Raising Awareness: Digital Abuse

digital abuse

digital abuse

When thinking of abuse in relationships the obvious forms of physical and verbal abuse are typically considered.  However in our information age driven by technology, digital abuse is a real issue.  Digital abuse is really emotional and verbal abuse perpetrated through technological means including the internet.

 It is particularly important for parents and teens to be aware of the various forms of digital abuse because it can easily be overlooked.  Check this list below of various ways digital abuse can occur.

     -Coercing partner to send sexual images or statements via phone

     -Putting partner down on social media through posts or status updates

     -Posting private pictures of partner online, particularly without consent

     -Controlling who partner can have as friends on social media

     -Sending hurtful or threatening messages through text, IM, Facebook, and other forms of media

     -Spreading rumors or gossip about partner online

     -Forcing partner to provide passwords to phone and social media accounts

     -Stalking partner through social media sites, insisting on check ins online through twitter etc…

     -Becoming angry when partner does not answer phone or respond to posts

     -Sharing messages partner sent without consent

     -Constantly texting, calling, posting etc… to keep tabs on partner

If you believe that you or someone you know may be experiencing digital abuse please seek help.  You have a right to privacy and to have your boundaries respected in a relationship.  You can seek help by contacting the counselors here at Family First or find local help in your area by visiting loveisrespect.org.

Am I Being Abused?

teen dating violence

teen dating violence

The first step to getting help is recognizing that there is a problem.  Often people in abusive relationships do not see that the relationship is unhealthy.  There are honeymoon periods where things seem great and they enjoy spending time with the person they’re dating.  However there are moments filled with violence, verbal aggression, intimidation, and control. What you need to know is that abusers are manipulative and these honeymoon periods are designed to keep you in that unhealthy cycle of abuse.  Check out this power and control wheel to see if you recognize signs of abuse in your own relationship.

Power & Control Wheel


If you’re still not sure take this relationship quiz to determine if your relationship may be unhealthy.

If you or someone you love needs help please reach out to a professional.  Here at Family First Counseling our counselors are trained to help you deal with the feelings and emotions that you may be going through as a result of abuse.  If you need shelter or advice on getting out of an abusive relationship, try contacting the domestic violence hotline at 1-800-799-7233 or chat with an advocate online at www.thehotline.org