NOTE! This site uses cookies

By continuing to browse the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies. For more detalis, see Read more

Accept

What are you looking for?

Smartphone apps can result in another tool for intimate partner violence

Just a few years ago writing a message with the mobile phone meant exchanging short and important information with a few words. Today however, there are youngsters, especially girls, writing about 300 messages every day. Thanks to WhatsApp or similar apps, this is now possible. The use of this kind of smartphone applications seems to get more and more addictive in some population groups. Furthermore, they can bring a dangerous risk: instead of exchanging simple information, these apps can be used to control the movements of partners by young users. Changes in behaviour are becoming alarming and can lead to scarred relationships.

SHARE

08 March 2013 06:57 PM

by

ACN / Maria Belmez / Guillem Sànchez / Karina Reinhard

Barcelona (ACN).- Nearly every youngster today uses a Smartphone and the advantages that their apps can bring them. Just a few years ago writing a message with the mobile phone meant exchanging short and important information with a few words. Today however, there are youngsters, especially girls, writing about 300 messages every day for free. Thanks to WhatsApp or similar apps, this is now possible.  The use of this kind of smartphone applications seems to get more and more addictive in some population groups. Furthermore, they can bring a dangerous risk: instead of exchanging simple information, these apps can be used to control the movements of partners by young users. Changes in behaviour are becoming alarming and can lead to scarred relationships, being another tool for intimate partner violence.


The problem

Some young people in particular seem to use WhatsApp in an abusive way. The apps are no longer used to simply communicate and inform other people but to control their partners\u2019 movements. Abusive behaviours are simplified through WhatsApp and leads to an unhealthy observation in personal relationships. The Coordinator of the Victim Support Care Unit of the Catalan Home Affairs Ministry, Alba Alfageme, warns about the spread of this technology\u2019s dangers. The constant control of the partner and wanting to know where he/she is or what he/she is doing, is an alarming sign and should be taken seriously. Young girls are particularly influenced by their partners and many of them send more than 300 messages a day with pictures of their clothes, their geographic position or any other detailed information. This controlling behaviour could be an indication of more serious problems in a relationship and could likely lead to domestic violence.

Prevention

Due to these dangers the Catalan Women\u2019s Institute (ICD) and the Catalan Police are organising talks with young students that could be possible victims. Through these conversations the police officers try to warn of possible risks and educate the youngsters. \u201CPrevention is the key for young people\u201D emphasised Alfageme. It is important that girls in particular recognise this unusual behaviour, which could already be signs of a damaged relationship. For that reason they try to train the awareness of young people when these first signs appear and they want to call the attention of possible victims that this behaviour could probably escalate into violence.

\u201CGender-related violence does not only mean the physical violence against girls, but can also mean control and turn personal everyday life into indignity.\u201D says Nuria Ballade, the Director of the ICD. Today however modern technologies have changed also the nature of violence, it is more hidden and complicated.  \u201CHowever this is a kind of violence against women that cannot be tolerated by us\u201D, she stated.  According to Ballade, adolescents have to be made aware of a healthy and conscious use of technologies and their environment must be getting aware of the dangers of apps like WhatsApp.

SHARE

  • Some youngsters use Whatsapp or similar apps to control their partners (by O. Campuzano)

  • Some youngsters use Whatsapp or similar apps to control their partners (by O. Campuzano)