As technology continues to evolve, so do the various tools for domestic abuse. In recent years, law researchers have been investigating the problem, and the legislatures have been forming ways to curb the problem and punish the perpetrators.
With the prevalence of technology-assisted domestic violence, more and more people find themselves stumped to report their case, wondering whether their arguments will hold water in a court of law. This blog provides an overview of this growing concern and gives details on some of the most damaging types of violence that Indianapolis attorneys can help you with.
Smart Home Technology
According to research, the use of smart home technology has recorded a significant surge from a mere 17 million in 2015 to a whopping 25 million in 2017. The system contains features such as internet integrated door locks, vacuum cleaners, lights, thermostats, refrigerators and televisions among other appliances. Abusers ensure to have the codes and passwords to the system and use the access to monitor, control, and harass people in their homes.
Some states managed to account for smart home technology in domestic violence, and have provisions for putting perpetrators under restraining orders. However, this does not always work as a person can switch off the light or alter the temperature of a home without breaking the restraining order. In such scenarios, other, more stringent measures are used on the perpetrator to stop smart home technology abuse.
Technology Aided Stalking
Stalking is often categorized as attempted homicide in domestic abuse cases. According to research, there are plenty of tracking and spyware applications readily available for download even on official app stores. Additionally, there are other legitimate apps that end up being misused by abusers. For instance, an app meant to control what your child sees on their phone is used to read deleted messages on a partner’s phone. In other cases, abusers use apps intended to locate a lost phone to track the exact position of their victim, thus following them there. Abusers are also using social media, blogs, and websites to obtain photos, names, contact information, and other personal details about their victims.
Nonconsensual Sharing of Intimate Images
It happens when an abuser, often a former intimate spouse, or partner publicly shares what is meant to be private sexual content without the victim’s consent. These could include messages, videos, and photos of the victim. Most states have made it a criminal offence and a domestic abuse case to consciously publish, transmit, distribute, sell, advertise, or make available intimate content of a person, while fully aware that the person in the content has not given consent to such operations.
Data shows that women of ages 18-29 years are at the highest risk of technology-assisted domestic abuse. In the same study, at least 26% of the women interviewed had been stalked online at least once, while 25% had been sexually harassed. Additionally, at least 60% of women knew who their abuser was, and in most cases, this abuser was a former or current partner or spouse. That said, if you are your loved one is experiencing technology-based abuse, do not hesitate to seek help from the authorities through a competent lawyer.