What is Digital Abuse?
Digital abuse is the use of technology and the Internet to bully, harass, stalk, intimidate, or control a partner. This behavior is often a form of verbal or emotional abuse conducted online. Digital abuse is also referred to as technology abuse, or technology facilitated abuse. Digital abuse can happen in the context of any relationship and might continue after someone leaves their partner.
Signs of Digital Abuse
Technology is an integral part of everyone’s lives, but if you are a teen you might need technology for everything from homework to your social life. This constant access and exposure to technology leaves opportunities for digital abuse to occur. This abuse may seem isolating because it may be happening without anyone witnessing the behaviors. The following are examples of digital abuse that teens may experience:
Has your partner ever?
Set boundaries with your partner:
Talk about the things that you are comfortable with and things that you are uncomfortable with. Talk about your boundaries around privacy, communication, photos/videos, etc.
Be comfortable saying no:
You have the right to say no to anything at any time. You never have to share information, photos/videos or accounts with anyone!
Have a plan:
Identify safe adults in your life that you can reach out to for help if you experience abuse or danger online.
Control your privacy:
Look into the privacy settings on all the devices, apps and platforms you use. Customize your settings to ensure your privacy and safety is protected and frequently review your settings.
Ask for help:
Don’t be afraid or embarrassed to reach out for support if you feel unsafe or uncomfortable. No one deserves to experience abuse or harassment online and there is help available for you! Identify resources in your family, school and community. Visit loveisrespect.org for peer support through text or chat.
Resources used in blog and additional information
How to create boundaries in romantic relationships - love is respect
Online safety while dating | Personal safety | love is respect
Types of abuse - love is respect