Technology is constantly changing and can be used to stalk, harass, intimidate or humiliate you.
If you think you might be experiencing abuse through your cellphone, computer, home security or smart home systems, it can be helpful to look for patterns. Asking questions like these will help you pin down possible sources of technology enabled abuse:
- Is your abuser harassing you or putting you down through texts or social media?
- What does your abuser know about your movements and communications? Where could they have gotten that information?
- Do they know what websites you’ve visited?
- Do they only know what you are doing in a certain area of your home?
- Do they only know when you leave your home?
- If you think you are being followed, is it only when you are walking and on public transportation, or is it when you are driving your car?
- Have you been receiving harassing calls from unfamiliar or familiar numbers?
- Have you received phone calls with information that turns out to be false, such as cancellations of court dates or appointments?
- Have people mentioned receiving texts or emails from you that you never sent?
- Does the heat in your home go up or down, lights go on and off, or other such occurrences that have no immediate explanation?
Technology Safety Tips
There are steps you can take to ensure your safety:
- Use a safe computer, such as at a library, to research travel plans, housing options, legal issues, and safety plans.
- Open an email account your partner doesn’t know about on a safe computer. Use that account for any safety planning or sensitive communications and only check it on safe computers. It is a good idea to keep your monitored email open and active with non-critical emails to avoid suspicion.
- Keep your passwords private.
To learn more and identify ways to increase your security, document and report incidents and control your offline and online privacy, check out the the National Network to End Domestic Violence Technology Safety and Privacy Toolkit.
(Technology Enable Coercive Control Clinic)
If you are experiencing threats, harassment, stalking or other kinds of abuse through your cell phone, computer, social media, or smart home system and don’t know what to do, our TECC Clinic may be for you. Designed for survivors who are currently supported by an Advocate at New Beginnings or other agencies providing domestic violence services in King County, the clinic provides an opportunity to problem-solve with a volunteer who is knowledgeable about technology. Interested? Ask your Advocate about how to get help.