Doctoral Student Spotlight

Technology’s Role in Sexual Violence, According to Service Providers

Kwynn Gonzalez-Pons

Kwynn Gonzalez-Pons

Student Researcher: Kwynn Gonzalez-Pons, University of Utah

About the Researcher: Kwynn has a Master of Public Health (MPH) and is currently pursuing a PhD in Social Work. She is interested in the intersections of technology, health, and gender-based violence. 

Study Description: (IRB approved) Conducting individual interviews (phone/video conferencing device or in-person) with service providers working with survivors of sexual violence. Providers can be anyone that’s ever worked with SV survivors including counselors, healthcare professionals, law enforcement, etc.  

Methodological Approach: Qualitative: Individual interviews (in-person or via video-conferencing tool)

Preliminary Findings: Technology’s role varies, with positive impacts on sexual violence (increased awareness, potentially increased prosecutions if assaults are electronically documented, may be able to reach survivors who cannot access traditional care settings); negative impacts mentioned include society’s minimization of online sexual violence; the potential for the trauma to be relived if evidence is online.

Implications: Raise awareness among service professionals about how technology-facilitated violence may affect their clients seeking care; illuminate the various roles of technology in sexual violence, positive and negative. 

Challenges Encountered: Recruitment.

Next Steps: Continue recruitment and conducting interviews.

To participate in this study, please email Kwynn at kwynn.gonzalezpons@gmail.com