National Domestic Violence Awareness month focuses on technology-facilitated abuse

By Ann Walker, Family Advocacy Program Manager, DLA Installation Management Susquehanna

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October is National Domestic Violence Awareness month. The focus of the 2019 DVAM awareness campaign, provided by Military One Source, is “Raising Awareness about Technology-facilitated Abuse.” 

The role of technology and its misuse in domestic violence incidents is skyrocketing. Digital abuse is occurring among all populations, but young people are the most vulnerable, as they are using technology in almost all aspects of their lives.

Technology-facilitated abuse can take many forms. Smartphones are the most common modality. The most frequently misused technologies include texting and posting on social pages with the intent to bully, stalk, harass or intimidate a partner. There is an increase in monitoring whereabouts or “keeping tabs” via global positioning systems and through use of malware and other applications. Improper use of photographs such as sending explicit pictures and demanding some in return, stealing or insisting on being given passwords, looking through a partner’s phone for texts and emails without consent are also forms of abusive digital communication. 

Every individual has a right to live a life free of technology-facilitated abuse. If you notice any of these behaviors from your partner, ask yourself if the behavior is crossing the line. You should always trust your “gut feeling.” You have options to protect yourself and create healthy boundaries. It is important to get help and mobilize toward a safer relationship. Please consider tapping into the resources listed below. 

Resources for addressing technology-facilitated abuse include:
www.militaryonesource.mil
www.loveisrespect.org
www.joyfulheartfoundation.org

For anonymous, confidential help, please call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 
1-800-799-7233 (SAFE) or 1-800-787-3224 (TTY). The National Domestic Violence Hotline is a 24-hour confidential service that can be reached through calling and/or online chatting by visiting their website at www.thehotline.org/.

To remember and honor the victims and survivors of domestic violence, Defense Logistics Agency’s Installation Management’s Family Advocacy Program and Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation Susquehanna will host their annual Domestic Violence Awareness 5K Fun Run/1 Mile Walk Oct. 24 at 11:30 a.m. at the Fitness Center, Building 320, F Avenue. Resources and educational materials will be available.