The Spread Of Domestic Violence Online

  • Lucy left her violent ex-partner after 10 years of abuse, she thought she had finally escaped and hoped she and her five-year-old daughter could be happy again.

    The Guardian reported what she said:

    "He found ways to contact me online, and I still felt like he was watching me, that he had some control over me".

    Despite the fact that Lucy had moved out of the area where she lived with her abuser and has married someone else, her ex-partner kept sending messages through other people to her new husband and setting up anonymous online accounts to reach her.

    Lucy said:

    "It's like a playground bullying game. He would contact my mother and say he knew what I'd been doing because he had seen it on Facebook - even though I had privacy settings as high as they could go..."

    "It shows you who you can trust - and now I just don't trust anybody."

    She was advised to stay away from social networks, which she regards to be "giving in" to her abuser.

    She also said:

    "He controlled my life for 10 years and now it's like he's saying: 'I'm still in your life, you can never get rid of me.' It's frustrating because you can't be free to have a normal life."

    When Lucy told the police about the attempts to contact and abuse her online, she was not helped:

    "When it comes to Facebook the police just don't want to know."

    She reviews her privacy settings every week, and when she can't handle the threats, shuts down her account.

    She expressed her feelings and concluded thus:

    "When you leave you think you have a chance of a new life without them, but when they contact you online it's like they are in the room."

    "Being bullied online brings it all back - you can heal from a punch in the face, but the mental torture never goes away."

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Responding to the DWP Consultation:  Housing Benefit Reform - Supported Housing "It was well-run, in a good location, and very useful.  I've only one suggestion; as the session went on it would perhaps have been useful for bullet points of general agreement about what should be in the sector response to be displayed and added to as the session went on, maybe on a flip chart. Regarding your response paper, I particularly like the answer you give to question 9.  In fact the general: "if it ain't broke don't fix it" response could be pushed harder." M.P. - Adref Ltd

 

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