Tech Safety for Victims of Domestic Violence

What is technology-facilitated abuse? 

For those who do have access to the internet, technology can be one of the most destructive  ways perpetrators of domestic violence abuse can maintain control over their victims. In fact, 71% of victims reported that their abuser surveilled their computer activity closely, making scheduling IPV screenings and accessing resources on the national domestic violence website incredibly challenging. 

Some of the other most common forms of technology-facilitated abuse include harassing victims over text message, email or social media, impersonating someone on social media accounts, stalking people through tracking apps and threatening to upload explicit pictures or videos of the victim (known as revenge porn). These tactics are means of intimidation and control over someone.”

Safety tips when using technology

When you leave your abuser, it is imperative that you create as much distance between you both as possible. Perpetrators of domestic violence often use technology and the internet in order to keep as close an eye on you as possible. For that reason, you will want to take a few safety precautions with all of your various online activities.

  • Internet safety – You will want to remove any personal information from the internet that you do not want your abuser to have access to. You can likely remove most of this information yourself; however, sometimes you have to ask the person in charge of the site to take something down for you. You may also want to clear your browser history frequently and even change the settings on your computer to prevent cookies from saving onto your computer. This step will help prevent your abuser from being able to see which websites you have visited.
  • Email safety – A good way to prevent your abuser from viewing your internet activity is to change your email passwords, make sure the password doesn’t save on your computer, delete email exchanges and log out of your email account after each use.
  • Cellphone safety – Just like with email, you will want to change your passwords to get into your phone. You will also want to check the settings in your phone to ensure you have not enabled location sharing.
  • Social media safety – You will also want to change your passwords for all of your social media and ensure that your privacy settings are on the maximum setting. Additionally, take down any information on your social media accounts that you would not want your abuser to have access to. You may also want to consider deleting your social media accounts entirely.

Source: (note- commercial referral page) All-connect

 

Tech safety for victims and survivors of domestic violence