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Campaign launched to raise awareness of technology abuse
This valentine’s, Glow is highlighting the rise in technology being used to control their partners.

This valentine’s, Glow is highlighting the rise in technology being used to control their partners.

It comes as reports show there has been a 1,800% increase in reports of cyber abuse over the last 5 years with over a third of these being carried out by current or former partners.

Figures released from national domestic abuse charity, Refuge, show 3/4 of people who seek their help are being abused through technology.

Tony* attended a Spot the Signs course, ran by Glow’s Sunrise recovery centre. He didn’t realise he had been subjected to abuse via technology until then. “It started off as phone calls and texts daily which grew to constant calls and messages from early morning to late at night.

“These calls, texts, and voicemails gradually got worse and became threatening and intense. As the weeks went by they became intense with swearing, name calling and demands which if I didn’t meet she would threaten me with not seeing the kids or to make hoax phone calls to social services.

“It affected my job as she would threaten to turn up or phone in sick for me even if I was on my way to work or already there.

“She had many different Facebook accounts, WhatsApp accounts and phones so was able to keep harassing me using these different accounts and devices.

“The whole experience led me to become scared when my phone made a sound and I started to resent having a mobile.”

Paul* also experienced abuse via technology, this time after leaving his partner: “She used social media to spread lies about me claiming that I stole furnishings and white goods from our home.

“She started a campaign of using Facebook to accuse me of attempting to foster her friend’s child just to use the child to make money.

“Some of her allegations had other people online saying that I should be arrested and imprisoned.”

Paul* also claims his ex-partner accessed his Google, Netflix and YouTube accounts.

“I was logging on to find upsetting and inappropriate videos on my profile, including a Vietnamese TV show about cheating partners getting their comeuppance and videos I wouldn’t want the children to see.

“It made me feel scared. There were, and still are times when I’m afraid to leave my home.”

ICT Manager at Honeycomb Group, Darren Penny, said “New technology is brilliant for connecting us to others and having lots of information instantly at our fingertips. It should make our lives easier and better and make us stronger. However, these devices can hold so much information about us, we need better understanding how to protect ourselves using them when we are online.

“We automatically assume that our phones and technology are safe and secure, but we really to get savvy using them and to take security seriously.”

Darren recommends a few things that can help keep you safe online. These include using two factor authentication on all your online account, strong passwords and change them every 6 weeks and using biometric login for your phone, such as fingerprint or face recognition.

For extra security, Darren suggests using a VPN App when shopping or banking online. If you need more help, he suggests getting help a respected tech supplier.

Read more about ways to stay safe online and tell if your phone has been bugged here.

Need someone to talk to or know someone who does?

If you are in immediate danger please call 999

Get in touch 0330 0945 559

CALL 0330 094 5559, OR 999 IN AN EMERGENCY

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