Social Media and Online Abuse

What is online abuse?

Technology can give abusive people the opportunity to track, control and abuse their victims. Online domestic abuse can include monitoring social media profiles or emails, abuse over social media such as Facebook or Twitter, sharing intimate photos or videos without your consent, using GPS locators or spyware to track somebody. It can happen within current relationships or from ex partners who are trying to control the victim/survivor.


Women’s Aid research on online domestic abuse found that:

  • For 85% of respondents the abuse they received online from a partner or ex-partner was part of a pattern of abuse they also experienced offline
  • Nearly a third of respondents (29%) experienced the use of spyware or GPS locators on their phone or computers by a partner or ex-partner.
  • For half (50%) of respondents the online abuse they experienced also involved direct threats to them or someone they knew
  • Nearly a third of those respondents who had received threats stated that where threats had been made online by a partner or ex-partner they were carried out


It is important to keep safe online, ensure that your location is not visible on devices you do not own once you have left a relationship and to ensure that you are able to use social media and emails, as well as other online services, without fear of abuse.