Cyber dating abuse on the rise
With so many teens and young adults using technology devices, a new study claims uncovers that dating abuse can even extend to the World Wide Web.
Published in the Journal of Pediatrics, the study was based on surveys of teens who visited northern California school health clinics. From 2012 to 2013, more than 1,000 teens between the ages of 14 and 19 visited these on-campus health clinics. Each participant answered questions based on health issues including sexually transmitted diseases, birth control and annual checkups.
As a result, more than 40 percent of teens said they had experienced some form of cyber dating abuse within the past three months. These types of abuse include stalking, threats and harassment through hurtful comments.
This study also gives a better understanding of cyber dating abuse in teens and its implications.
“Evidence has already shown that cyber dating abuse is linked to physical, sexual and psychological abuse,” said study author Rebecca Dick, a clinical research coordinator of the Center for Adolescent and Young Adult Health at the University of Pittsburgh, in a statement.
Judy Petrushka, a domestic violence outreach specialist at Advocate Good Samaritan Hospital in Downers Grove, Ill., explains the signs of an abusive cyber-dating relationship:
- Is your partner texting frequently asking where you are?
- Demanding pictures of who you are with?
- Are they monitoring you through social media?
- Asking for your passwords to social media accounts?
- Are they pressuring you to do things you don’t want to do?
- Asking you to send suggestive or nude photos or anything else that makes you uncomfortable?
Be aware of what your child is doing online:
- Talk with your kids about cyberbullying and other online issues regularly
- Know the sites your kids visit and their online activities.
- Encourage your kids to tell you immediately if they, or someone they know, is being cyberbullied.
Establish rules of technology usages:
- Establish rules about appropriate use of computers, cell phones, and other technology. For example, be clear about what sites they can visit and what they are permitted to do when they’re online. Show them how to be safe online.
- Help them be smart about what they post or say. Tell them not to share anything that could hurt or embarrass themselves or others. Once something is posted, it is out of their control whether someone else will forward it.
- Tell kids to keep their passwords safe and not share them with friends. Sharing passwords can compromise their control over their online identities and activities.
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