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Dating Violence & Teens: Textual Harassment and Sexting Katie Kenyon Manager of Outreach and Education, Domestic Abuse Project of Delaware County, Inc.

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Presentation on theme: "Dating Violence & Teens: Textual Harassment and Sexting Katie Kenyon Manager of Outreach and Education, Domestic Abuse Project of Delaware County, Inc."— Presentation transcript:

1 Dating Violence & Teens: Textual Harassment and Sexting Katie Kenyon Manager of Outreach and Education, Domestic Abuse Project of Delaware County, Inc.

2 Dating Violence in Teen Populations The age range with the highest risk for most severe violence in relationships is According to the Center for Disease Control about 1 in 5 high school-age females has experienced physical or sexual abuse by a dating partner About 1 in 11 teens reports being a victim of physical abuse each year 1/3 of adolescents have at least one friend who is in a violent relationship

3 Troubled Economy Linked to High Levels of Teen Dating Violence & Abuse Survey % of dating teens have personally been victimized by controlling behaviors from a boyfriend or girlfriend 29% have been the victim of sexual or physical abuse or the threat of physical abuse 24% have been victimized by the use of technology by a boyfriend or girlfriend 74% of teens interviewed said that their families have experienced financial problems in the last 12 months and almost half of those teens stated they have witnessed violent or abusive behavior in the home. 67% of those teens experienced some form of dating abuse.

4 What is TDV? Dating violence (or relationship abuse) is a pattern of violent behavior that someone uses against a girlfriend or boyfriend. Abuse can cause injury or even death, but it doesnt have to be physical. It can include verbal and emotional abuseconstant insults and taunts, isolation from friends and family, name calling, controlling a partners behavior. Dating Violence can also include sexual abuse. It can happen to anyone, at any age, no matter what race or religion they are, no matter what their level of education or economic background. Dating violence also occurs in same-gender dating relationships.

5 Textual Harassment/Digital Abusethe new frontier of dating violence Call or text you to check up on you (find out where you are, what youre doing, who youre with) between midnight & 5a.m. Call your cell phone to check up on you 20 or more times per/hour Text you to check up on you more than 40 times per hour Share or threaten to share private or embarrassing pictures or videos of you

6 Sexting The consensual taking and consensual sending of nude or semi-nude pictures, or sexually charged messages via cell- phones Consequences include: guilt, anxiety, shame, victimization & legal problems 75% of youth surveyed agreed that sending sexually explicit messages can have negative consequences.

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8 Developmentally Appropriate? According to the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry… Teen brains continue to develop well into early adulthood, especially the frontal cortex responsible for reasoning Teens are more likely to act on impulse, misread social cues or engage in dangerous or risky behaviors Teens are less likely to think before they act, recognize consequences or modify dangerous or harmful behaviors

9 Know the Difference! Sexting Cyberbullying Harassment by communication Online sex offenses

10 The National Campaign: 20% of teenagers have sent nude/semi-nude pictures of themselves 11% of young teen girls (13-16) have sent nude/semi-nude pictures of themselves Almost 40% of teenagers have sent sexually explicit or suggestive messages Almost half of teens say it is common for images to be shared with people other than the intended recipient

11 The National Campaign cont… 71% of teen girls and 67% of teen boys sent sexually suggestive content to a boyfriend or girlfriend 21% of teen girls and 39% of teen boys sent the material to someone they wanted to hook up with 15% of teens sent footage to someone they only know online

12 The National Campaign cont… 51% of teen girls say that pressure from a guy is a reason they send sexy messages or images. 18% of male counterparts cite pressure Almost 25% of teens cite pressure from friends More than 50% of teen girls send pictures as a sexy present for their boyfriend

13 Teen Dating Violence Victims Victims of T.D.V. are at greater risk for: Unintended pregnancy or rapid repeat pregnancies Sexually Transmitted Diseases or risky behaviors Drug/Alcohol abuse Early tobacco use Eating disorders Self mutilation Depression & anxiety Suicide or suicide attempts Running away

14 Why do teens stay? FEAR LOVE Guilt Shame Peer-pressure Hope their partner will change Concern for reputation Belief that violence is their fault Legal and safety remedies are not easy to access Afraid partner will hurt him/herself Pregnancy History of witnessing domestic violence No way to get away from partner at school or in social situations Low self-esteem Afraid to disclose violence at school or at home Issues facing already marginalized youth

15 How To Help a TDV Victim? Recognize, Ask, Validate, Refer/Resources Show concern, but dont be confrontational Offer help, but dont try and take control Be honest about the limits of your confidentiality Dont ask blaming questions Be prepared to help the teen safety plan If you have to involve parents or guardians, try and provide them with some information about dating violence too Talk about dating violence and sexting in your appointments and intakes. Display resources in hallways, waiting rooms and bathrooms

16 Sexting Safety for Teens Dont assume anything you send or post will remain private, posted information will never go away Dont give in to peer pressure Consider how the recipient will feel when they see your message Dont forward images or messages sent to you Nothing online is truly anonymous Take 24 hours to decide if sexting is really for you!

17 Supporting Parents Encourage parents to communicate with their children about what goes on in cyberspace Parents should know who their kids are communicating with and know what their children are posting online Parents can assert limitations on and set expectations for electronic communications for their children

18 Dating Violence and Sexting Web Resource List Family Violence Prevention Fund – Thats Not Cool! The National Campaign to Prevent Teen & Unplanned Pregnancy Teen Dating Violence Resources, National Electronic Network on Violence Against Women Centers for Disease Control – Choose Respect

19 Teen Dating Violence Hotline Women Against Rape (WAR) Of Delaware County

20 DAP Services for Teens , DAP offers… –24-hour Hotline –Legal advocacy (with a guardian present if under 18) –Information & Referrals –Materials Hotline cards, posters, brochures, handouts, etc. –Presentations


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