Digital abuse is finally getting on the agenda but it's still not a priority and isn't getting funding
I've been campaigning, supporting and advocating for victim of e-crime since 2005. I shifted my efforts to help domestic violence, harassment and stalking in 2009.
In 2012, I wrote the UK national guidelines on digital abuse. It was the first time this term "digital abuse" was used. Previously, people referred to cyber-stalking.
I recognised early on there was a wide range of tactics and technology being used by abusers. It wasn't just watching what victims were doing online, they hacked accounts, used spyware, tracking and listening devices.
I was a lone voice for many years campaigning, developing advice and working with support charities. Then in the last 18 months or so the penny has finally dropped. The police are recognising and engaging in digital crime. They are starting to recognise these new patterns of behaviour, domestic abuse agencies are learning how to help protect victims better.
It is still a huge challenge for victims to get any help. The police need to identify better ways to gather evidence, the CPS and the court system is still lagging behind but there is a change. Of course, technology is moving at a rapid pace.
The biggest change required is funding for victims. The government has spent £90 million educating small business on cyber security, £408 million for the National Crime Agency to investigate terrorism and organised crime.As well as millions moving their own systems online.
But none of that money helps digital abuse victims. The women who is ex-partner is terrorising and hunting her down using tracking technology. The disabled person who is showing the world what they can do but is relentlessly being attacked by online trolls. The man whose jealous colleagues uses social media to ruin his reputation and gets him fired.
The Digital-Trust provides advice and support. We are small but effective. But the problem is bigger than our resources. Quite simply, demand is out stripping supply.
The government and industry's priority has been national security and business. They spend money on cybersecurity to help business protect money.
Butshouldn't helping victim's be a priority? It costs a lot less and it does more than save money, it saves lifes.