ICT and Healthcare: A Closer Look at the Role of ICTs in Providing Support for Female Victims/Survivors of Domestic Violence (DV)

ICT and Healthcare: A Closer Look at the Role of ICTs in Providing Support for Female Victims/Survivors of Domestic Violence (DV)

Bolanle A. Olaniran (Texas Tech University, USA) and Natasha Rodriguez (Communication Professional, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-3990-4.ch037
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Abstract

The use of Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) to support and facilitate interactions on the Web has increased in the amount of users, communities, and organizations. Computer-Mediated Communications (CMC) is among the most frequently studied and used ICT. As a communications medium, CMC has the ability to connect geographically dispersed individuals without the constraints of time or space. CMC helps foster online communities—where individuals with similar interests and/or experiences can come together. It is the ability to connect people that make these ICTs a valuable tool for social support. Thus, this chapter proposes the need to explore the use of ICT, specifically the role of CMC as a support medium for victims/survivors of Domestic Violence (DV), a topic germane to healthcare and the overall general well-being of females, their families, and societies at large.
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Background On Domestic Violence

Recent studies and research on the development and use of ICTs tend to focus on the emergent and organizational use of technologies. However, the emergent use of ICTs in personal and group settings are gaining popularity. Some will argue this is due to emerging social media’s, communication networks, and Websites. However, the use of ICTs to empower individuals through social support, help–seeking, and help providing activities are gradually taking place. ICTs offer access to timely and relevant information, which allows DV organizations to serve as advocates and respond to specific cases of abuse (Hamm, 2001). Further, online DV organizations also provide other advocates with health and support information in order to better facilitate and provide a solution to victims/survivors of DV and other related types of sensitive healthcare issues (Campbell, Sy, and Anderson, 2000; NCIPC, 2003). The amount of information available online is also used to provide online training for individuals and organizations that deal with violence against women (VAW). A specific focus in this paper is the use of ICTs for providing and facilitating support and care giving services to victims/survivors of DV. Traditionally, ICT use in healthcare and healthcare delivery, primarily focus on hospital settings such as health care givers interaction with one another and patients or pharmacies and other agencies such that issues surrounding telemedicine and informatics are a commonplace. Notwithstanding, the Center for Disease and Control (CDC) classifies domestic violence as a serious public health issue (2008). According to CDC (2008), domestic violence is a serious, yet preventable, public health problem affecting more than 32 million Americans—over 10% of the United States population (CDC, 2008; Tjaden & Thoennes, 2000).

Key Terms in this Chapter

Violence Victims/Survivors: People whose lives have been affected by domestic violence and are trying to seek help to put it behind them or are using their experiences to help other victims.

Technology Aptitude: This includes the ability to use technologies as intended by the designers.

Computer-Mediated Communication (CMC): Communication process facilitated by use of electronic or computer medium.

Internet: Global system of interconnected computer networks that use the standard TCP/IP protocol to serve users worldwide.

Ease of Use: The degree which a particular communication technology can be used without much effort.

Ease of Use: The degree which a particular communication technology can be used without much effort.

Caregivers: Individuals who provide help or treat victims or survivors of domestic violence.

Technology Aptitude: This includes the ability to use technologies as intended by the designers.

Information and Communication Technologies: Technological tools or mediums that aid transfer of information.

Internet: Global system of interconnected computer networks that use the standard TCP/IP protocol to serve users worldwide.

Violence Victims/Survivors: People whose lives have been affected by domestic violence and are trying to seek help to put it behind them or are using their experiences to help other victims.

Information and Communication Technologies: Technological tools or mediums that aid transfer of information.

Domestic Violence (DV): Violence against individuals and in particular against women through known relatives.

Caregivers: Individuals who provide help or treat victims or survivors of domestic violence.

Domestic Violence (DV): Violence against individuals and in particular against women through known relatives.

Computer-Mediated Communication (CMC): Communication process facilitated by use of electronic or computer medium.

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