Tech abuse

Digital, or tech, abuse occurs through mobile phones, computers, or social media platforms (like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or Snapchat). It can be a text or a picture with messages, emails or on social media. It is also digital abuse if someone is monitoring what you do on your phone or computer. You have the right to your own personal life!

People who have been abused online often experience anger, anxiety, depression and feelings of no control of their life. People feel like they have no privacy and are likely to self-isolate and experience helplessness.

Tech abuse is real, even though it can be invisible to you. If you have a feeling that something isn't right, here are signs that you may be experiencing tech abuse.

  • Your partner or ex-partner is constantly checking up on you.
  • Someone demands seeing your phone, knowing your passwords or that you share your location with them.
  • Your partner or ex-partner keeps showing up wherever you are.
  • Your messages or photos disappear.
  • Your friends get messages from you that you haven't sent.
  • You get a notification on your phone that AirTag is active near you.

It could be digital abuse if someone:

  • Belittles or degrades you through social media.
  • Tag or identify you in degrading or offensive pictures.
  • Threatens to talk bad about you or tell stories about you online.
  • Steal or demands access to your passwords for email, bank accounts, or social media accounts.
  • Control who can be your friends or followers on social media and with whom you can talk to through social media.
  • Signs in to your social media accounts in your name.
  • Threatens to show someone nude or sexual pictures of you.
  • Sends you naked pictures of themselves that you do not want to receive.
  • Uses some form of technology, such as GPS, AirTags or webcams, to monitor you.

It is always best to talk to someone about how you are feeling and what you are experiencing. If you want assistance, contact these abuse support centres: Bjarkarhlíð in Reykjavík or Bjarmahlíð in Akureyri. It doesn‘t matter how long it has been since the abuse occurred.

If you witness any inappropriate online content regarding children, you can report it through Barnaheill’s tipline.

Do you recognize abuse?

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Andri was very happy when he swept right on the picture of Helga and found out that she was interested in him as well. They went to the same secondary school, Helga was a year older, popular and much prettier – in Andri’s opinion. They started chatting through the app and soon began flirting.

But now Andri feels really bad, Helga had asked him for a nude photo and intended to send one of herself back which she then never did. Helga sent the photo to her friends and now everyone is looking at Andri’s naked body. Helga thinks this is all funny and downplays Andri’s objections. She even posted their chat on Insta and everyone at the school has liked it.

Is this abuse? Pick your answer:

Available support

See all support


Bjarkarhlíð is a center for people who have experienced abuse. There you get all the support and counseling you need in one place. All assistance is on your terms.


Stígamót helps people of all genders who have been sexually abused.

Þrjár dökkhærðar stelpur sitja á grasi. Þær snúa baki í myndavélina og spjalla saman.

Save the Children

Save the Children (Barnaheill) offers consultation about the welfare of children. On their website, it is possible to report inappropriate online behaviour against children.

Online safety

It’s important to be aware of potential risks with technology. Read about how to use your devices and accounts safely.

Manneskja heldur um gagnaugun og yfir henni vofir regnský. Hún er leið á svipinn.  Önnur manneskja heldur regnhlíf yfir höfði hennar til að skýla henni fyrir regninu.

Financial abuse

Financial abuse is when someone cheats you of your money, steals from you, or denies you access to your money.

Manneskja styður höndum á gagnaugun. Henni líður greinilega illa. Eldingar eru teiknaðar hjá höfðinu.