Published: | Canada

'I Thought He Was Going To Kill Me': The Violence of Cyberstalking

The is unfortunately a common story of domestic abuse that also evolved into cyberstalking.

*The article below is an excerpt from the original article that was published on Gal-Dem.com.  The link for the full article can be found at the bottom of this blurb.  

 

In 2013, 23-year-old Priyanka began an online relationship with a man who lived on the other side of the Atlantic, in the US. Their relationship originally started off as a friendship, but she soon became infatuated by him. He was clearly jealous of Priyanka’s working lifestyle, and became possessive and controlling. He began cyberstalking her, and demanding that she change her schedule to suit him.

It wasn’t until a year later when she visited him in the US that he assaulted her. She had found evidence in his phone of his unfaithfulness. When she confronted him, he grabbed her by the neck and accused her of breaching his privacy. When she was back in the UK, he continued to openly threaten her.

Priyanka became scared of him, and pretended to be happy to prevent him from being angry, abusive or violent. She tells me: “He had explicit images of me, and he used this in attempts to ruin my life. I thought he was going to kill me”. He started to surveil her; asking her to Snapchat and call him every minute of the day. In broad daylight in front of onlookers, after being blackmailed to come back to the US in 2016, he dragged her to his house by her neck whilst screaming that she was a bitch. That day, he continued to physically assault her.

Priyanka’s case is not an anomaly. An estimated 1.2 million women and 713,000 men experience domestic abuse each yearand this form of violence is disproportionately perpetrated against women. The use of social media in the abuse perpetrated against Priyanka is also a common pattern: online abuse is present in the overwhelming majority of domestic violence cases. Priyanka’s partner attempted to control her life through commandeering her online platforms, threatening to leak explicit images of her, and calling her constantly, to the extent that her phone battery died.

The growth of social media and the Internet has allowed individuals to perpetrate abuse in ways that were previously much harder to access. The use of online platforms allows for a range of behaviours which can be perpetrated at the swipe of a touchscreen, including making threatening phone calls, harassing through social media sites and cyberstalking, enacting revenge porn, exposing private information or ‘doxing’, impersonation and false representation, catfishing, and other forms of controlling and coercive behaviours.

Read the rest of Meera Narendra's original article on Gal-dem.com here.

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1 Comments


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Anon Anon
Just now • Canada

There is no excuses for abusive behaviour

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