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Lost Signal: Dating Abuse & Your Phone

Lost Signal: Dating Abuse & Your Phone

We have a question for you: is your phone within a 3 foot radius of where you are?

It goes everywhere with you. Pocket, purse, car cup-holder, desk, locker, backpack – no matter where you keep it, you make sure it’s close. At all times. Have you ever had that swooping sensation in your stomach when you realize you don’t have your phone? We all have. And for good reason. Your phone can serve as an important tool. It keeps us connected to everyone. So why do we need to talk about phone use on a dating abuse site?

Because, like most forms of technology, it can pose a threat to someone in an abusive relationship. CNN ran an article today entitled “Nude photos and cruel messages, teen digital dating abuse grows” discussing controlling, manipulative behavior within relationships carried out over the phone.

Technology and dating abuse is a familiar topic here at loveisrespect. We’ve joined with MTV on their “A Thin Line” campaign (see the video where they get due credit), we’ve covered the development of Facebook Places, talked about online stalking, and posted general info on the topic too. But as we see sexting and phone harassment stories continually emerging, we’re reminded that some topics are worth dwelling on.

Some of our loyal followers might recognize this video:

Does this seem familiar? Does your significant other text you incessantly? The people heading up That’s Not Cool say it best with their statement, “Your mobile, IM and online accounts are all a part of you. When someone you’re dating is controlling, disrespecting or pressuring you in those spaces, that’s not cool.”

So, in the spirit of knowledge empowering you, we at loveisrespect want you to know these points about textual harassment:

-You do NOT have to take any form of harassment, whether it be explicit picture requests, someone grabbing/spying on your phone, someone answering your phone, constantly texting you, or other abusive behaviors. Need a not-so-subtle way to tell them to stop? Send a callout card.

-If you are under 18 and are producing or distributing nude or sexually suggestive photos (even of yourself to a girlfriend/boyfriend) it is considered child pornography and you could be charged with possession

-Don’t keep friends & family in the dark. Often in textual harassment cases, the parents didn’t know because text messages and phone calls are so private. Remember that your parents can help you get out of an overwhelming situation

And as always, remember we’re here to chat. Calling us at 1-866-331-9474 | 1-866-331-8453 TTY is one really great thing to do with your phone.

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