Technology is a double-edged sword for domestic violence victims.

Twenty years ago, victims of domestic violence changed their phone numbers when they chose to leave their abusers behind. At least for the time being, it protects them from calls and messages.

Today, the process of disconnecting with an abuser is even more complicated. If the victim rejects the guardian’s number, the abuser may turn to apps that allow them to simulate their calls with another number or voice.

The New London-based Safety Resources, a London-based organization that helps victims of domestic violence in southeastern Connecticut, has opened up new avenues for law enforcement and human rights abusers to monitor and monitor their victims.

There is no shortage of tracking devices – including the phones we carry with us – on the devices around us. New technology has made it no longer possible for hunters to hide on a dark street or in the back of a car. Abusers can evict their victims at any moment, from the comfort of their own home.

“You have all the tools you need to chase someone,” said Katie Verano, executive director of Safe Futures. She said abusers, such as home helpers, iPhones and baby displays, could “catch victims at home” or monitor their situation outside the home.

“Every time we think we have won a hunt in our field, there are five more tools we do not know. “A new app or a new device will take the place of everything we win.”

In real time

According to Safe Futures Education and Community Engagement Director Nazmi Ojeda, victims’ cell phones have increased their control over their victims.

“Imagine a victim – on a day without a cell phone – a friend who knows how long it takes to get home from the grocery store, to the gas station, to school, and back home,” she said. “Now let’s add the iPhone, with GPS tracking and family share plan, now your partner is connected to where you are and how to spend your money, in real time.”

She says they can respond instantly.

“They can send you a message when you go to the grocery store. When you go home. You are driving now and you are pinging your cell phone, ”she said. No matter what you do, someone is involved in every move.

“I was sitting with the victims in my office, asking for help and their phones exploding with their partner ‘Where are you?’ In 15 minutes we are talking about 50 articles.

And she says those texts can quickly change from normal to intimidating.

That constant contact “has a myriad of opportunities for victims to be cut off because there are countless other forums where they can talk to victims,” ​​Verano said. And she says, “You can’t turn off every notification on their cell phone.” ”

Safe Futures to donate track phones often requires donations.

“They did not realize it was happening.”

According to Brian Wright, chief of New London Police Department, these surveillance and surveillance systems often develop out of concern. “It starts with social media,” he said. “The first thing you do, especially for young couples, is to follow each other’s social media platform, then they can start sharing passwords.”

Based on this, he said, one develops an observer who observes, where it is posted or who likes the posts. For a jealous or controlling partner, these behaviors can quickly escalate into abuse.

“Then it starts to get out of control.

He encouraged ordinary people as well to take part in solving this great task: “One of the things you and other people can do is keep up the pressure … there are going to be some difficult decisions for government”.

When it comes to social media, young people and parents “need to understand the pros and cons, what they do and what they don’t do in all forums,” he said. Pay attention to which apps monitor and share your location; Who can get that information and why; And try to disable access to posts when local sharing and connections end as you wish to enable them at startup.

Verano also said it is important to control, abusive relationships do not usually start this way; They grow up with behaviors that are becoming more and more complex.

“When you receive five articles from your new boyfriend, it’s new and unique,” she said. “And that’s how it grows. It’s not like someone does these things with a bat, because if they did, that relationship or even that behavior would not be fun.”

Verano: “Many people think, ‘I will never allow that to happen to me.’ But you do not realize that this is happening.

Ongoing discussion

According to Wright, from law enforcement, the best way to combat domestic violence is to have sustainable, healthy conversations and to share resources with people in need.

“We all need to work together to be educated, and we are actively involved, and we are open to that discussion,” he said. They get out of control and lead to some tragedy. “

Last month, a young couple were killed in New London. In the hours and days leading up to the incident, his friends reported that the dangerous behavior of Nickiary Rodriguez had worsened to 18-year-old Arisley Beatista.

Batista’s close friend Jania Williams Rodriguez told Batista that he would record her speech on his old cell phone that day. When Williams saw her friend alive for the last time, Rodriguez repeatedly threatened to steal or kill her. That night Rodriguez shot and killed Batista several times and then committed suicide.

Ojeda is the key to ongoing conversations, and does not limit the victim’s behavior to parents or friends trying to protect the victim. The feature is to encourage them to think about what it is costing them.

Ojeda: “Ask them how often and why they will interact with their partner in a way that will improve the way they think.

Instead of restricting their chances of using their cell phone or laptop by doing so, instead of criticizing your spouse, say, “Put the stress on your own child or this person is someone you care about.”

“You’re not making a negative impact on another person’s behavior,” she said.

These days, especially during the Covenant-19 epidemic, people rely on their phones for communication and community. It is a tool for accessing information and is often a social issue that should not be avoided, says Ojeda.

“We do not want to encourage people to isolate themselves from the communities in which they are a part,” she said. So instead of talking about deleting, sharing, or saving their loved ones’ social media, “the discussion should be about safety planning and demarcation.”

Ojeda often asks young people to add things like math to this discussion. “Let’s think about how much this costs you,” she says. “How much do you pay?”

She reminds them that constantly reporting to their partner can be time-consuming and time-consuming. Worrying that they do not have a cell phone to send a text message to their partner is disturbing them. Checking at the end of the day makes them sleepy.

“Now that we know what this is going to cost you day by day, I say let’s multiply that by week, by month. Where do you see yourself in one year with this person? ‘ She says. “And I remind them that healthy relationships add value to our lives, they don’t take it.”

Two aspects of the coin

Making information available to people and their location throughout the day has aggravated the lives of many victims of domestic violence.

But in some cases, phones and computers can be life lines or evidence.

“There is a good line between the help and the harm that this technology can do,” said Josh Adams, a spokesman for Safe Futures. Abusers can use the victim’s cell phone to track the whereabouts of a victim and to limit the person’s ability to communicate.

Phones, however, can be double-edged swords. Sometimes the victim’s digital fingerprint can help a victim who takes legal action. Our phones are devices. It makes a difference who is using that device and why.

Ojeda agrees. “There are many ways in which people are affected by the extent of their access to each other. If technology creates access to the bad, we have to remember that it creates access to the good; there are two sides to the coin,” she said.

That’s why it’s important to adjust conversations to promote healthy relationships, she said; It promotes communication, not disrupts relationships and communities.

“We can not be afraid of how the world is changing, we have to adapt,” she said. “It is wise to have up-to-date information on how to use the survivors of these technologies and it is our responsibility as domestic violence providers, not to create fear or perpetuate humiliation.”

Although the situation is always changing, Ojeda says the victims are always reminded of the value of self-determination and their relationship with one another.

“It’s not about telling people to get out of the grid,” she said, “it’s about finishing.


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