A Devon and Cornwall PCSO hopes his story of domestic abuse survival will encourage people to seek help.
South West: Domestic Violence Cyberstalking Danger
One in five women and one in 10 men report being stalked at some point in their lives (British Crime Survey 2009/10)
Stalking is a key factor in many domestic abuse cases and is predominantly committed by a former partner after a relationship has ended.
With the growth of internet use the popularity of the internet and social networking sites, cyber stalking has opened up a whole new element of risk for victims of domestic abuse.
Domestic abuse ex-partners often have access to victims computers, mobiles and often know the on and offline habits as well as knowing their victims passwords and security questions.
The Internet and mobile devices such as smart phones and tablets (a mobile computer) have made it easier to find and contact people directly as well as find personal information.
These new technologies provide perpetrators of domestic abuse with an 'extra tool' to hurt, abuse and humiliate victims.
Cyberstalkers target their victims through social media platforms, chat rooms, message boards, discussion forums, and e-mail.
- Cyberstalking takes many forms such as
- Spamming (in which a stalker sends a victim a multitude of junk mail)
- Live chat harassment or flaming (online verbal abuse)
- Leaving improper messages on message boards or in guest books
- Sending electronic viruses · Sending unsolicited e-mail or direct messages
- Tracing another person's computer and Internet activity · Electronic identity theft
- Spywear installed on phone or computer
- Passwords changing or no longer working
- Files and contacts disappearing from a computer
- Money taken from bank accounts or goods been bought without permission
Cyberstalking behaviour can include:
- False accusations
- Gathering information about the victim
- Monitoring their target's online activities
- Encouraging others to harass the victim
False victimisation Types of stalkers Stalkers can range from people with a crush that seek attention to more serious stalkers that enjoy the risk factor and might cause harm and be violent towards the victim
Types of stalkers can include;
- Intimacy Seeker
- Incompetent Suitor's
- Rejected stalker
- A Predator
If you or someone you know is experiencing domestic abuse, please the confidential Devon Helpline on 0345 155 1074.
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