What is Digital Dating Abuse?
Digital dating abuse is a form of verbal and/or emotional abuse, particularly among teens, which can include unwanted, repeated calls or text messages, pressure to send nude or private pictures or videos, and the use of social networking sites such as Facebook to bully, harass, stalk or intimidate a boyfriend/girlfriend.
Signs you may be experiencing Digital Abuse -
If your boyfriend/girlfriend….
- Tells you who you can or can’t be friends with on Facebook and other sites.
- Sends you negative, insulting or even threatening emails, Facebook messages, tweets, or other online messages.
- Uses sites like Facebook, Twitter, foursquare and others to keep constant tabs on you.
- Puts you down in their Facebook status updates.
- Sends you unwanted, explicit pictures and/or demands you send some in return.
- Pressures you to send explicit video.
- Steals or insists to be given your passwords.
- Constantly texts you and makes you feel like you can’t be separated from your phone.
- Looks through your phone frequently, checks up on your pictures, texts and outgoing calls.
It’s Important to Remember….
- Your boyfriend/girlfriend should respect your relationship boundaries.
- It’s ok to turn off your phone. You have the right to be alone and spend time with friends and family without your boyfirend getting angry when you don’t respond immediately.
- You do not have to text any pictures or statements that you are uncomfortable sending, especially nude or partially nude photos, known as “sexting.”
- You lose control of any electronic message once anyone receives it. They may forward it, so don’t send anything you fear could be seen by others.
- You do not have to share your passwords with anyone.
- Know your privacy settings. Social networks such as Facebook allow the user to control how their information is shared and who has access to it. These are often customizable and are found in the privacy section of the site. Remember, registering for some applications (apps) require you to change your privacy settings.
- Be mindful when using check-ins like Facebook Places and foursquare. Letting an abusive boyfriend know where you are could be dangerous. Also, always ask your friends if it’s ok for you to check them in. You never know if they are trying to keep their location secret.
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