Technology is giving abusers the edge

If we want to protect girls and women from predators and abuse, we must keep pace with new technologies and mediaThe attempted rape in the latest Lara Croft game and reports of child abusers using the social gaming site Habbo Hotel has resulted in a renewed debate about technology, new media and violence against women. This debate is not new. During the mid-2000s a version of Grand Theft Auto was released that allowed gamers to regain health and lose money through “transactions” with women involved in prostitution, and the women could be run over or shot. On its release, there was a similar public outcry and calls for the game to be boycotted and banned.Each time a new game or form of technology is introduced that enables, condones or arguably promotes violence against women and girls, the same questions resurface and then disappear: namely, what is the impact of these games on those who use them, what harm do they pose to children and society more broadly, and what regulations should or should not be put in place to mitigate any potential harm?

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