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.