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Tech abuse

Domestic violence takes lives and ruins lives, affecting one woman in four at some point in her life in England and Wales alone, and killing two women every week. Modern technology gives perpetrators ever-growing ways to stalk, isolate and control women using the tools of everyday life.

Across Refuge’s services, perpetrators – partners and ex-partners – are increasingly using technology to facilitate their abuse of the women we support. Abusers can and have gained access to women’s personal and home devices, their online accounts and even children’s toys and devices.

We have found a rise in the number of women whose children’s IPads, Xboxes and PlayStations have been hacked by the perpetrator to gain full access to their accounts, to trace information such as the child’s location, who they are speaking to and what games they are playing.

Are you experiencing tech abuse?

  • Does your partner/abuser constantly call, text and message you online?
  • Does your partner/abuser publish posts about you online which encourage others to harass and abuse you?
  • Does your partner/abuser constantly call, message and send “friend requests” to your family and friends?
  • Does your partner/abuser harass you, your employer and your clients through business social media pages and work email addresses?
  • Has your partner/abuser threatened to share any information about you online such as confidential information, for example screenshots of messages, photos of you, or information that could cause you embarrassment?
  • Has your partner/abuser threatened to share or shared intimate images of you?
  • Does your partner/abuser seem to know about conversations that you have had without being present?
  • Does your partner/abuser give the children the latest tech gadgets during child contact? Does he play Xbox and PlayStation games with them online outside of his agreed contact time?
  • Does your partner/abuser have access to your banking and social media accounts, and assure you that it’s normal to have access to your partner’s information?
  • Does your partner/abuser know your whereabouts or turn up unexpectedly wherever you go?
  • Does your partner/abuser stalk and harass you via fake social media profiles?
  • Has your partner/abuser installed any apps such as ‘find my iPhone’ onto your device? Did he assure you that it is for your safety in case you lose your phone?

If you answered yes to any of the above questions, then you may be experiencing domestic violence. Abuse is a crime and it is never your fault. You don’t have to deal with this alone. Refuge is here to support you.


A male hand holding an iPhone and pointing towards the screen.

Our tech abuse service

Find out about our nationwide tech abuse and empowerment service and the support we offer survivors.

Learn more >

A close up of a woman holding a phone

Tech abuse and safety resources

Whether you’re a survivor or a professional, use these resources to equip you to understand how to use different devices, apps, websites and networks safely.

Learn more >

Euleen and Beth, survivors of tech abuse

Survivors’ stories

Hear the stories of two survivors of tech abuse, Euleen and Beth, who spoke at our Technological Abuse Project launch in 2017.

Learn more >