Why do they do that? An investigation into the perpetrator perspective of technology facilitated abuse

Understanding the motivations and tactics of perpetrators engaging in technology facilitated abuse

Technology Facilitated Abuse (TFA) is a form of controlling behaviour that involves the use of technology as a means to coerce, stalk or harass another person.

This project aims to understand the motivations, tactics and strategies of perpetrators engaging in TFA. It will engage with perpetrators to better understand their drivers, motivations and tactics.

Research, policy and practice in this area is growing but has largely been focused on victim/survivor, advocate and practitioner perspectives and needs. There has been limited work engaging with perpetrators of all genders and this significant knowledge deficit hinders the prevention of and responses to TFA.

The insights and new evidence base from this work will be used to generate strategies to minimise TFA, including prevention resources for those escaping abuse, design guidelines for technology to minimise the possibility for abuse, effective preventative treatment for perpetrators and policy guidelines for defining and managing TFA.

University-based researchers

Dr Renee Fiolet, Melbourne School of Population and Global Health

Dr Charlynn Miller, School of Computing and Information Systems

Dr Cynthia Brown, Faculty of Medicine, Dentistry and Health Sciences

Dr Kobi Leins, School of Computing and Information Systems

Sally Marsden, Safer Families Centre of Research Excellence

Dr Nwakego Isika, School of Computing and Information Systems

External collaborators

Dr Dana McKay, RMIT University

Delanie Woodlock, Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Supervision & Research

Jasmine Purches, Lived Experience Advisor

Vibol Hy,  Australian GLBTIQ Multicultural Council

Dr Bridget Harris, Monash University


Download the Technology-facilitated Abuse in Relationships Report


Brown, C., Fiolet, R., McKay, D. and Harris, B. (2023), "Exploring the use of story completion to understand the perpetration of technology-facilitated abuse in relationships", Qualitative Research Journal, https://doi.org/10.1108/QRJ-03-2023-0035

For information about this project, please contact:

Dr Renee Fiolet
Melbourne School of Population and Global Health
Faculty of Medicine, Dentistry and Health Sciences
Email: renee.fiolet@unimelb.edu.au