Domestic abuse update

Partner Debra Frazer

Partner Debra Frazer discusses the rise of “tech abuse” in relation to domestic abuse.

With the rise in recent years of technology being used on a day to day basis in the form of smart phones, tablets and gaming devices so too has there been a rise in domestic abuse victims who have suffered what is known as “tech abuse”. 

Some examples of tech abuse which are being facilitated by modern technology are: 

  • Receiving constant telephone calls/multiple text messages/messages online.
  • Your friends and family members receiving constant calls/messages/‘friend requests’ from your ex-partner/abuser.
  • Receiving threats to share any information about you online such as private and confidential information.
  • Your ex-partner/abuser using fake social media profiles to stalk/harass you.

Whilst on the one hand the technological advances that have been made are amazing and help the vast majority of the public in their day to day lives, they also provide another way in which people can be abused.

Worryingly, children’s gaming devices such as Xbox and PlayStation can also be used by domestic abuse perpetrators to obtain information such as where a child, and their parent, is living, who they are speaking to and so on. This is especially concerning when a victim has managed to escape their perpetrator yet they are still able to be tracked by them.

It is also possible for people to have their locations tracked through legitimate and easily downloadable apps on smartphones, tablets & computers.  A quick search online provides immediate information as to how to legally track someone’s location without them knowing.  

According to the most recent government figures released, the Crime Survey for England and Wales (CSEW) for the year ending March 2019, an estimated 7.5% of women (1.6 million) and 3.8% of men (786,000) experienced domestic abuse in the last year.

Refuge (the UK’s largest national domestic abuse charity) reports that one woman in four at some point in her life in England and Wales will be affected by domestic violence, and 2 women are killed every week. 

If you are suffering any form of domestic abuse you can contact any of our highly experienced Family Law Partners for advice and assistance.  In addition you can contact a domestic abuse charity for support or contact the Police for assistance if necessary. 

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