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Online platforms are increasingly used to perpetrate domestic abuse. Online domestic abuse can include behaviours such as monitoring of social media profiles or emails, abuse over social media such as Facebook or Twitter, sharing intimate photos or videos without your consent, using GPS locators or spyware.

Women’s Aid research on online domestic abuse found that:

  • For 85% of respondents the abuse they received online from a partner or ex-partner was part of a pattern of abuse they also experienced offline.

  • Nearly a third of respondents (29%) experienced the use of spyware or GPS locators on their phone or computers by a partner or ex-partner.

  • For half (50%) of respondents the online abuse they experienced also involved direct threats to them or someone they knew.

  • Nearly a third of those respondents who had received threats stated that where threats had been made online by a partner or ex-partner they were carried out.

  • Conviction data for image based sexual abuse (commonly referred to as ‘revenge pornography’) show that out of the 464 prosecutions for this offence recorded in the year ending March 2018, 86% (400) were flagged as being domestic abuse-related (ONS, 2018).


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