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Domestic Abuse and Technology

Mikayla Shearer

What to do if your significant other is controlling you by monitoring your social media accounts and electronic devices.

Due to the current pandemic, the only form of communication that many of us have to one another is through electronic means such as text, e-mail, or social media. The current stay at home orders have led to an increase in domestic abuse. Unfortunately, many feel they do not have a choice but to stay. Others are afraid if they reach out for help that their abuser will find out. In many instances of domestic abuse, the abuser will force their significant other to give them their cell phone to go through text messages or may demand that all passwords to any social media accounts be provided to them. The abuser will go through phone records and go to great lengths to intimidate in order to feel that they are in control.

Sometimes victims may not be aware that their significant other has access to their accounts. There are programs that can be used to allow someone to see the text messages being sent by phone. A situation that commonly occurs is when you log onto to another’s electronic device and forget to sign off. This allows the owner of the device to continue to have access to those online accounts. Be sure to always log out if you are using a device that is not your own to enter passwords. You may also want to change your passwords on a regular basis ensure the security of your account.

Many times, abusers will also hide tracking devices on their victim’s vehicle so they can monitor their location at all times. The victim may go months if not longer without ever knowing their location is being tracked.

Your significant other insisting on invading your privacy isn’t a romantic gesture or a way to show they care; it is abuse and a way to control you. If you are currently in a domestic abuse situation, please reach out to one of the resources listed below.

If you are not currently experiencing an emergency, and would like to speak with a family lawyer about domestic violence, protection orders, and your options, call or contact us online.

Domestic Violence & Child Abuse Resources:

SafeHouse Denver:
www.safehouse-denver.org
303-318-9989 (24 hour crisis line)

National Domestic Violence Hotline:
www.thehotline.org
1-800-799-SAFE (7233) (24 hour crisis line. Chat available)

Colorado Child Abuse and Neglect Hotline:
www.co4kids.org
844-CO-4-KIDS (24 hour crisis line)

The Center for Trauma & Resilience:
traumah Domestic Abuse and Technologyealth.org
303-894-8000 (English), 303-718-8289 (Spanish) (24 hour crisis line)

The Crisis Center, Douglas County:
www.twcfoc.org
303-688-8484

Women In Crisis / The Family Tree, Jefferson County:
www.thefamilytree.org
303-420-6752

Project Safeguard:
www.psghelps.org
720-827-3282

Gateway Battered Women’s Services, Arapahoe County:
www.gatewayshelter.org
303-343-1851

Violence Free Colorado:
www.violencefreecolorado.org
303-831-9632

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If you are in need of a compassionate, skilled, and experienced Colorado family law attorney, The Harris Law Firm can help. If you have a legal question about a domestic relations issue, including divorce and the allocation of parental rights, please complete our contact form below. A member of our legal team will be in touch with you soon to arrange a private consultation with one of our experienced attorneys. Together we can find a resolution.
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