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.