By MATT WORDWORTH.
Trigger warning: this post discusses issues of domestic violence and may act as a trigger for some readers.
Refuges that house victims of domestic violence are increasingly being discovered by perpetrators using “stalker apps” and GPS locators hidden in their victim’s phones, cars and in one case, a child’s stuffed toy.
One woman, Diana (not her real name), experienced it first hand after meeting her ex-partner on an access visit for their young daughter.
“He came with a backpack to the changeover and there was a doll in the backpack,” she said.
“I was told she needs that doll and even though she doesn’t like it she still wants to have it everywhere with her and I’m like ‘okay, what’s the point if she doesn’t like it’ but we were stuck with the doll.”
Later, at a medical appointment for their daughter, Diana’s ex offered to drive the pair home.
“I said, ‘you shouldn’t know where I live’ to which he said ‘you live at this-and-this address’, which is the exact address of the refuge,” she said.
“I was absolutely freaked out and didn’t know what to do.”
The refuge told her to move immediately but could not find a spare bed in Brisbane so Diana moved in with a friend.
Then the same thing happened at a court hearing.
“At the hearing again he said ‘What does it matter that I know where you live?’ and then he said a location very close to where I lived,” she said.