Abusers using technology to stalk partners - Women’s Aid
A leading domestic violence charity took more than 10,000 calls on their helpline last year.
Women's Aid said an increasing number of callers are reporting the use of technology by abusers to monitor their partners.
This included the monitoring of mobile phone calls and texts as well as social media websites "to stalk and control them", the charity said.
Margaret Martin, director of Women's Aid, warned younger women were also susceptible to abuse despite public perceptions to the contrary.
"There is a common misconception that violence and abuse only occurs in older and more established relationships, where women are married or living with, and/or have children with their abusive partner," she said.
"Our experience and national and international research shows that young women are also at risk from violence and abuse from their boyfriends."
Women's Aid also reported a 52pc rise in the number of people visiting its website - up to 48,000 during 2010.
Ms Martin said there are many other victims who do not come forward for help.
"We know that about one third of women never tell anyone about the abuse they suffer," she said.
"Instead, these women try to survive and protect themselves and their children on their own."
The charity said it received 588 reports of sexual abuse last year - 213 involving rapes - and made 430 one-to-one support visits and 164 court accompaniments.
Well over half of the calls were by first time users of the service.