Smart Technology: A New Agent of Domestic Violence
Technology, especially modern advances to today’s smart technology, are becoming the newest tools of domestic abuse. In a recent article from The New York Times, more than thirty interviews shed light on how alarming these new tools of domestic abuse have become. This new pattern of abuse is tied to the rise in smart home technology usage.
Abusers are using their smartphones to control every day, internet-enabled devices to victimize their partners. Whether it’s internet-connected locks, doors, cameras, lights, or speakers, these devices are used to harass and monitor victims, so the abuser can be in total control even when they aren’t around.
According to the same article, the National Domestic Violence Hotline has started receiving odd and somewhat crazy phone calls from abuse victims. Callers claimed that their abusers turn their home thermostats up to 100 degrees or their smart speakers began blasting extremely loud music. These examples, along with others mentioned in the article, are used to intimidate and confuse domestic violence victims to the abuser’s advantage.
For victims, law enforcement, and lawyers, there is a large gray area on what can be done. Common questions pertaining to these types of domestic violence incidents include:
- How does the technology work?
- How much power does the abuse/victim have over the device(s)?
- How to make it stop?
Sure, the victim turning off the Wi-Fi or changing the Wi-Fi password can provide a temporary solution to their problems, but a persistent abuser can reset these things rather easily. A victim can also try to rid themselves of the smart technology, but that can bring forth physical abuse from their partner. Coercion can even be used if the victim threatens to destroy or remove the smart technology from the premises. In the Times article, it stated an abuser could circulate intimate video taken by an indoor security system to hold against their partner as a form of blackmail.
This sounds like something out of a horror movie, right? Unfortunately, not all smart technology is necessarily governed by New Jersey law. According to Katie Ray-Jones, chief executive of the National Domestic Violence Hotline: “When we see new technology come out, people often think, ‘Wow, my life is going to be a lot safer.’ We often see the opposite with survivors of domestic violence.”
Domestic Abuser Lawyer Anthony Carbone Can Help
As smart technology is becoming more commonplace in homes across New Jersey and the U.S. – 29 million homes and counting – no statistics on its role in domestic violence are available. Smart home technology serves as a wildcard for victims and their lawyers alike.
In the meanwhile, you shouldn’t have to suffer. The Law Offices of Anthony Carbone can help you secure a restraining order, so you don’t have to put up with the pain and suffering any longer. Our offices are just a call or click away. Contact us today.