“I think we need to have a chat don’t we you fucking slag”. My blood ran cold as I froze and just stared at him. I had absolutely no idea what he was talking about. He sat in the armchair glaring at me and then I sup and reached for my phone which lay on the bedside table next to me. I scrambled to take it off silent but I was too late, he was already ringing my phone and before I could get out of bed he stormed into the bedroom, grabbed my phone from my hand and threw it out of the 7th floor flat window.
My mobile phone was heavily controlled and I was often punished for contacting my family. I had to keep remembering to delete my call history and text messages. I always fried to keep it in my pocket, it was always on silent and in time my mum stopped calling and would wait for me to contact her because she knew the consequences I could face.
As technology has now advanced over the years we have so many social media platforms where we can keep in touch with our friends and family, however, I know my accounts would have been monitored. I never had Facebook until I left him.
As the COVID-19 lockdown is well and truly upon us, many people are spending more time on social media, socialising but keeping their distance and so many people are reaching out to others.
I keep seeing Facebook posts of, if you’re stuck in quarantine with a toxic or abusive partner message me about…and then my blood runs cold.
Being in lockdown with an abusive partner won’t give them enough time to breathe let alone sit down and scroll through Facebook and if they do their phone will be monitored, abusers often have passwords to their partners accounts so they can check who they are chatting too.
People sharing this type of Facebook status are not only potentially putting victims at risk but also themselves. Unless they are sharing to their friends only then their profiles will have to be open to the public, possibly displaying their profile picture and contact details.
The truth is, I found it extremely hard to speak out to anyone about what was happening to me, let alone reach out to a stranger I’d been manipulated and moulded into thinking no one will believe me anyway and my trust barriers are completely surrounding me.
It’s great that Rona is getting people talking, we just need a strong support structure in place to actually keep them safe.