I currently maintain three research programs, all of which include community-based projects with local and national policy implications.

New Tools, Old Abuse: Technology-Enabled Coercive Control

Since 2017, I have been examining the role of technology in facilitating abuse and working to assess the needs of survivors whose safety and autonomy are compromised as a result. This long-term project has been conceptualized in collaboration with the Technology Enabled Coercive Control Initiative (TECCI) in Seattle. TECCI is a cross-sector effort between governmental and non-governmental agencies that aims to build the capacity of providers who respond to survivors of technology-enabled coercive control.

Phase 1 (2017-2019) of this project examined how technology enables and perpetuates coercive control in interpersonal relationships. Data collection included seven in-depth, open-ended qualitative interviews with survivors of TECC and fifty in-depth, semi-structured qualitative interviews with advocates, police officers, prosecutors and judicial officers. This phase of the project focuses on trends and patterns regarding TECC and highlights challenges and opportunities for improving Seattle’s community and systems’ response to TECC. I co-authored a report with my TECCI community partner Natalie Dolci that is part of our TECC Whitepaper Series that we distributed to stakeholders in Seattle: Technology-Enabled Coercive Control Whitepaper 2019

Phase 2 (2020-2022) of this project remained located in Seattle and focuses on the intersections of domestic violence, technology and firearms. I collaborated with the King County Regional Domestic Violence Firearms Enforcement Unit, which works to reduce gun violence and increase survivor and community safety through proactive enforcement of firearms laws, specifically the enforcement of Protection Orders that require abusers to relinquish their firearms to the police. Phase 2 of the TECC project focused on how abusers with access to firearms use technology as a tool to engage in coercive control and the challenges these intersecting dynamics present for community and systems’ responses. Data collection included the review of over 900 Domestic Violence Protection Orders and interviews with victim advocates and survivors. Review the community report here: TECC and Firearm Abuse Whitepaper 2022

Phase 3 (2022-current) of this project extends beyond Seattle to examine technology-enabled coercive control on the islands of the Puget Sound. In collaboration with TECCI community partner Natalie Dolci, this phase of the project seeks to understand 1) In what way rural and island geographic location effect the tactics that  abusers use to coercively control, 2) In what way rural and island geographic location effect survivors’ experiences of fear and (in)security, and 3) In what way rural and island geographic location effect survivors’ experiences of safety planning and use of technology for support.


Technology Abuse Clinics

In collaboration with computer security researchers from Cornell Tech, I conduct research in support of promoting and advancing Technology Abuse Clinics. Tech abuse clinics are a new support service for addressing technology abuse in which trained technologists provide trauma-informed, client-centered technology-specific safety planning directly to survivors. There are three currently existing tech abuse clinics in the United States: Seattle, NYC and Madison, WI. I co-founded the Seattle-based clinic with my TECCI colleagues (see above).

The first initiative of this project included creating and distributing the Technology Abuse Clinic Toolkit, a nine-chapter resource for other stakeholders interested in starting a clinic in their own community. The Technology Abuse Clinic Toolkit became available to the public in April 2023 via our website and in pdf format.

Following the publication of the Technology Abuse Clinic Toolkit, the collaborative research team began a new project: Coordinating Clinical Computer Security with Intimate Partner Violence Care Services. The purpose of this project is to develop tools and protocols that systematically integrate technology abuse clinics with other critical services used by survivors, such as healthcare, housing, and legal counsel. Specifically, the project’s objectives aim to (1) create and validate a risk assessment screening tool to assist technology abuse clinic staff with identifying high-risk technology abuse cases, and (2) develop clinically informed guidelines for non-clinically trained technologists to identify and manage the unique mental health concerns triggered by technology abuse. We finished data collection for these projects in the summer of 2023 and are currently analyzing data and preparing publications, resources and training materials.


Harm Mapping Project

Facilitated through the Gender-Based Violence Research Lab (see here), this local longitudinal project examines the spaces and places that students have experienced harm on Lafayette College’s campus. To date, sexual and gender-based violence prevention scholarship has primarily focused on preventing sexual and gender-based violence through bystander intervention educational programming and/or alcohol and other drug awareness programming. This project contributes to a growing body of prevention literature that is focused on the geographies of harm and how the built environment contributes to enabling harm to occur. Data collection for this project began in fall 2022 and entailed a participatory mapping exercise in which students identified on a campus map where they have experienced harm or feel vulnerable to experiencing harm. Over 500 student-respondents participated in the mapping exercise. We anticipate distributing findings to the campus community during the 2023-2024 academic year. We will then use findings from the first phase of this project to inform subsequent phases of data collection to occur during the 2023-2024 academic year, including walking focus groups in which students will participate in facilitated discussions about the built environment on campus that contributes to feeling vulnerable to experiencing harm.