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Domestic Abuse & Smart Technology: Wielding Power from an App

At the Law Firm for Family Law, our Clearwater, FL domestic violence attorneys are all too aware of an expanding trend in abusers controlling their victims’ lives using smart technology – wielding power from afar using connected apps.

Pinellas County, and the entire State of Florida passed the Sexual Cyberharassment Law, which makes it illegal to publish sexually explicit photos, videos, or physical representations of another online. The law in this offensive area is very clear, and prosecutable. However, the newest controlling tactics being used by abusive partners is the latest crusade for attorneys who work tirelessly to protect the victims of these circumstances, including our lawyers.

How Are Abusers Using Smart Technology to Control Their Victims?

Domestic violence is a widespread issue throughout the United States and Florida.

According to the Centers for Disease Control:

  • One in three women have been victims of stalking or physical violence by an intimate partner
  • One in four men have suffered the same hardships

The uptick in technologically controlling a victim’s circumstances stems directly from the popularity of smart home technology.

  • In 2017, there were an estimated 29 million homes in the U.S. that used at least one form of smart technology
  • Growth in the use of smart technology is expected at 31% each year

The National Domestic Violence Hotline has reported increased contact with victims who are experiencing controlling atmosphere’s in their home with smart technology that can be controlled by their abusers using an app.

Examples of manipulative smart technology can include, but are not limited to:

  • Security cameras and monitoring systems
  • Remote door locks
  • Lights
  • Thermostats
  • Speaker systems
  • Home appliances

Abusive relationships are about power and control. When the abuser can control his or her victim’s home life, during their relationship, or even after the relationship has been terminated, the abuse is all-encompassing. Those who are enduring the abuse day in and day out feel trapped, helpless, violated, and terrified by the technology that was meant to keep them connected and safe. Something must be done to help those who are being victimized.

Seek Help Safely: Call The Law Office of Family Law Today

At The Law Office for Family Law, our domestic violence attorneys in Clearwater, FL understands the pain victims are enduring, and we want to help by listening to your story and providing solutions. Contact our divorce attorneys at (727) 777-6903 to begin the process of removing yourself from an abusive relationship or circumstances while examining how to hold your abuser responsible.

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