17 Jan 2017

Tech vs Abuse: How can tech help address domestic abuse?

Based on findings from our research project, a small targeted fund for tech innovation and creative digital solutions to improve the safety of women affected by domestic abuse is now open.

Tech vs Abuse is a collaborative research project, funded by Comic Relief, exploring the use of digital tools to support women affected by domestic violence and abuse in the UK.

Over the period of 6 months, the Tech VS Abuse team – consisting of Snook, Chayn and SafeLives – talked to over 250 people affected by domestic abuse and to 350 support workers who help them, to see where digital could help. We’ve also been looking for every example where helpful technology already exists.


tech vs abuse research participants


After 6 months of research and synthesising, and in consultation with practitioners within the sector, our research findings report is publicly available. Based on these findings, the teams developed five key design challenges:

The five key design challenges are:

1 Fifteen-minute window

Provide or curate key information online for women experiencing domestic abuse in a way which is easy to find, simple to navigate and quick to interact with.

2 Effective real-time support services

Enable women to find and access services for support (including referrals) when required, day or night, seamlessly and with minimal logistical and emotional burden.

3 Safer digital-footprint

Provide people affected by domestic abuse and frontline professionals the confidence and knowledge they need to use technology and stay online safely, with full control over their online data, privacy settings and social media accounts.

4 Accessible legal and financial information

Create engaging, accessible and digestible information on the legal process or the financial situation women find themselves in, connecting to support and advice where relevant.

5 Realising it’s abuse

Use the creative opportunities of the web to raise awareness of what an abusive relationship looks like, provoking women and girls experiencing abuse to recognise this and get support.

We believe that if addressed safely and effectively, these solutions would make the most immediate difference to people affected by domestic abuse. To read the full design challenges report, click here.

In order to support the sector to innovate and start addressing these challenges, Comic Relief is investing funding through the Tampon Tax Fund: it is anticipated making up to seven grants from a total fund of up to £300,000.

Read more about the funding programme and apply before 13th March here.