In an online age, it’s difficult for domestic abuse victims to stay under-the-radar. Abusers seek to control their victims by gaining as much information about them as possible and now have a variety of tools to do so. Meanwhile, victims are turning to online communication to deal with feelings of isolation, according to Vicki Berenson, Technology Coordinator for the Wisconsin Coalition Against Domestic Violence (WCADV).
Vicki Berenson (:20)
Behaviors such as harassment, bullying and stalking can all be done in the virtual sense through these social networking sites.
Berenson suggests familiarizing oneself with sites’ privacy settings. A task she admits can be difficult; for example Facebook has settings which are six-pages long.
Abusers may even send spyware to the computer of their victim, or victim’s friends, to track their activity.
The domestic violence advocate says keep in mind there is an electronic component for virtually everything now; when signing up for a “frequent shopper” program, personal information may be entered into a database.
Berenson also suggests victims contact an abuse advocate for information and to not have to deal with the problem alone.