Technology has given abusers a dangerous weapon. Victims are often left with a wasteland of what was once their lives. Together we can find solutions and together "We can heal one story at a time."
What is digital domestic abuse?
"He hit me over the head with the computer!"
Yes, a smack on the head with a computer would be considered domestic abuse, but digital abuse is something more terrifying and obscure.
Digital abuse is a relatively new form of domestic abuse, and carries many unanswered questions for the public, police and the judicial system. The public is unaware of how dangerous our digital world can be in the hands of an abuser, and law enforcement does not have the knowledge or the ma power to investigate this type of domestic abuse. The internet is much like the "wild west," with vast wide open spaces and insufficient law enforcement to protect our privacy. It is a place where criminals can confidently hide in plain sight with their weapon in their hands knowing they may suffer no consequence.
Digital abuse is a form of stalking; it may entail identity theft, financial abuse, and slander. Imagine how it would feel to know that someone can hear and see everything that you do or say. Cell phones and computers can become bugging devices that can record visually and audibly. You are heard in the grocery store ordering lunch meat, singing in the shower, cursing at the car who cut you off, yelling at your child for making a mess, and crying yourself to sleep.
Now take this one step further, and someone might exploit you personal information and impersonate you through your communications. Text messages are sent that you did not write, emails are sent as though they came from you, you do not receive some calls, some emails, and some text messages intended for your eyes. You become someone that you are not, and no one believes you because it is coming from your number and your email address. Imagine what this could do to your career, your relationships with friends, family, and children?
Abuse is about control. It doesn’t matter what tool abusers use, the bottom line is that the abuser thrives on the need for control. The digital world we live in and the freedom of the internet provide powerful tools that abusers have in their arsenal. They can take complete control over your communications without having to leave the comfort of their own desk and suffer no consequence as they control and terrorize their victim.
Once a victim become aware that something is wrong with their communications the battle begins to rectify the situation only to have each attempt fail. Every new precaution placed fails, the police fail them, and security measures fail. This all comes down to the Social Security number and a mother’s maiden name. These two pieces of information combined with the voice of a woman (there are apps that can change a man’s voice to a woman’s) can compromise every new passcode. It is a circular war, and eventually will spin out of control. Victims give up while they watch their world crumble before their eyes.
One in four women and one in eleven men have experienced stalking in their lifetime. The emotional trauma due to stalking takes three times longer to recover from than an abuse victim who has endured physical harm without stalking. Digital abuse causes isolation, confusion, anxiety, fear, paranoia, and depression. Not only are these victims afraid to walk around at night, they are afraid to pick up a cell phone or use a computer, which amplifies their feelings of isolation.
This form of abuse is becoming more and more common and will continue to grow with the lack of consequences for the perpetrator. Eighty-seven percent of couples dissolving a relationship have had their text messages or emails read by their former spouse after separation. The National Network to End Domestic Violence (NNEDV) has a project called "Safety Net" that addresses this issue at length and is an excellent resource.
"In a study conducted by the National Network to End Domestic Violence, victim service provider’s report that of the survivors they work with 75% have abusers who access their online accounts, 65% have abusers who monitor their online activities, and 68% have had their pictures posted online by the abuser without their consent. In a survey by the Cyber Civil Rights Initiative, when abusers and stalkers distribute sexually explicit images of victims, 59% includes the full name of the victim, 49% include social media information, and 20% include the phone numbers of the victim. Online harassment, in the context of abuse and stalking, can have serious and dangerous consequences." Exepert from article written by the SafteyNet project at the NNEDV. Go to for more information.
The Soul Sisters of America is focused on addressing the needs of the victims while educating the public, law enforcement, and attorneys, about the effects that verbal,emotional,and digital abuse has on its victims. These three types of non-violent abuse take the longest for the victims to recover from, and victims need a place to turn to for information, support, and solutions. We empower victims to share their stories,and together we will seek solutions to hold perpetrators accountable for their actions.
It all begins when someone tells their story. The information housed inside of each story is a miracle waiting to happen for someone else. We all hold one piece of the puzzle and together we will find solutions and ways to survive.
Reach out to the Soul Sisters and we will reach out to you, then together we will find the answers. No abuse is ever tolerable, and sometimes the worst injuries are the ones that no one can see.
Resources and support for victims of digital domestic abuse, cyber stalking, and cyberbullying.
Digital domestic abuse is ABUSE
"The Privilege of a lifetime is being who you are." ~Joseph Campbell~
We need you. You hold a piece of the puzzle to put an end to digital abuse. Give what you can, and together we can find the solutions. It may be your story that helps, it may be a skill you have, or you may be in a position where you can donate funds. Nothing is too small, and everyone is important.
THE MISSION OF THE SOUL SISTERS OF AMERICA IS TO FIND AND IMPLEMENT SOLUTIONS TO DIGTIAL DOMESTIC ABUSE WHILE EMPOWERING VICTIMS WITH THE TOOLS TO FIGHT, SURVIVE, AND DEMAND JUSTICE.
Do something for someone else because you want to!
If you are passionate about this cause, then join us. If you can only spare one hour, then donate the hour.