As a mom to three girls, I thought that the information below is important for parents to know.
Here is what Mom Central share about the launch of the app:
PARENTS AND DIGITAL DATING ABUSE
Teen dating abuse comes in many forms, making it difficult for parents to recognize. Dating abuse does not always leave scratches or bruises. Parents need to be aware of subtle signs of abuse and the potential dangers of technology. For teens in abusive relationships, cell phones, the internet and social networking sites have become mediums through which abuse can occur.
According to the Liz Claiborne Inc. and Futures Without Violence, formerly known as the Family Violence Prevention Fund 2009 Teen Dating Abuse survey:
- Nearly 1 in 4 teens (24%) have been victimized by the use of technology from a boyfriend or girlfriend.
- 51% of teens know someone who has been victimized via the use of technology from a boyfriend or girlfriend.
This Love Is Not Abuse iPhone application (APP) was designed for parents to provide them with the information they need to learn about teen dating abuse, how to recognize abusive behaviors and how to find help if they believe their teen may be in an abusive relationship. The APP also utilizes videos, text messages, emails and phone calls to teach parents how to recognize the signs of digitally abusive relationships and help them understand how technology impacts dating relationships.
EXPERT FEEDBACK AND EASY ACCESS TO RESOURCES
The APP was created after consulting top experts in the fields of dating abuse, adolescent development and parenting, including Cindy Southworth of the National Network to End Domestic Violence, cyber bullying expert Parry Aftab from Wired Safety and Drs. Jill Murray and Elizabeth Miller. These experts provide advice and guidance for parents throughout the APP.
The application was also designed to aggregate many of the top resources in the field so that parents do not have to search exhaustively for help, and instead can find information from leading experts and organizations in just one easy-to-access place.
WHY THE LOVE IS NOT ABUSE APPLICATION IS UNIQUE
Liz Claiborne Inc.’s Love Is Not Abuse application provides a rare insight for parents of what it feels like for their teen to be a victim of digital dating abuse.
This application simulates for parents the abuse that many teens endure in their dating relationships. For just a few minutes, application users will receive text messages, emails and phone calls from a ‘boyfriend’ or ‘girlfriend’ that mimic the actual communications abused teens receive – in many cases, all day and night. Videos on such topics as privacy invasion, deleting a partner’s friends on social networks and unauthorized access to a boyfriend or girlfriend’s social networks teach parents about the destructive behaviors common in digitally abusive relationships.
The Love is Not Abuse iPhone application was created to:
- Provide access to information on the warning signs of abuse and how dating abuse manifests itself in teen relationships
- Highlight the emergence of digital dating abuse by creating an interactive tool that allows parents to experience firsthand digitally abusive dating behaviors
- Provide immediate, concrete steps for parents to take if they are concerned their child may be a victim of dating abuse and/or an abuser
- Provide links to resources for help outside of Love Is Not Abuse, such as loveisrespect.org , the Teen Dating Abuse Helpline and other Love Is Not Abuse partner services
- Call attention to the need for teen dating abuse education in schools and how parents can get involved in the effort
- Offer tips to parents on how to talk to teens about the issue.
Digital Dating Abuse Simulator:
- Checking Up – The user receives a series of phone calls, text messages and emails from a ‘boyfriend’ trying to check up and see where the user is and what they are doing.
- Privacy Invasion – A video on privacy invasion teaches the user about how abusers can invade a boyfriend or girlfriend’s privacy by going through the target’s cell phone logs and text messages in an attempt to keep an eye on their partner and control them.
- Unauthorized Access – A video on unauthorized access to a partner’s social networking pages explains that abusers will use their partners’ passwords to access their accounts, communicate with their boyfriend or girlfriend’s friends, delete pictures, alter personal profile information and change their status to say cruel and untrue things.
- Deleting Friends – This chapter uses video to explain that abusers will often delete their boyfriend or girlfriend’s friends on social networks in an attempt to control who their partner talks to online.
- Threatening – The user experiences phone calls, texts and emails that are threatening in nature from a ‘boyfriend’.
- Excessive Contact – In this chapter, the user receives phone calls, text messages and emails that mimic the excessive calls, texts and emails that many abusers send to their partners, often times all day and night.
- Sexting – Sexting can be a form of dating abuse, as abusers can use threats or coercion to pressure their partners to send them provocative pictures. This chapter includes text messages and emails.
- Family and Friends – Many abusers seek to isolate their boyfriend or girlfriend from family and friends as a means to control that person. This chapter utilizes emails and text message to highlight for users this abusive behavior.
- Unwanted Photos – Some abusers share unwanted photos of their boyfriend or girlfriend, taken with or without the target’s permission. The sharing of these photos is abusive behavior, as this chapter explains through video on the subject.
- The Facts – Provides information for users on what teen dating abuse is and the prevalence of the problem.
- Warning Signs – This chapter provides for parents the many signs of dating abuse so that parents can recognize abusive behaviors in their own teen’s relationship.
- Digital Dating Abuse – Because much of today’s technology was not available when parents were in dating relationships, many parents are unaware of digital dating abuse. This chapter explains to parents what digital dating abuse is and the types of behaviors abusers and victims may exhibit.
- Tips on How to Talk to Teens – After learning about dating abuse, many parents wish to talk to their teens about the problem, often for the first time. This chapter provides tips for parents on how to talk to their teens about dating abuse and dating relationships.
- Dating Violence Curriculum – Liz Claiborne Inc. has a curriculum titled Love is Not Abuse that is used in more than 11,000 schools. This curriculum is free and includes a comprehensive teacher’s guide. In this chapter, users can learn more about the curriculum and request a free copy.
- How to Take Action – The Love is Not Abuse Coalition is a national grassroots coalition of parents, teachers and anyone who wants to make sure schools are teaching about dating abuse. Though this chapter, the user can learn more about the Coalition, including how to join.
- Love is Not Abuse – This chapter provides more information about Love is Not Abuse and partners in the application.
Joyful Heart Foundation
Break the Cycle
Love is Respect