NNEDV Celebrates Our 10th Annual Tech Summit
August 2, 2022
In July, the National Network to End Domestic Violence (NNEDV)’s Safety Net team was excited to hold the 10th Annual Technology Summit. The 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. Our annual Tech Summit brings critical and timely information to increase the knowledge and skills of those working with survivors and enhances advocates’ work responding to tech-facilitated abuse, supporting survivors in their use of technology, and harnessing technology to improve services.
I had the pleasure of delivering the opening remarks for Tech Summit, sharing how the ongoing pandemic continues to require us all to innovate to meet evolving needs in a new world. The technology that has been developed during this time will outlive the crisis itself, as will new privacy and safety concerns.
During eight powerful sessions over three days, we discussed innovative and practical ways to explore the intersection of technology and domestic violence, sexual assault, and stalking. As more of our lives take place online, so the tactics of abuse and control follow. New technologies like online voter registration and accessing healthcare or financial information online can present privacy concerns that put survivors at risk.
Technology is power. While it can create new avenues for abusers to cause harm, it can also be used as a lifeline for survivors in need, and we must invest in supporting survivors’ rights to engage, speak up, speak out, and communicate with family, friends, and government systems, without the fear of abuse. Our Safety Net team focuses on tech-facilitated abuse and supports the empowered use of technology for survivors. You can learn more about their work at TechSafety.org.
At this year’s Tech Summit, we had meaningful conversations about how to use technology to support survivors and advocates and ways to hold abusers accountable. As always, our approach is survivor-centered and personalized, with our primary goal to ensure that the actions taken feel right for them.
During the first and second days of the event, our Safety Net team presented an overview of tech safety, how to assess and identify tech abuse, how advocates can help survivors create technology safety plans, and lessons learned from the pandemic. We learned from each other about the common forms of tech abuse seen in the field, through social media, phones, messaging apps, and the Internet of Things (IoT). We had interactive examples and displays to further our understanding of the abuse happening around us. On the second and third days, we also learned about promising practices and solutions from those working directly with survivors at two different organizations: Cornell University’s Clinic to End Tech Abuse (CETA) to Tahirih Justice Center’s Forced Marriage Initiative. We wrapped up the event with a panel featuring representatives from Match Group, Meta, NortonLifeLock, and Uber, discussing how technology companies can address tech safety. (Check out our Twitter Moment recapping the entire event here.)
While we did not anticipate our summit would continue to be online this year, we held another incredible virtual event, and I am grateful to our Safety Net team and all the NNEDV staff working on the event for—once again—adapting to produce an outstanding experience for Tech Summit participants. We wrapped up this year’s Tech Summit with exciting news: our 11th annual Technology Summit will take place in-person in San Francisco.
NNEDV appreciates everyone who joined us for this year’s Tech Summit, and we are grateful to our sponsors—Uber NortonLifeLock, Google, Meta, Match Group, Apple, Airbnb, and Kaspersky—for helping make this event possible.
Collaboration is one of the best forms of building a community of understanding around the ever-evolving technology in our lives. Thank you for working with us as we give survivors hope and security while they rebuild their lives. I hope to see you all in San Francisco next year.
For peace and safety,
Deborah J. Vagins, NNEDV President and CEO
P.S. If you missed this year’s Tech Summit, don’t worry: you can still purchase access to our recorded sessions and materials. Please contact our Safety Net team at [email protected].