70 percent of female teens who were psychologically abused were targeted via mobile, shocking statistics reveal
- 714 girls between the ages of 16 and 19 referred to Refuge between 2019 and 2020
- Of these, 70 percent said they had been the target of abuse via mobile or laptop
- Charity bosses warn that a growing number of abusers are targeting people online
Nearly 70 percent of teenage girls who received help for mental abuse were targeted via smartphones or tablets, shocking new statistics reveal.
Experts have warned of the “growing opportunity” for abusers to use technology, with more and more young women being referred to domestic violence charities.
Emma Pickering, tech abuse team manager at Refuge, a domestic violence charity, said, “Young people have more devices, more accounts, so there are more options for a perpetrator.”
Nearly 70 percent of women who referred to the charity Refuge between 2019 and 2020 were targeted by smartphones and tablets (file image)
Between 2019 and 2020, 714 girls aged 16 to 19 were referred to Refuge, 70 percent of whom were psychologically or emotionally abused.
In 68 percent of those cases, the perpetrator—mostly spouses or boyfriends—had used technology.
Young women are under pressure to share passwords and account information ‘to prove trust in a relationship’.
Suzy, an 18-year-old college student, described in a podcast how her abusive boyfriend constantly watched or even grabbed her phone.
“Something would freak him out and I’d show him my phone to prove him wrong, and then he’d just go through it,” she told You Don’t Know Me.
Her boyfriend attacked her when she refused to hand over her phone.
Refuge chief executive Ruth Davison said: “It’s common for teens’ relationships to play, at least in part, online and this is giving perpetrators more and more opportunities to use technology to abuse and harm.”
The Home Office said: “The new legal definition of domestic violence now specifically recognizes psychological abuse as a form of domestic violence and encompasses a range of different behaviors, including abuse through technology.”
Charity workers warn that increasing the number of social accounts a person has online increases the likelihood of abuse (file image)