Leaving a marriage can already be stressful. However, when abusive behavior and technology get thrown into the mix, it can make matters even more complicated.
Those involved in an unhealthy marriage may be having their every move tracked by their ex-spouse. These situations can be dangerous if the victim is trying to regain control of their life while the abuser, who has lost control, is going to drastic measures to get it back.
Abusers now have endless options for surveillance
In previous decades, abusers had limited options available to stalk their former spouses. But by having tracking devices and other spyware available at their fingertips, abusers can exert more power over their victims than ever before. Often, they will take advantage of apps initially used for keeping tabs on their children and use it to stalk and harass their former partner.
In a recent report, a woman tried to escape her abusive husband after he forced her to quit her job and installed tracking devices on her phone and home computer. When she attempted to leave on two separate occasions, he found out because he said he was tracking her whereabouts.
Escaping an abuser’s digital control
While everyone’s circumstances are different, these are some moves victims can make:
- Change passwords for bank accounts, social media profiles and email accounts frequently.
- Get new devices, including phones and other electronics.
- Use the buddy system while traveling to and from different locations.
- Develop a codeword and give it to family members so the victim can signal if they are in danger.
- Invest in window locks, grates and other home security measures.
- Put bells on the windows or doors of the victim’s home
- Have a friend or a family member randomly check up on the victim’s home so they have a better chance of catching the stalker in action.
- Ask local authorities to patrol the area.
Stalking victims should consider a protection order
As abusers’ easy access to technology has increased the severity of stalking, it can give victims a reason to feel anxious at all hours of the day. After the victim has reported the abuse to local authorities, they may want to consider reaching out to an experienced and diligent attorney. They can help them understand their rights and file a restraining order.