Victims stalked and harassed by perpetrators using mobile technologies.

16:18 Nov 13 2014 Victoria, Australia

New research by the Domestic Violence Resource Centre Victoria, which is conducting the training, has found that victims of family violence are being stalked and harassed by perpetrators using mobile technologies.

Ninety-seven per cent of the domestic violence workers who participated in the survey research said that abusers were using mobile technologies such as smartphones and social media platforms to stalk and abuse women.

Eighty per cent of women surveyed reported receiving text messages that made them feel afraid and 63 per cent were made to feel they were being tracked or followed.

Lead SmartSafe researcher Dr Delanie Woodlock said: "Victims of domestic violence are being monitored and controlled through the use of mobile technologies.

"This can cause a great amount of fear for women.

"This surveillance can occur during the relationship and then usually increases when the woman leaves.

"While stalking behaviours are not uncommon within domestic violence, mobile technologies allow abusers the opportunity to control and intimidate the victim easily, instantaneously and at a distance."

The research found that non-consensual sexting is occurring within domestic violence, and that women are being threatened with the release of sexual images and videos that were either taken consensually or without consent during the relationship.

"Women experiencing domestic violence should be able to use mobile technologies safely and to remain connected to friends, family and community," Lauren Caulfield, trainer with the Domestic Violence Resource Centre, said.
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