Coercive control and technology-facilitated parental stalking in children’s and young people’s lives

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10 Citations (Scopus)


Knowledge of technology-facilitated abuse and stalking has increased in recent decades, but research on how children and young people are exposed to these behaviours by their parent is still lacking. This article examines how technology-facilitated parental stalking manifests in children’s and young people’s everyday lives in contexts where parents have separated and fathers/father-figures have stalked mothers as part of post-separation coercive control. The article analyses materials from 131 stalking cases dealt with by district courts in Finland from 2014 to 2017 in cases that involved a relationship (dating, cohabitation or marriage), separation/divorce, and one or more children. Analysis of these court decisions identified that children and young people were exposed to three manifestations of technology-facilitated parental stalking: (1) Threats of violence and death; (2) Intrusive and obsessive fatherhood; and (3) Disparaging and insulting motherhood/womanhood. These findings underline the following contextual factors that are important for professionals to consider in identifying and helping children and young people exposed to parental stalking: technology enabling constant coercive and controlling abuse, technology in maintaining abusive parenthood, and technology in magnifying gendered tactics of abuse. The article argues that children’s exposure to and vulnerability to technology-facilitated parental stalking must be more widely recognised.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of Gender-Based Violence
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 2 Sept 2021
MoEC publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

Field of science

  • Social work


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