News Advisory: Virgin Mobile Promotes Cell Phones as Stalking Tool
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We expect a cell phone company to brag about the speed of its network and its low cost. Virgin Mobile is promoting its Android-powered cell phones as a tool for stalkers. In one of its ads, a woman perches on a tree limb outside of a man’s house. She alternates between peering through the man’s window and surfing through his information on social media sites. The tag-line at the end of the commercial: “Go crazy on Android.”
Virgin Mobile’s ad and others like it make stalking seem like a harmless, if somewhat creepy, pastime. Nothing could be further from the truth. Stalking goes hand-in-hand with violence. 81% of stalking victims who were stalked by their intimate partner were also physically assaulted by that partner. (National Violence Against Women Survey, 1998.)
Stalkers often abuse technology like cell phones for their own ends. Virgin Mobile and other companies should educate people about how to protect themselves against stalking – not downplay stalking as a joke.
About Women Against Abuse
Women Against Abuse, Inc., one of the largest domestic violence programs in the country, serves more than 10,000 individuals each year through emergency housing, legal services, hotline counseling, education and advocacy. Women Against Abuse operates the only comprehensive program in Philadelphia whose sole purpose is to assist victims of domestic violence and their children. For more information, visit www.womenagainstabuse.org.