London, July 11 (IANS) More men at 40 per cent face online abuse than women at 36 per cent following a relationship break-up, finds a study. Digital abuse, it also says, has become a norm between former partners.
The findings showed that 37 per cent of respondents who had experienced a break-up within the last five years reported being a victim of online abuse from their former partner.
More than half or 52 per cent of the study participants said that they found the experience highly or extremely distressing.
About 48 per cent reported that their former partners sent or shared online messages about them that were extremely nasty.
For 34 per cent, their former partners contacted their new partner or family and friends online for the purpose of distressing them.
While 28 per cent reported that their former partners threatened to post or send an online message about them that was not true, 26 per cent said that their former partners threatened to share online something that they did not want to be shared on the public forum.
Twenty-six per cent reported that their former partners used digital technology to track or stalk them.
“There is very little research into digital abuse among adults after relationship break-ups. Our survey provides strong support for the necessity of further investigation into this issue,” said Lindy Morrison from Regent’s University London.
For the study, the team interviewed 1,612 adults via an online survey about relationship break-ups and online behaviour by their former partner.
The online actions had questionnaires ranging from threats to actions against self or others through private or public means.
Some 526 (33 per cent) of respondents reported that they had experienced a break-up within the last five years.
The results were presented at the annual conference of the British Psychological Society held in Brighton, recently.