Associate Professor & Director of Criminology, Le Moyne College
- Technology may be both a weapon and a shield when it comes against violence against women and girls (VAWG) in public spaces and private places.
- Vulnerable technology users need a continuum of care that may include mentors, social and recreational activities and therapy.
- Collaboration is needed to address perpetration, challenge problematic norms and offer support to those marginalized and harmed by Technology-Facilitated VAWG.
- In addition to legal and policy actions to address VAWG, alternative solutions that address the root causes of the behavior and work in reintegrative ways are also needed.
In the article, “Technology-Facilitated Violence Against Women and Girls in Public and Private Spheres: Moving from Enemy to Ally,” Marganski discusses technology – both the harms associated with interconnectivity and the potential for technology to counter offenses and “do good.” Marganski explores technological gender violence, ranging from the use of technology to exploit, harass, stalk and otherwise harm women and girls in communal spaces and private places, as well as justice-related responses to Technology-Facilitated violence against women and girls (VAWG).
Marganski explains that women and girls worldwide face real threats to their health and well-being from strangers, classmates, acquaintances, partners and family members, both online and offline. Often these threats are normalized and dismissed, but Marganski calls for a need to collaborate to address perpetration, challenge problematic norms and offer support to those most marginalized and harmed.
Marganski notes that while educating and sensitizing various persons to Technology-Facilitated VAWG, providing safeguards and assistance in digital spaces and specifying sanctions for law-breaking behavior may help to diminish toxic behaviors and norms, alternative solutions that address the root causes of these behaviors and work in reintegrative ways are also necessary. Marganski recommends developing a systemic understanding of how violence and its regulation affect the tech milieu as a whole and prioritizing the rights, needs, and wishes of those who are most vulnerable to harm in order to make progress in digital spaces and social interactions.