Family Law Blog

Domestic Violence Gone Digital: Internet-Enabled Abuse

Friday, April 24, 2020

There was a time when the use of technology in domestic violence cases was limited to harassment on the internet, and surveillance and tracking through cameras, cell phones, and computers. As detailed by The New York TimesCNBCSlate, and countless other outlets, the constant stream of internet-enabled "smart" devices has drastically altered the landscape of technology in domestic violence. The exponentially growing number of smart devices now serves as an ever-increasing armory of sophisticated weapons to wield in cases of domestic violence.


The ability to track a victim's technological and physical activity has only increased with the ubiquity of cellphones, apps, and wearable technology. Online harassment has evolved from emails and message boards to "doxxing" (releasing private information) and revenge porn. Technology and internet-enabled devices have not only made older forms of abuse easier, but introduced entirely new acts of abuse as well.

Abusers can take advantage of this smart technology to lock and unlock doors, adjust the thermostat, and control the power to lights, speakers, electronics, or even automobiles. Technological abuse can be used to demonstrate complete and utter control of the victim themselves as well as their surroundings without even having to be present at the time. It can be used to portray the victim as deluded and undermine their claims of violence. Further, it can be used to impose digital, emotional—and in the case of cars and internet-enabled locks—physical isolation from their support systems and escape options.

Learn More About Internet-Enabled Abuse

If you suspect you or someone you know is the victim of domestic violence, contact us today so we can help you and your loved ones escape from abusive and unsafe situations. With over four decades of experience and distinguished records of success in family law and domestic violence, our tailor-made strategies and personalized representation will help ensure your safety and achieve your goals better than any other firm.