Temenos Journal II

April 20, 2012

Cyber Stalking as Domestic Violence

Cyber Stalker at Work

My friend is in an abusive relationship. She doesn’t have outward physical bruises or broken bones to give it away. She’s been violated though.

Renee (not her real name) is the victim of cyber stalking by her possessive and controlling domestic partner.

Cyber stalking is a form of domestic abuse, and experts say its purpose is to control the victim in order to help ensure social isolation and create dependency. Cyber bullies may monitor or disrupt their victims’ e-mail use and Social Media accounts, and use the victim’s account to send e-mails to others posing as the victim without their knowledge or permission. They may also use the internet to research and compile personal information about the victim, to use in order to harass or control them.

Renee is a talented artist with a blossoming artistic career. Her abusive partner shut down her Facebook “fan” page in a fit of jealousy. Her blog was also shut down. The partner has invented numerous Facebook alias identities in order to stalk the victim’s friends… monitoring and gathering information for future cyber attacks against not only Renee, but her friends as well.

Being the victim of cyber stalking or bullying within a relationship is demeaning, humiliating, and can cause distress to the degree that it is as harmful as physical or emotional abuse. The cyber bully manipulates and controls through the use of online attacks that are every bit as destructive and hurtful as physical or verbal bullying. And sometimes the repercussions are much more far-reaching.

Renee’s friends never know whether it is really her who is writing an email or whether it is her abusive partner who is posing behind her email address. She has lost nearly all of her friends. The friends who have tried to intervene have become victims themselves of cyber bullying and cyber stalking… because the abuser wants to keep the victim totally isolated.

Unfortunately, the victim often falls into the common trap of pretending to the outside world that everything is okay… fearful of retaliation from the abuser if she is caught exposing their private dysfunctional hell. The abuser wants the outside world to believe that everything is fine with their relationship… or it threatens the abuser’s total control.

Like any abusive situation… the victim needs to break free somehow. And the abuser needs to be prosecuted. This is serious… but the crime is so new that we have not yet figured out how to deal with such cyber criminals.

In the meantime…..Renee…. change your passwords…. daily. You are the victim of abuse. Stop the denial. Get help.

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4 Comments »

  1. So the cyberstalker referred to in the above blog was cyberstalking and discovered this blog, and, according to the victim, flew into a rage upon recognizing their own behavior. How ironic.

    Comment by Genie Webster — May 4, 2012 @ 8:26 pm |Reply

  2. The behavior is text book predictable….and very, very sad.

    Comment by Stacy Alexander, Writer/Artist — May 6, 2012 @ 10:50 pm |Reply

  3. This is really serious. I too, am a victim of cyberstalking. I change my passwords daily. I have been so severely stalked that I moved out of the country…which is proving not to help. This is modern day abuse. And, it is a-b-s-o-l-u-t-e-l-y exhausting

    Comment by Anonymous — June 22, 2012 @ 8:44 am |Reply

    • I am still being cyber stalked as well. The woman who spies on me online is now using proxy servers to try to mask the fact that she is following me around, but my software is still able to strip away the layers of her original IP address and I am keeping careful records. It is sad to think that she would believe I would EVER post anything incriminating on my own blog. It is sadder, still, to know she is living in such denial. She has a lot of personal problems, though, and is obsessing about me rather than dealing with the unfortunate results of her own actions in life. Sad, but also very scary. One never knows when a person like that will flip out ….again.

      Comment by Stacy Alexander, Writer/Artist — June 22, 2012 @ 10:34 am |Reply


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