March 2015

March 2015

Thanks for checking out the March issue of RespecText!

Tools for Teens

News Bits

  • We were so excited last month when our partner, Mary Kay, confirmed actress/singer Debby Ryan as their newest cause champion! Known for her starring role as TV’s “Jessie,” Ms. Ryan will travel the country to help educate teens and young adults on healthy relationships and how to recognize the signs of dating abuse. She will serve as the spokesperson for Mary Kay’s Don’t Look Away campaign to help prevent and end dating abuse.
  • Don’t forget that April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month. Learn more about ways to get involved!

Advocate’s Corner

Cyberbullying and digital abuse can affect anyone with an online presence. Just recently, actress Ashley Judd made headlines when one of her tweets elicited some pretty vulgar and threatening responses. A similar thing happened to former pro-baseball player Curt Schilling when he tweeted about his teenage daughter being accepted to college. You can read more about that situation on his blog (warning: he references some tweets with graphic language).

As Schilling notes in his blog post, it’s all too easy to hide behind a computer screen and believe you won’t face real-life consequences for your actions. However, he was able to track down a few of the worst offenders, who were fired or suspended for their actions. Judd has filed police reports and is considering taking legal action against the perpetrators of the abusive tweets aimed at her. On a related note, earlier this year on an episode of This American Life, writer Lindy West had a rather enlightening phone conversation with someone who trolled her online.

Many people question whether or not to take these online threats seriously, but we know that digital abuse can affect victims emotionally and psychologically. In light of all this, it’s more important than ever to talk to young people about using the internet safely and respectfully. Point out the real people who are affected by digital abuse, and how everyone has the power to stop, think and choose not to be abusive, online or off.

Related Resources:
Twitter does have a forum for reporting abuse and threats, but they direct users to contact their local law enforcement if they feel they are in danger.

Powerful Resources

Learn more about issues facing teens and tweens from Futures Without Violence.

If you or a teen you know has questions about dating abuse, loveisrespect advocates are available to help 24/7. Chat at www.loveisrespect.org, text loveis to 22522, or call 1-866-331-9474. 

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