To say that you and your ex parted on poor terms is a massive understatement, and you’re still quite angry. Your anger may be entirely justified – but don’t let it land you behind bars.
In this day and age, it’s painfully easy to find ways to electronically harass or stalk someone, and ex-couples sometimes engage in a little “digital warfare” after a bad breakup. What you may see as nothing more than a prank and some well-deserved payback, however, could be considered domestic violence or stalking.
How electronics are becoming part of a domestic violence trend
Electronics are so deeply interwoven into American lives that it’s become easier and easier for those electronics to be used in manipulative ways. The “Internet of Things,” which can include everything from the locks on your garage to tracking apps on your phone, has made it possible for abusive spouses to track or harass their partners from a distance.
For example, all of the following could be considered harassment or stalking:
- Using a home’s virtual assistant (like SIRI) remotely to order things in your ex’s name
- Changing your ex’s lights or thermostat setting remotely using an electronic trigger
- Using doorbell cameras or security cameras remotely to watch your ex come and go
- Using remote access to ring digital doorbells in the middle of the night or turn on music
- Using a digital app to copy your ex’s text messages or email remotely
- Sharing personal (intimate) photos of your ex online
- Doxxing your ex in some way by sharing their contact information and urging people online to harass them for your amusement
- Pretending to be your ex online in fake social media accounts or via email and interacting with their coworkers, bosses, friends or family members
In short, it may seem like your ex is really owed some comeuppance for what they’ve done, but you’re far better off not taking matters into your own hands.
If you’ve made a mistake and have been charged with stalking or harassing an ex, make sure that you fully understand your legal options for a defense.