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Personal stories

These three personal story videos show how women living with intellectual or cognitive disability may experience abuse that uses digital technology.

The videos highlight the impact it can have and the steps that can be taken to improve online safety. eSafety encourages disability services and support workers to view these videos to become more familiar with how technology can be used against women. 

Where appropriate, you may also choose to watch the videos with your clients. You may find it helpful to use eSafety’s downloadable conversation starters along with the videos, to help you use supportive language while talking with clients about the topic of technology-facilitated abuse. 

The videos have closed captions, audio description and transcripts. All characters in the videos are played by actors. Please contact the support services shared in these videos if they upset you or your client.

 

Anna's story

Anna lives in a supported residential home. Her house manager has been filming Anna’s private activities and threatens to share the footage with others. Anna and her disability support worker talk about the help available to her. All characters in this video are played by actors.

Visual Audio

Click here to watch this video with Audio Description.

Anna’s Story – transcript of audio

Anna: Troy was our house manager.  We trusted him. But even when things didn’t feel right, who was going to ever believe me?
Support worker: Hi Anna, I’m on the house roster today and Troy has the night shift. You and your housemates seem to get on with him well.
Anna: Yes, he helps us a lot. If it wasn’t for Troy, I wouldn’t have found all this cool music.
Support worker: Sounds like he goes out of his way to help you.
Anna: I suppose he does.
Support worker: You seemed sad at your birthday party today Anna, are you OK?
Anna: I have something I want to tell you, but I don’t know how. 
Support worker: Maybe talk about it as if it was your friend? Remember how we do that sometimes?
Anna: Okay, well…someone my friend knows has been taking rude videos of her.
Support worker: I’d be worried if she was forced to do it.
Anna: She feels really scared about it.
Support worker: You know you can trust me, right? Is this happening to you Anna? 
Anna: I just don’t know what to do. Everyone likes him here.
Support worker: Likes who?
Anna: I’m scared to tell anyone. I don’t want to make it worse.
Support worker: I’m really sorry you’re going through this. Can you please tell me who it is?
Anna: Troy says I have to let him film me. Or he will send the videos to my family or post it on Facebook.
Support worker: What Troy has done is wrong. Is it OK for us to sort this out together?
Anna: Yes…I don’t want him doing this anymore.
Support worker: Alright. I’ll talk to my Team Leader about the next steps.
Anna: I’m worried. If I get Troy into trouble, I might get kicked out of here, away from my friends.
Support worker: That won’t happen. He has abused his position of trust.  My Team Leader has made a report to the National Disability Abuse and Neglect Hotline. The Police were also contacted. You have been so strong reporting Troy.
Anna: I didn’t know Troy was breaking the law.
Support worker: Yes, he was. You know, it’s OK to say no to someone even if they provide you care.
Anna: I didn’t want to cause a fuss.
Support worker: Not at all. We can also report his threats to share the photos he took of you to eSafety. Let’s check their website and find out more.
Anna: I feel happy knowing that someone listened to me.

Anna's story

Audio

Anna’s Story – transcript of audio

Anna: Troy was our house manager.  We trusted him. But even when things didn’t feel right, who was going to ever believe me?
Support worker: Hi Anna, I’m on the house roster today and Troy has the night shift. You and your housemates seem to get on with him well.
Anna: Yes, he helps us a lot. If it wasn’t for Troy, I wouldn’t have found all this cool music.
Support worker: Sounds like he goes out of his way to help you.
Anna: I suppose he does.
Support worker: You seemed sad at your birthday party today Anna, are you OK?
Anna: I have something I want to tell you, but I don’t know how. 
Support worker: Maybe talk about it as if it was your friend? Remember how we do that sometimes?
Anna: Okay, well…someone my friend knows has been taking rude videos of her.
Support worker: I’d be worried if she was forced to do it.
Anna: She feels really scared about it.
Support worker: You know you can trust me, right? Is this happening to you Anna? 
Anna: I just don’t know what to do. Everyone likes him here.
Support worker: Likes who?
Anna: I’m scared to tell anyone. I don’t want to make it worse.
Support worker: I’m really sorry you’re going through this. Can you please tell me who it is?
Anna: Troy says I have to let him film me. Or he will send the videos to my family or post it on Facebook.
Support worker: What Troy has done is wrong. Is it OK for us to sort this out together?
Anna: Yes…I don’t want him doing this anymore.
Support worker: Alright. I’ll talk to my Team Leader about the next steps.
Anna: I’m worried. If I get Troy into trouble, I might get kicked out of here, away from my friends.
Support worker: That won’t happen. He has abused his position of trust.  My Team Leader has made a report to the National Disability Abuse and Neglect Hotline. The Police were also contacted. You have been so strong reporting Troy.
Anna: I didn’t know Troy was breaking the law.
Support worker: Yes, he was. You know, it’s OK to say no to someone even if they provide you care.
Anna: I didn’t want to cause a fuss.
Support worker: Not at all. We can also report his threats to share the photos he took of you to eSafety. Let’s check their website and find out more.
Anna: I feel happy knowing that someone listened to me.
 

Anna's story - Audio Description

Patrice's story

Patrice is worried that her husband, who is also her full-time carer, may be using technology against her. Patrice confides in her disability support worker and they talk about available help. All characters in this video are played by actors.

Visual Audio

Click here to watch this video with Audio Description.

Patrice’s story – transcript of audio

Patrice: With my husband’s support I have managed my disability pretty well. Our son Charlie turns six next month. Brad helps around the house and drives me to medical appointments. But things have changed lately. Brad wants to control everything I do. To be honest, I feel trapped and not happy anymore.
Patrice: Feeling in control and independent matters to me, especially when living with a disability.
Support worker: As your support worker I I’ve noticed you haven’t been yourself lately. Are you OK Patrice?
Patrice: There has been a few changes at my home lately. I’m just trying to adjust.
Support worker: What changes?
Patrice: Brad put a keypad lock on the front door. I forget the code and get locked out.
He installed cameras in the house. For my own safety he said, to keep an eye on things while he’s at work.
Support worker: Hey, how did your phone screen get cracked?
Patrice: Oh… Brad, um dropped it.
Support worker: Are you getting it fixed?
Patrice: Brad says I don’t need a phone because he is all I need. He doesn’t like me talking to anyone. To save arguments, I’ve stopped calling people. 
Support worker: Well, how did he know?
Patrice: I caught him going through my phone and he gets into my emails without asking. 
Sometimes I can’t login because the passwords are wrong. But Brad seems to get into them easily.
Support worker: And you said he sometimes turns up unexpectedly when you go out? That’s strange.
Patrice: Well, my sister noticed a tracking app on my phone.
Support worker: What did Brad say?
Patrice: He blamed my disability for needing to know where I am. I was furious. He filmed me getting angry and he now has proof I’m not a good Mum. 
Support worker: I know you’re a great Mum.
Patrice: I worry if we break up, I will lose my home and custody of Charlie.
Support worker: Hey, let’s go outside and chat. It might not be safe to talk in the house. I’m sorry you’re going through this. I know that 1800 Respect can help with domestic and family violence. They can put together a safety plan and their counsellors can help.
Support worker: About Brad abusing you with technology, we can check the eSafety website together. It has tips on using phones and computers safely. There are Easy Read guides too.
Patrice: I now know Brad was trying to control me and used technology to help him. That is still abuse and it’s not OK. I know it wasn’t my fault.   I am slowly taking back control of my life.


 

Patrice's story

Audio

Patrice’s story – transcript of audio

Patrice: With my husband’s support I have managed my disability pretty well. Our son Charlie turns six next month. Brad helps around the house and drives me to medical appointments. But things have changed lately. Brad wants to control everything I do. To be honest, I feel trapped and not happy anymore.
Patrice: Feeling in control and independent matters to me, especially when living with a disability.
Support worker: As your support worker I I’ve noticed you haven’t been yourself lately. Are you OK Patrice?
Patrice: There has been a few changes at my home lately. I’m just trying to adjust.
Support worker: What changes?
Patrice: Brad put a keypad lock on the front door. I forget the code and get locked out.
He installed cameras in the house. For my own safety he said, to keep an eye on things while he’s at work.
Support worker: Hey, how did your phone screen get cracked?
Patrice: Oh… Brad, um dropped it.
Support worker: Are you getting it fixed?
Patrice: Brad says I don’t need a phone because he is all I need. He doesn’t like me talking to anyone. To save arguments, I’ve stopped calling people. 
Support worker: Well, how did he know?
Patrice: I caught him going through my phone and he gets into my emails without asking. 
Sometimes I can’t login because the passwords are wrong. But Brad seems to get into them easily.
Support worker: And you said he sometimes turns up unexpectedly when you go out? That’s strange.
Patrice: Well, my sister noticed a tracking app on my phone.
Support worker: What did Brad say?
Patrice: He blamed my disability for needing to know where I am. I was furious. He filmed me getting angry and he now has proof I’m not a good Mum. 
Support worker: I know you’re a great Mum.
Patrice: I worry if we break up, I will lose my home and custody of Charlie.
Support worker: Hey, let’s go outside and chat. It might not be safe to talk in the house. I’m sorry you’re going through this. I know that 1800 Respect can help with domestic and family violence. They can put together a safety plan and their counsellors can help.
Support worker: About Brad abusing you with technology, we can check the eSafety website together. It has tips on using phones and computers safely. There are Easy Read guides too.
Patrice: I now know Brad was trying to control me and used technology to help him. That is still abuse and it’s not OK. I know it wasn’t my fault.   I am slowly taking back control of my life.
 

