Mobile phones, Foucault and fear: their role in coercive control.

Conference item


Havard, TE (2017). Mobile phones, Foucault and fear: their role in coercive control. European Conference of Domestic Violence. University of Porto, Porto, Portugal 05 - 09 Sep 2017 FPCEUP.
AuthorsHavard, TE
Abstract

The aim of this study is to explore the role that mobile phones play in the coercive control of partners and ex-partners who experience intimate partner violence. Semi structured interviews were conducted with people who work with perpetrators and women survivors to explore how mobile phones are used in abusive relationships. Key findings suggest that perpetrators of domestic abuse integrate mobile phones into their abusive behaviour indicating that the nature of coercive control is changing with the advent of mobile technology. Mobile phones are now an integral part of domestic abuse: their accessibility and availability allows for the constant intrusion into people’s lives. Mobile phones enable the coercive control of women within close proximity but also facilitate opportunities to silently and easily extend the boundaries of controlling behaviour further than ever before. Drawing on the work of Foucault and his thoughts on power this paper offers some insight into how mobile phones might be used by perpetrators in the coercive control of women and the potential impact of these changes on the survivors. This paper argues that old models to understand and intervene in domestic abuse need to be reconsidered, as they may no longer ‘fit’ with the dawn of new technology. Practitioners need to understand how men use mobile phones in domestic abuse situations and the impact of thesechanges on women. This knowledge is all the more relevant given recent UK legislative changes, in the form of S47 of the Serious Crimes Act 2015, and its recognition of coercive control as a tactic used by perpetrators of domestic abuse. Mobile phones, if used alongside this legislation, could enable practitioners and policy makers to gain a better understanding of ‘modern’ domestic abuse.

Keywordsdomestic abuse; mobile phones; foucault
Year2017
PublisherFPCEUP
Accepted author manuscript
License
CC BY 4.0
Publication dates
Print06 Sep 2017
Publication process dates
Deposited31 Jul 2018
Accepted15 Mar 2017
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https://openresearch.lsbu.ac.uk/item/86xz0

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