Intimate Partner Cyber Abuse Viewed Through the Lens of Criminology

Intimate Partner Cyber Abuse Viewed Through the Lens of Criminology

Curtis L. Todd (Atlanta Metropolitan State College, USA), Joshua E. Byrd (American Intercontinental University, USA) and Leroy Baldwin (Atlanta Metropolitan State College, USA)
Copyright: © 2020 |Pages: 9
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-9715-5.ch041

Abstract

Intimate partner cyber abuse is characterized by online behaviors that threaten, intimidate, harass, humiliate, or harm a person involved in a close personal relationship with another person in which they are described as being a couple due to their relationship meeting certain conditions such as emotional connection, regular contact, and ongoing physical contact that need not be sexual. This type of abuse provides criminal justice systems with numerous opportunities and challenges due to its implications for policing, prosecution, and the overall provisions of remedies accorded by judicial systems. This article contextualizes key concepts, examines gateways and protective strategies associated with cyber abuse, and argues that the issues related to intimate partner cyber abuse should be refocused through a criminological lens. Recommendations and future research considerations are also explored.
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Intimate Partner Cyber Abuse

The operational definition of Intimate Partner Cyber Abuse is framed through a bifurcated lens that explicates the terms “intimate partner” and “cyber abuse.” The Center for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Injury Prevention and Control’s publication “Intimate Partner Violence Surveillance: Uniform Definitions and Recommended Data Elements, Version 2.0,” which was authored by Breiding et al (2018) endeavored to promote, as well as improve consistency in which Intimate Partner Violence is surveilled across organizations and among stakeholders seeking to address this problematic social issue. The definition of intimate partner, among other critical descriptions included in the publication, notes:

Key Terms in this Chapter

Cyberbullying: The act of bullying by employing tools available on electronic devices which connect to the internet, messaging services, and others digital communication networks.

Gateways to Cyber Abuse: Computer applications or apps, websites, social media networks, texting services and other communication modes which can digitally or electronically connect users to cyberspace (the internet).

Criminology: The critical and systematic examination of how laws are made, the means, modes and motives of criminal offenders, and the collaborative responses to criminal activities by the judicial system, policy makers and community stakeholders.

Intimate Partner: A close personal relationship between individuals who identify as a couple that is characterized by some of the following dimensions: emotional connection, regular contact, and ongoing physical contact that need not be sexual.

Nonconsensual Pornography: The distribution of sexually graphic images, including through digital platforms, of individuals without their consent. This is also referred to as “revenge porn,” “cyber rape,” and “involuntary porn.”

Catfishing: Using digital tools and techniques to post false information, profiles, and or photographs with the sole purpose of intentionally manipulating, misleading, or harming others.

Cyber Abuse: Online behavior that threatens, intimidate, harass, harm, or humiliate a person.

Cybercrime: The violation of law on internet platforms (or in cyberspace) by incorporating internet tools and electronic devices such as phones and computers.

Dark Web: Areas in cyberspace operating outside of the purview of law enforcement and internet regulations which provide ample opportunities for digital criminal enterprises to exist.

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