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Understanding Tech Abuse and Gaslighting

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Is there such a thing as ‘’tech abuse’’? If you have been the victim of tech abuse then you would say that tech abuse can be just as upsetting and hurtful as other forms of domestic violence and abuse, such as being made the subject of derogatory remarks or being constantly demeaned and belittled.

The top London divorce solicitors say that not only does tech abuse exist but also it is on the rise. That is not surprising given our reliance on technology and the fact that most of us spend inordinate amounts of time glued to our mobile telephones and on social media sites.

How can OTS Solicitors help?

If you are experiencing tech abuse or any other form of domestic abuse or if you have had allegations of domestic violence made against you then OTS Solicitors can help you. If necessary, OTS Solicitors can represent you in court proceedings for injunction orders or for orders relating to your children.

For a confidential discussion about how the family law team at OTS Solicitors can help you and your family please call the family law team on 02039 599123.

What is tech abuse?

It was not that many years ago that domestic violence within the family went unchallenged. Everyone knew that domestic abuse went on but there was a conspiracy of silence. Things have moved a long way. Now we know that a slap or a shove is not acceptable and that domestic violence in households affects men as well as women. The best London divorce solicitors say that, with changing attitudes towards domestic violence, there is a recognition that tech abuse is a form of coercion and control.

The top London divorce solicitors say that ‘’tech abuse’’ encompasses many different forms of abuse and control. For example, tech abuse can involve:

  • Revenge porn and the posting of explicit images on the internet without the consent of a former partner;
  • The sending of explicit images to a former partner’s friends, family or to their employer or threatening to do so;
  • Controlling use of technology, for example reading all text and social media exchanges with friends and family;
  • Monitoring movements  through use of mobile phone technology;
  • Posting derogatory comments on social media ;
  • Covert surveillance through tracking and tracing devices;
  • Harassment by repetitive or abusive texts or other types of social media messaging ;
  • Controlling financial expenditure through online banking and checking expenditure;
  • Hacking into email and social media accounts and thus breaching privacy.

Tech abuse, and its forms, are changing as fast as developments occur in information technology.

Remedies for tech abuse

Tech abuse is not just a bit of fun or a partner just being a ‘’bit overprotective’’. It can be intrusive and controlling. It can constitute harassment and domestic abuse.

The top London divorce solicitors advise that the remedies for tech abuse are just the same as the legal remedies for any other form of domestic abuse. Anyone who has experienced tech abuse should take legal advice from a specialist family solicitor to look at the option of applying for a non-molestation injunction order.

Non-molestation injunction orders

The top London divorce solicitors advise that non-molestation injunction orders can stop a former partner or spouse from using or threatening violence or prevent intimidation and harassment, including tech abuse.

The length of a non-molestation order is at the discretion of the family court. The non-molestation court order is usually made for anywhere between 3 and 12 months. If a former partner breaches the non-molestation order, the police can be called.

Emergency injunctions

In emergencies, it is possible to apply for an emergency injunction order. This is called a without notice injunction. In an emergency, there is no time for a solicitor to tell the person against whom the injunction order is being sought that the solicitor is making an application to the family court for a non-molestation injunction order.

The top London divorce solicitors say that this type of emergency court application is very useful where there is an immediate threat or a need for urgent action. A second court hearing will be listed after the emergency court hearing.

Online protection

Victims of tech abuse can be understandably wary of using the internet to secure legal advice from the best London divorce solicitors. If technology is being used as a weapon against you or you are wary of your partner or ex-partner finding out that you are taking legal advice because they are tech savvy it is natural to be anxious about your internet search history.

If you access the internet search topics such as divorce, injunctions or domestic violence then your partner may be able to trace the websites you have looked at. That means you need to delete any browsing history.

If your mobile phone is being monitored then you need to think about not just deleting your recent call history but not taking your phone to a solicitor’s appointment and buying a pay as you go mobile.

It is easy to feel very overwhelmed when you are the subject of tech abuse as technology is everywhere and there are many forms of tech abuse, from monitoring your laptop use to covert surveillance. If you are being harassed or intimidated then domestic violence organizations and top London divorce solicitors can help you.

Sometimes it is hard to realise that what you initially thought was caring behaviour has become a form of control, when movements are monitored and you do not have freedom of tech usage or movement. If you find that you are in that situation then help is at hand.

How can OTS Solicitors help you?

OTS Solicitors divorce and family law team advise on all aspects of domestic violence, divorce, and family and children law.

OTS Solicitors provide sensitive, caring advice and can talk to you about your options if you are experiencing domestic violence or tech abuse or have had allegations made against you and are worried about what may happen next.

For a confidential discussion about how the family law team at OTS Solicitors can help you and your family please call us on 02039 599123.

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