Technology-Facilitated Abuse Survey: Australia

Participant Information Sheet

Why is the study being conducted?
The current study explores the implications of the so-called ‘Internet of Things’ (IoT) on gender-based domestic violence and abuse. IoT stands for the interconnection of everyday devices via the Internet, enabling them to collect, send and receive data. Such ‘smart’ objects range from teddy bears, door locks to TVs. While such systems have various advantages, they also offer severe privacy and security risks and create unique and potentially unforeseen means to exacerbate perpetrator’s ability to manipulate and dominate (e.g. remote control of heating).

We, thus, hope to investigate these evolving risks and study the transformations tech abuse is currently undergoing and compare how the UK and the Australian support sector is responding to this emerging phenomena.

You are invited to participate in this research project because you work in the domestic violence sector and we seek to gain insight into sector knowledge and needs in this arena.

Who is part of the research team? 

  • Dr Bridget Harris, Senior Lecturer, DECRA Fellow School of Justice, Faculty of Law Queensland University of Technology (QUT)
  • Dr Leonie Tanczer, Lecturer in International Securities and Emerging Technologies, University College London (UCL)
  • Professor Heather Douglas, Professor of Law, TC Beirne School of Law, University of Queensland (UQ)

What does participation involve?
Participation will involve completing an online survey questionnaire that will take approximately 5-10 minutes of your time.

Questions will include:

  • How frequently do you encounter tech-related abuses when working within the area of victims/survivors of domestic and sexual violence and abuse?
  • Have you already experienced IoT technologies (i.e., "smart", Internet-connected devices other than smartphones/apps, laptops and tablets) being of concern when working with victims/survivors of domestic and sexual violence and abuse?

Your participation in this research project is entirely voluntary. If you agree to participate you do not have to complete any question(s) you are uncomfortable answering. Your decision to participate or not participate will in no way impact upon your current or future relationship with QUT, UCL or UQ. If you do agree to participate you can withdraw from the research project during your participation without comment or penalty. However, as the survey does not request any personal identifying information, once it has been submitted it will not be possible to withdraw.

What are the possible benefits for me if I take part?
It is expected that this research project will not directly benefit you. The outcomes of the research, however, may benefit in regard to the development of resources and training for workers and in policy and practice reform.

What are the possible risks for me if I take part?
There are no risks beyond normal day-to-day living associated with your participation in this research project.

What about privacy and confidentiality?
All comments and responses are anonymous i.e., it will not be possible to identify you at any stage of the research, because personal identifying information is not sought in any of the responses.

Any data collected as part of this research project will be stored securely as per QUT’s Management of research data policy. Data will be stored for a minimum of 5 years, and can be disclosed if it is to protect you or others from harm, if specifically required by law, or if a regulatory or monitoring body such as the ethics committee requests it.

How do I give my consent to participate?
If you would like to participate in this study, please click ‘Start’ and complete the consent form

What if I have questions about the research project?
If you have any questions or require further information please contact

Bridget Harris
bridget.harris@qut.edu.au
+61 7 3138 7119

What if I have a concern or complaint regarding the conduct of the research project?
QUT is committed to research integrity and the ethical conduct of research projects. If you wish to discuss the study with someone not directly involved, particularly in relation to matters concerning policies, information or complaints about the conduct of the study or your rights as a participant, you may contact the QUT Research Ethics Advisory Team on +61 7 3138 5123 or email humanethics@qut.edu.au.

Thank you for helping with this research project.