Secure your tech
Abusers may use technology to control, harass or intimidate you. We empower survivors to secure their tech and take back control of their lives.
Take back control of technology.
Our tech abuse and empowerment team supports women who have had technology used against them as a weapon of domestic abuse. We empower survivors so they can use technology positively and safely and take back control of their lives.
What is tech abuse?
Modern technology gives abusers ever-growing ways to stalk, isolate and control women using the tools of everyday life.
At Refuge, we have found a rise in the number of women whose are being stalked and harassed across multiple online platforms, the misuse of stalkerware and tracking devices. Smart tech within the home is often misused to abuse women within the home. Children’s devices can often be hacked into by a perpetrator to gain full access to their accounts, or trace information such as the child’s location.
Tech abuse is often experienced as part of a pattern of controlling behaviour by the abuser: many survivors experience tech abuse in addition to direct domestic abuse such as physical violence, sexual, economic and emotional abuse.
Tech abuse can be tricky to identify. We’ve put together this list of questions to help you spot the signs:
- Does your partner/abuser constantly call, text and message you online?
- Does your partner/abuser publish posts about you online which encourage others to harass and abuse you?
- Does your partner/abuser constantly call, message and send “friend requests” to your family and friends?
- Does your partner/abuser harass you, your employer and your clients through business social media pages and work email addresses?
- Has your partner/abuser threatened to share any information about you online such as confidential information, for example screenshots of messages, photos of you, or information that could cause you embarrassment?
- Has your partner/abuser threatened to share or shared intimate images of you?
- Does your partner/abuser seem to know about conversations that you have had without being present?
- Does your partner/abuser give the children the latest tech gadgets during child contact? Does he play Xbox and PlayStation games with them online outside of his agreed contact time?
- Does your partner/abuser have access to your banking and social media accounts, and assure you that it’s normal to have access to your partner’s information?
- Does your partner/abuser know your whereabouts or turn up unexpectedly wherever you go?
- Does your partner/abuser stalk and harass you via fake social media profiles?
- Has your partner/abuser installed any apps such as ‘find my iPhone’ onto your device? Did he assure you that it is for your safety in case you lose your phone?
If you answered yes to any of the above questions, then you may be experiencing tech abuse. You don’t have to deal with this alone. Refuge is here to support you: Visit our tech safety website for more information and support.
Refuge’s own Tech Abuse team provides support to survivors in Refuge’s services.
“I was a technophobe and my ex-partner set up my email and social media accounts for me, which meant he had full access to them. He also replaced my flip-phone with an iPhone which he then set up to be mirrored onto their iPad so he could monitor calls and messages. He set up a location tracker, saying it would help me. You wouldn’t think he was doing anything bad, I didn’t realise it was going to be part of my entrapment.”