Smart Devices Used by Abusers for Digital Gaslighting

For an abuser, domestic abuse is an expression of power over a weaker victim. A typical abuser revels in exerting control over all aspects of the victim’s life, such as finances, communication, employment, and interactions with friends and family members.

Many domestic abusers often “gaslight” their victims, accusing the victim of perceiving reality in the wrong way. According to the National Domestic Violence Hotline, the term “gaslighting” comes from the 1938 stage play “Gas Light,” in which a husband attempts to convince his wife that she’s going insane by performing various tricks, such as secretly lowering and raising the gas lamps in the house to convince her she’s going mad. There is also a 1944 film adaptation titled “Gaslight,” starring Ingrid Bergman and Charles Boyer.

Unfortunately, the Internet of Things and smart devices have made it easier for tech-savvy domestic abusers to play nasty power games with their victims. Gizmodo reports that “domestic abusers are using….internet-connected thermostats, doorbells, speakers, lights and other smart home devices to establish their power or harass their partners.”
Electronic Devices Have Become a Psychological Warfare Tool

This misuse of smart devices has developed into a psychological warfare tool for abusers. For example, an abuser may use an iPad or a similar mobile device to keep track of a victim’s smartphone that has its location services turned on. Similarly, the abuser can turn off household lights remotely from a smartphone’s app. Abusers may even install a spy camera in a household and view video footage from that camera via a smartphone app. ..Read more..

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