‘You Can’t Actually Escape It’: Policing the Use of Technology in Domestic Violence in Rural Australia
The abuse of technology by perpetrators of domestic violence is ‘spaceless’; however, in this article, we argue that experiences of and responses to digital coercive control are shaped by both the place (geographic location) and space (practical and ideological features of a location) that a victim/survivor and criminal justice agency occupy. We examined this issue by conducting interviews and focus groups with 13 female victim/survivors in regional, rural and remote Australia. All participants had contact with police as part of their help-seeking for domestic violence, and some suggested that officers sometimes paralleled perpetrator behaviours, resulting in a narrowing of women’s ‘space for action’. We conclude that, in the interests of protecting and empowering women, socio-spatial frameworks must be considered by practitioners and researchers, and there should be a concerted effort to expand resourcing and training for justice agencies beyond the cityscape.
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