Like other forms of abuse, tech abuse – the use of technology to harass, control, humiliate, or monitor someone – is about power and control.
Tech abuse makes it more difficult for survivors to escape abusive relationships, particularly as the perpetrator can continue their control from wherever they are, long after separation.
The use of technology allows perpetrators to exert more control over a survivor, which is stressful and traumatic. For anyone working with survivors (or perpetrators), it’s important to know what signs to look out for, when spotting technology-facilitated domestic abuse..
How can technology be misused or abused?
Technology provides countless ways for perpetrators to abuse through different avenues such as social media and messaging apps, personal accounts such as emails and online banking, to electronic devices like PC’s, laptops, tablets, and phones, and Internet of Things (IoT) devices like Amazon Alexa, ring doorbells and smart heating systems.
A survivor may…
A partner or ex-partner turning up unexpectedly or appearing to ‘bump into’ the survivor, their family, or friends, might also be another sign that technology is being used to track someone’s whereabouts. Children’s games, travel apps like Uber, and entertainment apps such as Netflix could also be used to track someone’s location.
It is also important to keep in mind that another tactic perpetrators may use, is to convince the survivor they have more control or access over their digital information than they do. However, any potential risks must still be considered in the DASH RIC.
Want to know more?
- Keep up with our Domestic Abuse and Technology newsletter series and explore the signs of tech abuse in more detail
- See last month’s tech abuse newsletter about cyberstalking, love bombing, hacking, false social media accounts, and image-based sexual abuse
- Do you work with survivors or perpetrators of domestic abuse? Come to our next Domestic Abuse & Technology Practitioners Network event on Wednesday 29th. Book your space now
- Got a question about tech abuse? Email firstname.lastname@example.org
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