Debbie was sure that the stress of her divorce was causing her to be paranoid. Though her husband had moved out, he seemed to know about her private conversations. More puzzling was that her coffee maker and other small appliances would all conk out at the same time. She also could not understand how he kept getting into the house because she changed the alarm code daily. Coincidence?
Debbie hired a private detective to look for “bugs” but what he found was a small device on her computer that could monitor and control any devices connected to the internet. Using his cell phone, her husband could remotely manipulate any technology in the house. According to Barbara Siegel, SHALVA’s clinical director, Debbie was experiencing gas lighting, a type of psychological abuse that makes a victim question their reality. “Gas lighting is an efficient way to undermine a woman’s sanity,” explains Barbara.
You can read more about the ways that technology can be used as a tool for abuse in the New York Times article: “Thermostats, Locks and Lights: Digital Tools of Domestic Abuse.”