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Social media behind most cases of domestic violence, says Saudi study

A recent study on domestic violence revealed three out of 10 domestic violence cases are caused by social media misuse

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A recent study on domestic violence revealed three out of 10 domestic violence cases are caused by social media misuse, Makkah daily reported.

Sociology professor and family consultant Abdulrazaq Al-Mubarak said the study is timely as many women and children are communicating with strangers online and falling into cyber traps. “Misuse of social media is one of the main causes behind domestic violence.

Saudis hold family privacy dearly and children are often naïve on social media and they expose some of the things their fathers would have wanted to remain private,” said Al-Mubarak.

Recent research indicates that there are frequent online expressions of offline behaviors, such as bullying, clique-forming and sexual experimentation.

Because of susceptibility to peer pressure, children and adolescents are at risk as they navigate and experiment with social media, studies show.

Al-Mubarak said social media in Saudi society is dividing the family apart.

“Family members are not communicating with each other anymore. They have lost trust, which makes the father become livid whenever his problems at home are posted on social media. Domestic violence is a relatively new phenomenon in Saudi society,” said Al-Mubarak.

He also said sons, daughters and wives are posting everything that happens in their lives and inside their homes on social media apps such as Snapchat.

“There is a need for workshops and seminars on family privacy. We need to raise awareness on this issue as many families are falling apart and they haven’t a clue that their posts are the reasons for it,” said Al-Mubarak.

This article was first published in the Saudi Gazette on Oct. 12, 2015.