VicPol Corporate

Technology facilitated abuse

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What is technology-facilitated family violence?

The use of technology, by an abuser to frighten control or intimidate, can make family violence appear different, but the goals and motives are still the same: it is another way to control and take power away.

Technology-facilitated abuse occurs both during relationships and after separation.

Some examples

Common examples of technology-facilitated stalking or abuse that can be family violence include:

  • threatening or abusive phone calls
  • repetitive, threatening or abusive text messages and emails
  • checking or hacking email accounts or monitoring internet use
  • non-consensual sharing of images such as false, humiliating, intimate or sexualised videos or photos or threatening to do so
  • spreading rumours about the person or impersonating them online
  • harassing or threatening the victim or the victim's friends and family on social networking sites
  • tracking the victim's location through apps and 'find my phone' services
  • geotagging of photographs taken with smartphones
  • smartphone spyware

If these types of actions are perpetrated by a partner, an ex-partner or a family member Victoria Police has both criminal civil options they can pursue.

If this type of monitoring and abuse is happening and you have an intervention order, it may be a contravention of the family violence intervention order and needs to be reported to police.

Stalking is a criminal offence, whether you have had any type of relationship with the abuser or not, and should be reported to police.

Some advice

Always call Triple Zero (000) for immediate assistance in an emergency.

If you have made a report of family violence, seek the advice of the police officer you are working with, electronic abuse sometimes can be used for evidence.

If your partner or ex-partner is using violence and abuse, and they initially set up your phone or computer, it would be wise to seek some safety and technology advice from the links below.

More information

In an emergency call Triple Zero (000)

For more information see

Reviewed 13 March 2019

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