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Department of Informatics People and Computing Lab

Technologies and Forced Marriages


There has been a growing interest in Human-Computer Interaction (HCI) in research with marginalized communities, and topics such as women's health and well-being are gaining much-needed importance. Much work has focused on domestic violence (DV), intimate partner violence (IPV), and related preventive technologies, but little research has focused on forced marriages. In cooperation with the Swiss Centre of Competence against Forced Marriage (CoCFM), we aim to set a course for further advances toward design practices for people affected by forced marriages and people in vulnerable contexts. Through a participatory and a collaborative approach, our research considers the affected of forced marriages as an active part and embraces their experience and meaning-making as legitimate sources of knowledge. 

Our Research

In this work, we aim to understand the role that technology currently plays in the help- and support-seeking activities of people affected by forced marriage, including (i) people who are in forced marriages, (ii) people who are at risk of forced marriage, and (iii) people who have left forced marriages.

Specifically, we leverage frameworks such as social justice, feminism, and trauma-informed design to answer the following research questions:

  1. What are the opportunities and challenges of technologies in the context of forced marriages in Switzerland?
  2. How do social media and online platforms support the realization of abuse and influence individuals' pathways to seek help?
  3. How can we leverage technology to support affected individuals' self-help strategies and improve services provided by NGOs and other help points?
  4. How does and can technology create safe spaces for affected individuals and support the healing and recovery of their autonomy and independence?


If you are interested in doing a master thesis, master project, bachelor thesis or independent study related to this topic, please contact mehere after reviewing the application process and requirements here.

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[Independent Study] The Influence of LLMs on Safe Spaces

In this ongoing project, we explore how the use of large language models (LLMs) like ChatGPT in online forums or safe spaces for women affected by abuse or other trauma influences the reception and dynamics of these safe spaces.