Survey: Technology Abuse & Experiences of Survivors and Victim Service
survey conducted by the Safety Net Project at NNEDV, nearly 90% of
programs report that survivors come to them for help after abusers intimidated
and made threats via cell phone, text messages and email, and 75% of programs
noted that abusers accessed victim’s accounts (email, social media, etc.)
without the victim’s consent and oftentimes without their knowledge.
Intimidation, threats, and access of information about victims aren’t new
tactics within the context of domestic violence, sexual assault, stalking, or
trafficking. However, the use of technology as a tool to facilitate these
tactics means that the harassment and abuse can be much more invasive, intensive, and traumatizing.
Technology gives abusers more methods of controlling and
monitoring victims. Seventy-two percent of programs reported that a survivor’s
location is being tracked by smart phones or other devices; more than half of
the programs report that survivors are saying abusers are spoofing caller ID
(manipulating caller ID so that it appears as though someone other than the
abuser is calling); and nearly 70% of programs report that abusers are posting
pictures or videos of victims online for the purpose of distressing or harming
the victim. Programs also report that survivors are asking for help on how to
manage their technology and stay safe while using them. Survivors frequently
ask for help with cell phones (71%); followed by how to manage location
privacy, whether through cell phones or other location devices (62%), and
computer or laptop use (56%).
These two newest infographics show how technology is being
misused by abusers against survivors. NNEDV conducted a survey of more than 750
victim service agencies across the United States, including American Samoa,
Guam, the Northern Mariana Islands, and the U.S. Virgin Islands, through
a grant from the Office for Victims of Crime. This is one of the most
comprehensive reviews of what survivors are telling victim service providers
about how abusers misuse technology to harass, stalk, and harm.
Hafa Adai Friday Everyone! Get a good read out of this article from San Francisco KCBS regarding the "National Network to End Domestic Violence (NNEDV) Safety Net Technology Summit 2014" that our GCASAFV Representatives are currently attending!
SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS)— A domestic violence prevention summit
is underway in San Jose where the focus is on issues dealing with technology,
stalking and trafficking.
Some people might not realize that potential stalkers can
use a victim’s smartphone to find out where they are. The conference is
reminding people to turn off location services, or if you leave them on, be
sure that any apps that are location aware are turned off or not displaying
People would probably be surprised at how many apps actually
use location services. It’s not just the obvious ones like Google Maps or the
map app built into your iPhone. Most or just about all social networking apps
like Foursquare, Facebook, Twitter all have these tracking components. It’s not
so much to spy on you, but geolocation allows you to check in, but also it can
gather information so that advertising can be catered to your whereabouts.
Think of how handy this comes in when using the Yelp app
when you want to find a restaurant in unfamiliar territory.
This may seem obvious, but make sure potential abusers don’t
have your passwords. This would likely be in the case of a previous spouse or
significant other. If you end up replacing your phone, make sure you don’t just
update it with data from your own phone; do it manually so you don’t get any
spyware on the new device.