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 Instagram 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 Instagram, Snapchat, YouTube, TikTok, and other sites.
- Sends you negative, insulting or even threatening emails, messages, and tweets.
- Uses apps to keep constant tabs on you.
- Puts you down in their status updates.
- Sends you unwanted, explicit pictures and/or demands you send some in return.
- Pressures you to send explicit videos.
- 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 boyfriend 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. If you and your partner trust each other, neither person will want or need to look through the other person’s phone or social media. Even if you have nothing to hide, personal privacy and boundaries are still valuable.
- Know your privacy settings. Social networks 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 apps require you to change your privacy settings.
- Be mindful when sharing your location. Letting an abusive boyfriend know where you are could be dangerous. Also, always ask your friends if it’s ok for you to tag them. You never know if they are trying to keep their location secret.
FIND MORE GREAT RESOURCES AND TIPS ON DIGITAL DATING ABUSE, SOCIAL NETWORKING SAFETY, PRIVACY ONLINE, AND HEALTHY BOUNDARIES AT LOVEISRESPECT.