Posters > 2016
Building Bridges: Online Communities For Crisis Organizations
Technology facilitates countless connections with friends and family; yet victims of domestic violence, stalking, human trafficking, and other acts of violence may be prone to ongoing abuse via those same technologies. On the other hand, technology does provide access to resources, networks and support organizations many victims may never have access to due to geographic and other restrictions. Though current research focuses heavily on the victim’s use of technology and how perpetrators misuse it to continue their wrath of harassment, stalking, and abuse, this paper takes a different view; exploring theories of online communities as they relate (or not) to support the networks these victims so desperately rely on. It will also looks at the benefits and challenges online platforms offer crisis organizations and offer strategies to guide crisis organizations in creating sustainable, secure online platforms for community building and information sharing. Staff working with victims of domestic violence, human trafficking and stalking, need to have current information and tools at hand to guide clients, in often immediate crisis, toward survival and recovery. Today’s advance technologies and the Internet provide a great vehicle to get there, if done safely. By successfully combining the power of advanced technologies, theories of online communities, and information security, crisis organizations can bridge resources and support to reach victims with effectiveness and efficiency.