse through technology and wants to learn how they can increase their privacy and security while using technology. It contains information that can help users identify technology-facilitated harassment, stalking, and abuse, and includes tips on what can be done.
- DocuSAFE App
Safety Net’s DocuSAFE app is a free app that helps survivors collect, store, and share evidence of abuse, such as domestic violence, sexual assault, stalking, online harassment, and dating violence. Survivors can document abuse by logging individual incidents, including any photos, screenshots, or video documentation of threatening messages, harassing social media posts, unwanted repeat calls, or online impersonation, among other abusive behaviors. This app was created by NNEDV, with funding from the Office on Victims of Crime (OVC).
Thank you for being a partner in NNEDV’s Technology Safety work: