In home smart devices have become a popular trend to make life easier. Popular new devices have been designed to turn on music, switch lights on or off, control the temperature and even lock the front door. However, this technology, designed to simplify daily living in the home, has now become the newest form of domestic abuse. In a recent article in The New York Times*, many women are sharing their stories of how these smart home technologies have become a new modality of domestic abuse.
According to a report done in 2017, 29 million homes in the United States have some form of smart home device. This number continues to grow and, subsequently, the increase of the misuse of these devices has become alarming. Abusers are now able to utilize in-home security systems to further manipulate, control and abuse their partner by using this technology to monitor their partner’s every move, including any help their partner may be seeking for themselves.
One in three women and one in four men will experience domestic violence through forms of intimidation and control each year. While the use of technology as a form of abuse is not entirely new, the use of smart home devices to remotely control the thermostat, speakers, locks and in-home security system as a form of power and control has increased significantly. In the hands of an abuser, the ramifications become frightening.
If you or someone you know is being affected by domestic abuse, do not suffer in silence. Contact Goodman Jewish Family Services for assistance at 954-560-8303. Our domestic abuse program offers individual counseling, a support group and case management services
*Bowles, N. (2018, June 23). Thermostats, Locks and Lights: Digital Tools of Domestic Abuse. Retrieved from https://www.nytimes.com/2018/06/23/technology/smart-home-devices-domestic-abuse.html