What does technology have to do with domestic and family violence?
More than 99% of Australian victims of domestic and family violence have also experienced technology-facilitated abuse (also known as tech abuse).
Tech abuse is an extension of coercion and harassment in situations of domestic and family violence.
There are four main forms of this abuse: harassment, stalking, impersonation and threats. It can include when a partner or ex-partner:
- sends a lot of abusive messages
- makes threatening phone calls over and over
- creates fake social media accounts and makes hurtful posts about you
- takes over internet accounts and locks you out of them – such as email, social media and bank accounts
- shares, or threatens to share, intimate images or videos of you without your permission
- tracks where you are and hides cameras that film you.
Many of these behaviours are crimes under Australian law and can be reported to the police before going to court. These laws cover things such as stalking, sending threatening emails and texts, using tracking apps and spyware, online bullying and sharing intimate images or videos without consent.