Cell phones, computers and other electronic equipment are great tools for abusive partners. They can set up tracking, follow and monitor without leaving home. Teens do not have an excuse for not responding immediately as they are always on their phones. Calls and texts should be answered promptly. It doesn’t matter if the abused teen needs a break from the constant bombardment from the abusive teen. Their feelings are not considered important by the abuser. The abuser only thinks about him or herself.
It’s not because the abuser is concerned about the victim’s safety that he/she must be in constant contact. The person the victim must fear the most is the abuser. It’s because the abuser wants the victim at his/her beck and call to exert control. Also, the abuser is the only one allowed to physically and emotionally abuse the victim. It is an unhealthy relationship and too many teens are experiencing abuse by their boyfriend/girlfriend.
Violence can begin at young ages. In a 2016 study conducted by the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston School at Public health, 15 percent of sixth-grade students admitted to committing cyber abuse. The researchers analyzed survey results from 424 students in Southeast Texas who had a boyfriend or girlfriend. They were attending a class on building healthy relationships.
The most common form of cyber dating abuse among students were using their dating partner’s social networking without permission and making a dating partner afraid of not responding to their partner’s calls or messages.
Dating partners? Seriously, they are 12 and 13-year-old children. It has also been found that the younger the victim when a relationship begins may raise the risk of a homicide later.
Parents need to remember that it is helpful if they have a healthy relationship for the children to model. If the parent’s relationship is toxic and/or includes violence the children may believe that abuse is normal. It is not and it never will be. It isn’t love, it’s unhealthy for all involved.
Parents can talk with a domestic violence program in their area regarding the possibility of obtaining a protective order for their child if needed. It may be a Stalking Protective Order according to state law.
National Dating Hotline
Text “love is” to 22522
Crisis Line 1 866 331-9474
Don’t be Afraid, be Aware and Prepared