Smart Phones. Navigation Systems. Smart Thermostats. Tablets. Computers. Twitter. Snapchat. Facebook. Alexa. Online Bill Pay.
The list of technology created to make our lives better, more efficient and happier goes on and on. Unfortunately, so does the list of ways abusers use the technology to control their victims. According to a study done by The Safety Net Project, the leading organization working to raise awareness of and to stop technology abuse, 97% of domestic violence victims report “experiencing harassment, monitoring, and threats by abusers through the misuse of technology.”
What does that look like on the Eastern Shore?
And these are just a few of the forms of Technology Abuse that MSCFV has heard about.
The National Network to End Domestic Violence’s (NNEDV) Power and Control Wheel of Technology Abuse, seen on this page, provides an overview of how abusers use technology for:
So what can a victim do? How do they know if what they are experiencing is Technology Abuse? How can they document the abuse?
The great news is that The Safety Net Project has created many resources to help you navigate the world of technology abuse.
Technology Safety and Privacy Toolkit for Survivors: https://www.techsafety.org/resources-survivors
This is a fantastic resource for anything technology and technology abuse. From setting up passwords and taking screenshots, to being web wise, to protecting yourself when using smart toys and smart cars, this toolkit has it all in easy to an easy to follow format.
Technology Safety Plan: https://www.techsafety.org/resources-survivors/technology-safety-plan
This plan provides information on types of technology abuse, tips to identify if abuse is occurring, what to do if you expect technology abuse, and tips for increasing your digital safety and security.
Documentation of Technology Abuse & Stalking: https://www.techsafety.org/documentationtips
Documentation of Technology Abuse could help you identify increased monitoring and control, identify trends in how your abuser is abusing technology, and can support any legal actions. The attached site provides information on what to document, how, and what to do with the information. If you are interested in using your documentation in court, https://www.ncjfcj.org/publications/how-to-gather-technology-abuse-evidence-for-court/ has some valuable information.
The Bottom Line:
TRUST YOUR INSTINCTS!!! If you think you are experiencing technology abuse, you may be. So act accordingly. But don’t be rash. Getting rid of your technology, turning off location features, and changing passwords could anger the abuser, so take your time, create and follow your own Technology Safety Plan, and contact MSCFV for help (1-800-927-4673 or through the chat on this page).