The Role of Smartphones and Technology in Domestic Abuse

Board Certified Family Law Specialist Matt Arnold answers the question: “How is social media evidence used in divorce proceedings?”


Domestic violence is a serious issue that plagues many, many people all over the world. When the victim of abuse finds the strength to leave a dangerous situation, it is something to applaud. Unfortunately, not everyone is able to leave an abusive situation, and the ways in which abuse can happen have only increased overtime. Domestic violence abusers have found new ways to inflict abuse on their partners. A big part of domestic violence abusers’ tactics is instilling fear into their victims. Recent technological advancements have provided more opportunities for abusers to spy on their victims and make them feel afraid.


broken-phone-Charlotte-Monroe-Mooresville-Domestic-Violence-Attorney-300x225Technology is being used to make the lives of victims worse and make them feel like their abusers are always watching. Various smartphone apps give some abusers the ability to spy on their partners via their phone. Some applications give another individual the power to read text messages, view locations, listen to phone calls, and other various methods of spying. Spying via technology can evoke the feeling in victims that someone is always watching them. It is not just through smart-phone applications that an abuser can spy and incite fear; placing tracking devices on victims’ cars is another way that abusers are utilizing technology to abuse their victims.


Domestic violence abusers are able to impose themselves so far into their victims’ digital lives  because of the proximity. It is more likely that the abuser will know passwords to various online accounts, phone access codes, pin numbers, and other tools that make this type of invasion of privacy possible.


As domestic violence abusers grow more and more capable of using technology to incite fear or threaten others, it becomes imperative to take action to safeguard yourself. You cannot control the actions of another, but you can protect yourself:


  • Change Your Passwords: As soon as you leave an abusive situation, change every password for every account you have to eliminate the potential for interference from another. Choose passwords that would not be easily guessable.
  • Check Your Vehicle: Be on the lookout for any tracking devices that might be attached to your vehicle – have it professionally checked, if possible.
  • Be Wary of Social Media: Try avoiding posting anything that might give your abuser an idea of your location. Even if you have blocked the abuser on social media, you cannot guarantee that he or she will not see anything you post.
  • Use Preventative Apps: There are different apps that have been developed to help protect victims of domestic violence and help them move forward in their lives.


The family law attorneys at Arnold & Smith, PLLC are here for domestic violence survivors. We want to help you reach freedom from your abuser and use all means possible to do so. Contact us today for a consultation. If you find yourself facing a complicated family law matter and need the help of experienced family-law attorneys in or around Charlotte, Lake Norman, or our new office in Monroe, please contact Arnold & Smith, PLLC today at (704) 370-2828 or find additional resources here.







The family law practice group at Arnold & Smith, PLLC includes two Board-Certified Family Law specialists and one Child Welfare Law specialist, as well as several attorneys with many years of family law experience that are committed to providing a powerful voice to individuals facing the often-tumultuous issues in this area of law. The range of issues our family law clients may be facing include pre- and post-nuptial agreements; separation agreements; post-separation support; child support (both temporary and permanent); absolute divorce; divorce from bed and board; military divorce; equitable distribution of assets; child custody (both temporary and permanent); retirement benefits and divorce; alimony and spousal support; adoption; and emancipation. Because this area of the law is usually emotionally charged and complicated, the family law attorneys at Arnold & Smith, PLLC act with the utmost dedication to ensure that each client understands his or her options, and then act to achieve the best result possible for that client’s particular situation.





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