Intimate Partner Violence (IPV) is a widespread social ill, affecting nearly one out of four women and one out of six men at some point in their lives. Increasingly, abusers exploit digital technologies to monitor, stalk, and harass their victims, directly harming victim safety and well-being. The current status quo is that technology empowers abusers. Despite this there is little work examining the use of technology in IPV and the development of new tools, techniques, and theories to combat technology-enabled IPV.

We are working to create the world’s premier research group focusing on technology safety and privacy in IPV. To do so, we intertwine foundational research with direct community engagement in order to ensure technology empowers those working to end IPV and related social ills.

We put together an interdisciplinary research team, led by faculty at Cornell Tech in New York City, that combines expertise in computer security, social science, human/computer interaction, and law and policy. We have built collaborations with researchers from Cornell University in Ithaca and New York University, with advocates at the NYC Mayor’s Office to End Domestic and Gender Based Violence and the National Network to End Domestic Violence, and with industry representatives from companies such as Google, Norton, and Facebook. To date, our research has generated award-winning academic research papers at top-tier venues, received media coverage in the New York Times, Vox, Slate, and elsewhere, and helped Google and Symantec improve their products in a way that encourages safety for their customers. We currently run a Clinic to End Tech Abuse for IPV survivors.

Tom Ristenpart speaks about computer security for IPV victims at UCSD