What you need to know about digital abuse in relationships
October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month (DVAM) and digital abuse is seldom talked about as a form of domestic violence in our interpersonal relationships. Oftentimes, many victims of digital abuse overlook or dismiss the ways in which they may have been mistreated on a digital platform. Digital abuse is defined as the use of technology to stalk, harass, or intimidate another person. Below are a few signs and symptoms that may be indicative of this form of domestic violence.
- Being told who you can and can't be friends with on different social media networking sites.
- Pressure to send explicit texts, photos, or videos of yourself.
- Receiving explicit texts, photos, or videos without having consented to it.
- Threats to harm themself or you if you do not send explicit texts, photos, or videos of yourself.
- Experiencing revenge porn. This includes the threat and distribution of sexually explicit photos or videos of a person without their consent.
- Insisting on managing your online passwords.
- Looking through your phone and monitoring your pictures, texts, calls, and emails.
- Putting you down in any way via a group text chain, individual text chain, online, or social media post.
- Attempts to doxx or reveal your personal information without your consent on an online platform, specifically your personal phone number, housing address, workplace, educational institution, and family background.
- Low self-esteem when surfing social media
- Feeling overwhelmed in certain digital interactions
- Not feeling physically safe
- A sense of obligation regarding maintaining an online presence
- Experiencing dread when engaging with a certain individual
- You have a right to privacy.
- You have a right to safety.
- You have a right to consent or withdraw consent to receive explicit digital material.
- You have a right to digitally disengage from another person.
If you or a loved one is experiencing any form of domestic violence, please refer to the resources listed below.
Domestic Violence Link Line