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Glimpse From the Field: How Abusers Are Misusing Technology

NCJ Number
Date Published
6 pages
This report presents findings of a 2014 survey of victim service providers conducted by the National Network To End Domestic Violence to determine the impact of domestic-violence perpetrators' use of technology in victimizing their intimate partners, as well as the types of technology they have used in their abuse.
Of the 346 respondents from 46 States, the District of Columbia, Guam, American Samoa, and the U.S. Virgin Islands, 97 percent indicated that victims who have sought their services were being harassed, monitored, and threatened by offenders through their misuse of technology. The majority of survey respondents were associated with domestic violence programs (44 percent) or a combination of domestic violence and sexual assault programs (40 percent). Seventy-nine percent of respondents reported that abusers monitored victims' social media accounts; 79 percent indicated that abusers monitored victims by text messages; 71 percent reported that abusers monitored victims' computer activities; and 78 percent reported that emails were used to harass victims. Another tactic reported was the posting of sexually explicit images or videos of victims online without their consent. The children of victims have also been monitored and harassed in similar ways through the children's cell phones and computers. The victims of such tactics come to victim services organizations inquiring about how to use their technology safely and how to counter abusers' misuse of technology. Survey respondents noted that they needed more training on basic safety planning in the use of technology so they can better assist victims of abuse in protecting themselves from perpetrators' misuse of technology. 8 tables