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Domestic and family violence

In this section we explain what technology-facilitated abuse is and how to identify it.

We include tips on how to protect yourself and your family and stay safe. 

If you are experiencing domestic and family violence, safe access to technology is important, so you can stay connected to your family and friends and get information and support. 

We aim to provide resources and information to help people deal with technology-facilitated abuse, so that everyone can enjoy the benefits of being online and connected.

Research shows that technology-facilitated abuse has become a key part of domestic and family violence.1

1Woodlock, Delanie (2015) ReCharge: Women’s Technology Safety, Legal Resources, Research and Training, Women’s Legal Service NSW, Domestic Violence Resource Centre Victoria and WESNET, Collingwood.

Staying safe

If you are in Australia and feeling unsafe right now, call the police on Triple Zero (000) or contact 1800RESPECT (1800 737 732). Remember your safety is important. If an abusive person learns that you are seeking resources and information, their abusive behaviour may get worse. Learn more and connect with support.

What is technology-facilitated abuse?

Technology-facilitated abuse is a form of domestic violence in which abusers control, stalk and harass their victims using technology. 

It includes a range of behaviours:

  • sending abusive text messages or emails
  • making continuous threatening phone calls
  • spying on and monitoring victims through the use of tracking systems
  • abusing victims through social media sites
  • sharing intimate images of someone without their consent (also known as image-based abuse or ‘revenge porn’)
  • using technology to control or manipulate home appliances, locks and other connected devices 

Technology-facilitated abuse has significant and very real impacts. It occurs both during abusive relationships and after leaving an abusive partner or family member. It may also involve just one person or multiple people participating in the abuse. 

Learn more

Are you at risk of technology-facilitated abuse?

Sometimes technology-facilitated abuse can be difficult to recognise. This is because the targets of this abuse may be unaware that the abuse is taking place, but it is also because the rise of social media means that we are increasingly able to see where people are and keep tabs on them. Surveillance, or the ability to observe or monitor someone’s movements or actions, has become a normal part of our everyday lives. If you are unsure whether you may be at risk of or experiencing technology-facilitated abuse, learn more about what the warning signs are or take one of our safety quizzes.

About these resources

These resources on technology-facilitated abuse aim to help everyone manage technology risks and abuse by giving them access to the tools they need to be confident online.

We are continually updating and adding resources on the technological aspects of domestic and family violence.

We look forward to your comments and suggestions on how we can improve these resources.