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Seventh Annual Technology Summit Highlights Importance of Technology Safety for Survivors of Violence

August 26, 2019

Above: Erica Olsen moderates a panel that explored how survivors can tell their own stories in an authentic way, while also understanding the risks of storytelling publicly and digitally (from left: Erica Olsen, NNEDV; Alicia Aiken, Confidentiality Institute: Ferial Nijem, survivor of tech-facilitated abuse; Alejandro Alba, NowThis; and April McGill, Red Woman Rising and California Consortium for Urban Indian Health)

“Tech can’t replace advocacy. It is a tool that can assist advocacy, but it can’t replace the heart of an advocate.”
–Corbin S. at the 2019 Technology Summit

Rapid changes in technology and a consistent national focus on cyberviolence has led many to seek out methods for increasing their online privacy and security. Yet the focus of the seventh annual Technology Summit, convened by the Safety Net Project at the National Network to End Domestic Violence (NNEDV), was not on the threats we might be facing, but rather on the powerful message that even in a world of quickly changing technology, abuse behavior generally still remains unchanged – and that accountability and safety is attainable.

“The problem is abuse, not software or technology,” said Erica Olsen, Director of Safety Net at NNEDV. “There are new tactics based on new tools, but this is old behavior that is still aimed at stalking, harassing, harming, and ultimately controlling victims.”

Despite the rise technology misuse and ongoing threats to safety and privacy both on- and offline, the 2019 Technology Summit was a powerful reminder that technology is not something to fear. Instead, it can be harnessed to stay connected to friends and family, increase privacy and safety, and hold offenders accountable.

Here are some additional highlights from the conference:

Find all this and more at TechSafety.org and learn more about the 2019 Technology Summit by scrolling through our #TechSummit19 Twitter Moment and #TechSummit19 Facebook album.

Are you looking for more information and resources about your agency’s obligations around confidentiality? Join us at “Strictly Confidential: Protecting Survivor Privacy in Federally Funded Programs,” on September 9-10 in Atlanta, GA. Participants will explore the relationships between privacy, confidentiality, and technology in-depth.