Digital abuse, also known as tech abuse, is domestic violence in which digital technology and equipment are used intentionally to control, manipulate, threaten, or hurt another person. There is no single definition of technology abuse. Rather, it encompasses any detrimental or damaging behavior via digital devices, networks, or services.
Tech abusers can be a partner, ex-partner, relative, acquaintance, colleague, or someone completely unknown. Physical aggression, economic abuse, coercive control, and sexual abuse are all common components of technology abuse. To learn more, look for a divorce lawyer near me.
Understanding tech abuse
Tech abuse can take various forms, but it all boils down to using the technology we now have to watch, threaten, and hurt victims. It frequently occurs in conjunction with physical or mental abuse, providing the abuser with additional means to continue what they do inside the house. It is estimated that one in every four women and one in every six men may face violence from their partners at some point.
One kind of technology abuse includes installing spyware on the victim’s phone to track what they are up to or impersonating them on social media to cause embarrassment. They may access bank accounts to watch and manage what their victims spend, or they may gain access to calendars to see where they are expected to be and show up when they are not invited. Some abusers have even been caught giving their children electronic devices that allow them to be followed long after they have fled the abusive parent.
Tech abuse makes victims isolated.
Since technology is such an integral part of practically everyone’s lives, it was only a matter of time before it was used against them. Domestic abuse is about giving the abuser power over a partner, and technology allows them to do so.
Unfortunately, there has not been extensive research into tech abuse, but it is believed that phones, tablets, social media, and laptops are all regularly utilized. As abusers manipulate things like heating systems or observe movement on doorbell cameras, smart house technology is also becoming a feature of tech abuse.
Victims can also be isolated by removing these sorts of technology from them and cutting them off from society. Without the opportunity to seek help from friends and family, the offender may control where they go, when they can go out, and exactly what they can do. Some victims are coerced into sharing account passwords by threatening them with physical danger. Once an abuser has this, they can view texts and even delete or block contacts they do not want them to communicate with.
If you are a victim of tech abuse, talk to an attorney immediately and get the help you deserve.