Staying Connected: The Use of Technology in Intimate Partner Violence And Stalking

Intimate partner violence and stalking is a continuing problem in our society, and advances in technology have only made it easier for abusers to stalk and harass their victims. Because of the rapid development of the use of technology in intimate partner violence and the desperate need to resolve these cases quickly, judges have yet to articulate a set standard to ensure that these cases are decided consistently and fairly. Furthermore, many abusers raise privacy or First Amendment defenses when a judge orders them to remove or edit content posted on social media.

This Note argues that judges should articulate a flexible standard to use when deciding cases where an abuser raises a First Amendment defense to an order forcing him to edit or delete online content. In this test, the judge assesses the history of abuse, type of contact, and volume of communications. Then, the judge balances the remedy needed to protect the victim against the abuser’s constitutional interest. This test would ensure that intimate partner violence and stalking cases are decided consistently and fairly.