Patrice's story - Audio Description

Rebecca's story

Rebecca becomes upset when her new friend on Instagram threatens to share her intimate photos without her consent. Rebecca and her disability support worker talk about the help available to her. All characters in this video are played by actors.

Visual Audio

Click here to watch this video with Audio Description.

Rebecca’s story – transcript of audio

Rebecca: It’s hard to make friends after high school. I’m not sure how much my disability plays into this. But I mean, you can’t just go and ask someone ‘hey, wanna be friends’? 
Support worker: Yep, and that’s how you create an account. Now you can share your photos. Here’s the animal rights account you wanted to follow.
Rebecca: Hey, can you be my back up, until I know I’m using this Instagram thing, right?
Support worker: No worries, anytime. Next time when I’m over we can go through it together.
Rebecca: Wow, he’s cute.
Rebecca: Tom makes me laugh and loves animals just like me. And it’s nice to have someone to chat with and I really like getting his messages.
Rebecca: Hello… this is new.
Support worker: How’s Instagram going? Meet anyone nice?
Rebecca: A few people.
Support worker: Like who?
Rebecca: Well… there is this one guy.
Rebecca: I’m not sure. He sent me one… should I send one back? After all we are friends…right? 
Rebecca: I trusted him. He tricked me into sending a nude. I feel so stupid.
Support worker: Bec, this is not OK.  Is Tom threatening you? Has he shared your private photos? 
Rebecca: I thought the photos were just for him.  I don’t want him showing them to others.  
Support worker: About what you said the other day. I did some training with eSafety about this. This is called image-based abuse.  It’s not OK for him to share or threaten to share your nude or intimate photos without your consent. You can say no to someone even if they’re your friend. They shouldn’t force you to do something that you’re not OK with. 
Rebecca: I don’t want anyone to see these photos. 
Support worker: We can report it to eSafety if you want.
Rebecca: Yes, I want the photos taken down.  
Support worker: Why don’t we take screenshots of Tom’s threats and his username, so we have evidence.  
Rebecca: We contacted eSafety. They said I should stop all contact with Tom, so I blocked him. eSafety reported Tom’s account to Instagram who took it down.   
Rebecca: Alice, can you help me go through my followers? I’d like to get rid of everyone I don’t know well. And let’s change my account to private.
Rebecca: I feel safer using my social media now.
 

Rebecca's story

Audio

Rebecca’s story – transcript of audio

Rebecca: It’s hard to make friends after high school. I’m not sure how much my disability plays into this. But I mean, you can’t just go and ask someone ‘hey, wanna be friends’? 
Support worker: Yep, and that’s how you create an account. Now you can share your photos. Here’s the animal rights account you wanted to follow.
Rebecca: Hey, can you be my back up, until I know I’m using this Instagram thing, right?
Support worker: No worries, anytime. Next time when I’m over we can go through it together.
Rebecca: Wow, he’s cute.
Rebecca: Tom makes me laugh and loves animals just like me. And it’s nice to have someone to chat with and I really like getting his messages.
Rebecca: Hello… this is new.
Support worker: How’s Instagram going? Meet anyone nice?
Rebecca: A few people.
Support worker: Like who?
Rebecca: Well… there is this one guy.
Rebecca: I’m not sure. He sent me one… should I send one back? After all we are friends…right? 
Rebecca: I trusted him. He tricked me into sending a nude. I feel so stupid.
Support worker: Bec, this is not OK.  Is Tom threatening you? Has he shared your private photos? 
Rebecca: I thought the photos were just for him.  I don’t want him showing them to others.  
Support worker: About what you said the other day. I did some training with eSafety about this. This is called image-based abuse.  It’s not OK for him to share or threaten to share your nude or intimate photos without your consent. You can say no to someone even if they’re your friend. They shouldn’t force you to do something that you’re not OK with. 
Rebecca: I don’t want anyone to see these photos. 
Support worker: We can report it to eSafety if you want.
Rebecca: Yes, I want the photos taken down.  
Support worker: Why don’t we take screenshots of Tom’s threats and his username, so we have evidence.  
Rebecca: We contacted eSafety. They said I should stop all contact with Tom, so I blocked him. eSafety reported Tom’s account to Instagram who took it down.   
Rebecca: Alice, can you help me go through my followers? I’d like to get rid of everyone I don’t know well. And let’s change my account to private.
Rebecca: I feel safer using my social media now.


 

Rebecca's story - Audio Description

More resources

Check out eSafety's other resources for disability workers, including posters, conversation starters and a wallet card.