One victim of abusive text messages received more than 100 messages in two weeks.
One victim of abusive text messages received more than 100 messages in two weeks.

Text messages terrify woman



GLADSTONE woman, Jane Smith (not her real name), feels trapped and terrified.

Her former boyfriend now spends much of his day and night sending abusive and threatening text and voice messages.

But she is not alone, according to Gladstone police who say the trend in recent months has been on the rise.

What is usually a light-hearted way to communicate with friends is now all too often used as an abusive tool

Jane broke up with her boyfriend several months ago and since then she said he had continued to message and phone her.

'One day I had 32 missed calls and I have at least 10 messages a day,' Jane said.

'I've disconnected my home phone, my mobile is usually silent or off. I don't answer my work phone anymore.'

Jane said her ex-boyfriend would send her messages telling her 'you're gutless' and "why are you ruining my life'.

'Some were scary and annoying, I have to clear my message bank every day,' she said.

The threats extended to anonymous messages from pay phones from which people can now send text messages.

'That one I got was pretty scary ? how dare they,' Jane said.

'He's constantly invading my life. You can't escape.'

Jane has since been forced to change her phone number.

Gladstone Police Senior Sergeant Mike Dixon said text message abuse was a concerning trend which was on the rise.

Snr Sgt Dixon said there had been a spate about two years ago where text messages were being used to threaten or stalk people but in recent months it had increased.

But he also had a warning.

'Every time you send a text message and it's threatening or someone feels like they're being harassed it could constitute an offence,' Snr Sgt Dixon said.

He said that although some may see it as a prank, the victim may not, and may be frightened.



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