Teen DV Month image love is respect in orange on a turquoise background with hearts

Love is Respect, Online and Off: #teendvchat Wrap-Up

In our first Twitter chat of Teen DV Month 2017, we teamed up with our friends at That’s Not Cool (a project of Futures Without Violence) to talk about respectful and disrespectful behavior online. Several folks and organizations joined in, and we had a great conversation about digital boundaries and what’s okay/not okay in a relationship. Check out the Storify below for some gems!

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Students Become the Teachers in a Healthy Relationships Workshop

By Anitra, youth organizer

Last week, students at Conrad High School in Dallas, TX joined with educators for a workshop that focused on identifying healthy vs. unhealthy relationship behaviors.

In a unique twist, the students became the teachers and led the event using the Educators Toolkit, developed by loveisrespect. The educators participated in two activities from the toolkit. One activity was completing the loveisrespect relationship spectrum and discussing various behaviors to identify if they were healthy, unhealthy or abusive. The second activity was a group discussion about an unhealthy relationship situation.

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Image of a person holding their cell phone camera directly toward the viewer

What is “Revenge Porn”?

“If you leave, I’ll ruin your life with these pictures…”

One form of digital abuse you might have heard of is nonconsensual pornography, often called “revenge porn.” This type of abuse intersects with sexual abuse, as it involves the digital distribution of nude or sexually explicit photos and/or videos of a person without their consent. It’s called “revenge” porn because the images or videos are often used as retaliation or as blackmail material by a current or former partner.

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The Pressure to Sext: What You Need to Know About Sexting Coercion

You’ve probably heard teachers or parents say it a million times:

Don’t sext!

But what if your partner is pressuring or forcing you to do it?

A recent Indiana University study indicated that one in five young adults who sext experiences sexting coercion. Sexting coercion is when someone pressures or forces their partner to digitally send explicit pictures or sexts. It’s a form of digital and sexual abuse and, as the study found, can be very traumatizing to the victim. We know that digital abuse is serious not only because it is traumatic, but also because once you send something electronically to someone else (whether it’s words or pictures) it’s no longer under your control. It can be copied, altered or shared with anyone else, and never completely erased. This can often intensify the trauma that a victim feels.

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In(ternet) Love: Have a Healthy Online Relationship

In many ways, having a relationship with someone you met online is a lot like having a relationship IRL. You probably talk to your online partner about stuff that’s important to you, look forward to their texts or chats, Skype with them for face-to-face convos, and you might even develop strong feelings for them. Meeting someone on the internet – whether through social media, online dating sites, gaming sites or other forums – and developing an online relationship has become very common, and it’s a perfectly valid type of relationship. But just like any other kind of relationship, online relationships can be healthy, unhealthy or abusive.

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Respecting Your Partner’s Boundaries

This post was written by Mikaela, a loveisrespect advocate.

A healthy relationship starts with mutual respect, and that includes respecting each other’s emotional and physical boundaries. We’ve talked a little bit about setting your own boundaries, but it’s equally important to think about how to respect your partner’s boundaries. Whether you’re thinking about asking someone out, in the middle of a dating relationship, or dealing with a break-up, respecting the other person’s boundaries is essential.

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After a Breakup: Your Tech Safety Checklist

Technology can be pretty awesome in a lot of ways. With a smartphone or a laptop and an internet connection, you can chat, message, share pictures or videos, and stay connected with anyone, anywhere in the world. But we all know that technology can also cause problems, especially for people in abusive relationships.

We’ve talked a lot about digital abuse while in a relationship, but if your relationship has ended, your safety is still important. Follow this tech safety checklist to create a few protective barriers for yourself after a breakup:

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Is Your Long-Distance Relationship Unhealthy?

This post was written by Gabriella, a loveisrespect intern.

You might be in a long-distance relationship because of a high school graduation, a connection you made with someone over the internet, or any number of reasons. Long-distance relationships have a bad rap for being notoriously difficult and complicated, requiring even more commitment from both partners than usual. Sure, everyone knows they aren’t easy, but how do you know if your long-distance relationship is healthy or not? Are they all doomed?

Thankfully, the answer is NO, not all long-distance relationships fail! But it can be tricky figuring out if yours is healthy. Here are some warning signs of an unhealthy long-distance relationship:

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Checking In or Checking Up?

where r u?

who u with?

y havent u txtd me back??

Do those texts sound familiar? When you’re in a relationship with someone, it’s natural to want to spend as much time with them as possible. Checking in with your partner – whether it’s to see how their day went, or to confirm that date for Friday night – can be one way to let them know you’re thinking of them. But checking in becomes checking up if it’s driven by insecurity or jealousy. Attempting to control a person by checking up on them is unhealthy behavior that can quickly become abusive.

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