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"I call it an electronic leash. I've had girls come into my office with cell phone bills showing 9,000 text messages and calls in a month. This is all hours of the day and night. And it's threatening. 'Hi. How are you? Where are you? Who are you with? Who are you talking to?'"- Dr. Jill Murray, Psychologist

Cyber/Digital abuse is when an adolescent is tormented, threatened, harassed, humiliated, embarrassed or otherwise targeted by another adolescent using the Internet, interactive and digital technologies or mobile phones. This form of abuse is done repeatedly and can escalate to physical abuse.

Types of Cyber/Digital Abuse:

  • Repeatedly sending offensive, rude, and insulting messages, this is called Cyber Harassment.
  • Sending threats or false accusations via email or cell phone
  • Making threatening or false posts on websites
  • Stealing a person’s identity or data
  • Spying and monitoring a person's computer and internet use.
  • Flaming: Online "fighting" using electronic messages with angry, vulgar language.
  • Impersonation: Breaking into an email or social networking account and using that person's online identity to send or post vicious or embarrassing material to/about others.
  • Outing and Trickery: Sharing someone's secrets or embarrassing information, or tricking someone into revealing secrets or embarrassing information and forwarding it to others.
  • Cyber Stalking: Repeatedly sending messages that include threats of harm or are highly intimidating, or engaging in other online activities that make a person afraid for his or her safety.
  • Repeatedly sending offensive, rude, and insulting messages (this is known as Cyber Harassment).

Cell Phone Safety:

  • If you feel that your partner is monitoring your phone calls consider protecting your phone with a password.
  • Do not store intimate photos on your cell phone.
  • If your partner is harassing you, save all of the messages. They are important to have as proof should you need them for a court case.
  • The Tech Safety app from the National Network to End Domestic Violence has useful information about cyber abuse and support. The app is available for download through the App Store and Google Play.

For more information about cyberbullying check out the article Cyberbullying in School: Prevention and Support: https://www.accreditedschoolsonline.org/resources/cyberbullying-prevention-and-support/

Changing social beliefs, attitudes and the behaviors that perpetuate domestic violence while creating a safe space in which to empower individuals and families affected by abuse.

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