Teens, Technology, and Abuse

Texting and Facebook are common ways that teens talk and share their lives. A teen may use technology to spy on, make fun of, embarrass, or control a dating partner. Use of technology to talk someone into something they don't want to do, say mean things, or act controlling is abusive behavior.

71% of teens think that using texts, Facebook, or other types of technology to harm a dating partner is wrong. Harmful behaviors include:

  • Spreading rumors.
  • Putting someone down.
  • Calling someone names.
  • Embarrassing someone.
  • Telling others personal or intimate information.
  • Asking for or sending sexual texts or nude photos.

Technology may put teens at risk for dating abuse because it is instant. Also, an abuser can act without having to face the victim.

Through technology:

  • 1 in 4 teens reports having been a victim of abuse.
  • 1 in 5 teens has been asked to take part in sexual acts when they did not want to.
  • 1 in 11 teens between 13 and 16 years of age has sent or posted sexual texts or nude photos.

More than 50% of girls and 18% of boys report posting or sending sexual photos because of pressure from a dating partner. A teen may fear that a dating partner will hit, make fun of, embarrass, or break up with them if a photo is not sent.

Images and words cycle through the Internet and never go away. Use of technology to harass, abuse, or send nude photos can be reported to police.

For help with any kind of dating abuse, teens can: