Smart devices are a wonderful invention and are a big leap for humanity. You can now turn on your lights by or play your favorite music just by asking your smartphone. But even the best products can become devious when they fall into the wrong hands.
Nowadays, smart devices are being used for the purpose of gaslighting by domestic abusers. Now, what is this thing called gaslighting?
According to PsychologyToday, gaslighting is a malicious kind of mental abuse in which self-doubt is implanted in the victims’ mind. It alters how they look at life and reality. And with the use of Smart devices, gaslighting has become a lot easier.
Now, people are facing domestic abuse and emotional trauma due to the presence of these smart devices. Even an article, published by Thomas Reuter’s Foundation has revealed that abusive partners are using these internet-connected devices to keep a watch on their partners and to control them. It is the miss-use of an amazing technology to dominate, isolate, and humiliate victims.
How it works could be easily seen from the perspective of someone suffering from domestic abuse:
“My husband would videotape me or record me without my consent. He was keeping tabs on me when I was talking with my family, friends, or my divorce attorney. But when we discovered this crime, we went to the police. However, we were informed that federal tapping laws are not made for common people but rather for the famous ones i.e. politicians or celebrities. As a victim, this was something that made me cry. I wonder how many of the victims have come and gone because the law was not protecting them.”
So, the question is how can we handle this kind of situation. We cannot just stop using smart devices and it has so many uses that are actually beneficial to all of us. So, is there a way in which we could stop these things?
You should also read: 15 Early Warning Signs of Someone Who is a Potential Abuser
Well, the companies are on our side. We should always start to look for new apps and patches that are coming out in the market. Many of them are free. These can be specially designed to prevent such gaslighting activities and would keep your life and the device secure. So, continue to check for updates on your app stores. With updates and patches, your life can be a lot more secure than you think. And speaking as a victim, remember that if you feel something is wrong, then your instinct is correct. Don’t let your mental health be ruined by someone else. Take a decision to bring a change and start acting on it.
Katie Ray-Jones, who is the CEO of the National Domestic Violence Hotline and loveisrespect, claims that there are many survivors who are sharing their stories of how smart devices were being used to hold them hostage. Some of them have also reported that they were locked inside their home with the help of these devices. The immense amount of mental trauma cannot be imagined.
As Katie says, domestic abuse is about control and, with the sophisticated technologies becoming part of our daily lives, domestic abusers are discovering new ways to miss-use it. They will make sure that such technologies are used in their favor so that they can gain their control back and use it to gain power over their victim. The sad fact is that technology, which is connecting people and is partially made to make people feel secure, is now being used for the exact opposite reason.
As a victim, you must know this: SUPPORT + STRENGTH + PLAN = FREEDOM. You have to understand that there is a lot of support out there so do not get disheartened. Reach out and I’m sure you will find someone. Maybe they are as hurt as you are but, together, you can do a lot. Secondly, remain strong. Don’t let someone take control over you. Do not let abusive power rule. You are strong enough. And finally, plan and strategize – there are many ways out of abusive relationships, and none of them are easy. But if you plan well, you can get out of it.
Be safe and get help if you have to. Don’t let abusers take over you. Protect yourself.
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