Stalking is a crime. And it is serious. While legal definitions of stalking vary from one jurisdiction to another, a good working definition of stalking is a course of conduct directed at a specific person that would cause a reasonable person to feel fear. Stalking behaviors can include:
Constantly evolving technology and expanding social media options have created new levels of risk for people affected by domestic abuse, dating violence and stalking.
Abusers frequently misuse technology to harass, frighten, threaten or stalk their partners. Some examples:
- Using GPS in vehicles or phones to track victims’ location.
- Hacking into email and social media accounts.
- Harassing or threatening via phone calls or texts.
- Pressuring victim to send nude photos, then sharing or threatening to share them.
- Filming victims without consent.
- Using key logging software to monitor a victim’s computer activities.
At the same time, technology has opened up new opportunities both for victims to seek help, and for the community to respond. Online acvitism against violence is raising new awareness of the issue, and advocates are finding new ways to reach out to people affected by abuse, and to help.
MCEDV provides training, consultation and technical assistance around issues of digital abuse and technology safety. Local domestic violence resource centers provide help in safety planning options related to technology. To learn more, please contact our office at 207.430.8334 or email@example.com, or call your local domestic violence resource center.