ALL ABOUT TECHNOLOGICAL ABUSE IN DOMESTIC VIOLENCE AND ABUSE

08/10/2021

Domestic Violence and Abuse (DVA) is a global menace that has no regard for Race, Ethnic group,Religious affiliation,Sexual orientation,Age, Gender, Financial or Social status.Various forms of DVA exist namely:

 • Physical violence, 

• Sexual violence and abuse,

 • Financial abuse,

• Spiritual abuse,

• Emotional abuse,

• Psychological abuse, • Child witness abuse, • Elderly abuse, • Siblings abuse,

• People with disability abuse,

• LGBTQ abuse,

• Legal abuse ,

• Technological abuse , 

• Stalking. 

DVA occurs in the Domestic or Privacy of Home. The Perpetrators,(Abusers) are current or ex, Marital partners, Co-living-partners, Dating partners, Relatives, Parents and Siblings.

Why does DVA occur ?

The root cause of DVA is the abusers strong desire to exert power and need to control an intimate partner or person living with them.

TECHNOLOGICAL ABUSE IN DVA

Technology is a large part of everybody`s life in the 21st century.DVA Abusers have taken advantage of Tech as a new trend to monitor, harass, threaten and hurt their targeted victims.As an African women´s group in Germany, we need to be well informed and cautious of this trend.Statistically one in four women compared to one in six men experience intimate partner violence (DVA) in Germany 

Note: 

Ordinarily, where Tech abuse exists ,the victim also experiences other forms of DVA like financial, emotional, physical, and sexual abuse.Research has shown that phones, tablets, computers and social networking websites are used to, create immense fear , punish, humiliate and isolate DVA victims.

How?

The Abusers:

• Install spyware on victims phones,

• Impersonate them on social media to humiliate and shame them, 

 • Give gifts to children with electronics devices installed in them, that can reveal their location .This enables them to trace even their partners even after they have fled to a shelter ,are separated or divorced.

Victims and Survivors of Tech abuse in DVA tell Stories

1. Other than the physical abuse; beatings and verbal abuse, e.t.c their intimate partners isolated them from friends and family .They prevented them from working or schooling. and accessing the internet without their presence.They

installed cameras on the front doors, garages, bedrooms, monitoring their movements.

2. Victims reported being coerced into giving their passwords under threat of physical harm.

3. Victims phones were controlled and messages, emails, chats were read and contacts deleted if the abuser did not approve of certain people.

4. Victims were prohibited from having social media accounts like Facebook or Instagram .

5. Abusers impersonated their victims by replying to emails and text messages especially of an official manner, for example, regarding court date appearances and job interview meetings.They would cancel meeting dates, delete the emails, hide mail destroying the victim`s reputation. Many mothers have been rendered irresponsible ,lost custody for their children, due to absenteeism at court hearings and other government office appointments.

6. Abusers have been known to impersonate by cancelling job opportunity in takes, or giving false information that the person is using false credentials and is undocumented.

7. A lot of tech-victims have had to pay for incurred debts due to their abusers fraudulent acts of taking loans , making purchase using the victims identity and bank cards.They compromise their victims devices or accounts without victims knowledge or consent Some continue to do so long after the relationship has ended.This is very common so beware !

8. Many victims have been blacklisted as financial risks due to non-payments of debts unknown to them, or they are unable to pay.In future they are unable to secure rental contracts and or jobs in sensitive careers.

Tech abuse is a criminal act but without women being more diligent to create safe personal and private boundaries ,even marriage is not an excuse of being ignorant in a court of law without proof. Victims then stand to remain trapped in financial insecurity and abusive partner dependancy."modern day slavery". Tech abuse is very difficult to prove in a court of law due to its` intimacy nature,`privacy circumstances "domestic" and data protection laws in Germany. In the UK a landmark law was passed that makes it illegal to use technology to track or spy on partners or ex-partners .This UK law specifically defines Tech abuse, given it`s controlling and coercive nature , as a form of DVA.It also gives police extra powers to respond to cases that involve tech abuse.

Abusers also use tech to Stalk their victims.They could appear at a doctor`s appointment where they should not be.This is scary, and should not be taken lightly and a crime if there is separation or divorce.

Revenge Porn as a form of Tech abuse in DVA.The worst form and has led to mental health issues even suicide on its victims.Naked pictures or videos of a private nature are used by the abusers who threaten to ,or actually email them to friends ,families, work place or on social media.Blackmail for cash and/or continued sex , forced to remain in the abusive relationship.

• Tech abuse is REAL!

• Abusers use tech abuse to cause mental anguish and harm.

• Speak to someone,Report ,Call the Hotline number .

• You need Help or else the damage is psychologically and emotionally very harmful. • look out for the next article:It will help you identify as to whether you are a victim of Tech abuse • Potential Tech Abusers usually manipulate their targeted victims to think of them as Protectors and Loving,Concerned lovers.

• .Be wise!!!Stay informed.

Written by:Charity Wairimu Ngugi Latz.

B.A Hons.(literature).A Dignity Visionary.Community Reporter. Author .DVA Activist.

Set your Boundaries;Unapologetically Transform Yourself from An invisible migrant to a Deliberate,Self-appointed,Visible,Dignity Visionary."

Websites: https://www.unmasking-domestic-violence.org.

All social media pages:Charity Wairimu Latz