A safe space for domestic violence survivors and allies

As modern day smart devices are connected to the GPS tracking system for our daily convenience, privacy diminishes and the chance of domestic abuse occurring increases, according to a Social Science Plus Pilot research.

To discuss how to counter these issues and more, the Institute for Innovation and Entrepreneurship will host “Behind the Scenes: A Symposium on Domestic Violence and Technology” in the Anatol Center from 4 to 8 p.m. Wednesday.  

According to the symposium’s website, the event will be dedicated to discussing the interpersonal and legal consequences of technology and domestic violence through survivors’ testimonies and expert panels. They will also brainstorm solutions on the problematic influence technology could have on domestic violence.

Ebony Utley, professor of communication studies and associate director of Long Beach State’s Institute for Innovation and Entrepreneurship, stated the growing connection between domestic violence and technology is a problem the law has a hard time keeping up with. She said it is crucial to raise awareness for prevention and intervention purposes.

In research conducted by NPR, out of 72 surveyed domestic violence shelters in the U.S. dealing with cyberstalking, 85 percent of the victims were tracked by their abusers with the use of GPS tracking.

The symposium was organized in collaboration with LBSU’s Center for First Amendment Studies, the Women’s & Gender Equity Center, local law enforcement and domestic violence experts and survivors from the community.

Experts on domestic violence participating in the symposium include Kristelyn Berry, Christopher Brown, Imelda Buncab, Mary Hypepock, Alyce Laviolette, Addison Rose Vincent and Paula Salvage Cohen.

Throughout the course of the event, Counseling and Psychology Services representatives will be present for individuals that need support because of the topics discussed.

Utley expects around 120 people to participate at the event. A light dinner will be provided for those who attend.

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