Thursday, July 19, 2007

Teen Dating Violence

I have a tremendous amount of respect and awe for those of you who are raising children in this day and age. While we are aware of the dangers of the Internet when it comes to our children have any of you become aware of the dangers of cell phones? How about those cell phones that also have Internet access?

I work for a domestic and sexual violence center. We are seeing teen age survivors in our counseling groups. We are seeing parents of teenagers in our counseling groups asking, "how did I miss this signs?"

If you have a child with a cell phone, please review the survey below. Please take note of the warning signs!

Technology & Teen Dating Abuse Survey 2007

A survey on teens and dating abuse reveals that an alarming number of teens in dating relationships are being controlled, threatened and humiliated through cell phones and the Internet with unimaginable frequency. The research also reveals disturbing data that a significant majority of parents are completely unaware of this type of dating abuse and the dangers facing their teens.

The survey was conducted in December 2006 by Teenage Research Unlimited (TRU) for Liz Claiborne Inc. Teens surveyed range in age from 13-18. Key Findings Include:

Teens report dating abuse via technology is a serious problem

  • 71% of teens regard boyfriends/girlfriends spreading rumors about them on cell phones and social networking sites as a serious problem.
  • 68% of teens say boyfriends/girlfriends sharing private or embarrassing pictures/videos on cell phones and computers is a serious problem.

Cell phone calls and texting at unimaginable frequency mean constant control day and night

  • Nearly one in four teens in a relationship (24%) communicated with their partner via cell phone or texting HOURLY between midnight and 5:00am.
  • One in three teens (30%) say they are text messaged 10, 20, 30 times an hour by a partner inquiring where they are, what they're doing, or who they're with.
  • Parents do not know about dating teens' constant contact

    • 67% of parents whose teens were checked up on 30 times per day on their cell phone were unaware this was happening.
    • 82% of parents whose teens were emailed or texted 30 times per hour were unaware this was happening.

    Cell phones and Internet have become weapons of teen dating abuse

    • One in four teens in a relationship (25%) say they have been called names, harassed, or put down by their partner through cell phones and texting.
    • One in five teens in a relationship (22%) have been asked to engage in sex by cell phone or the Internet when they do not want to.

    Parents do not know about this abuse

    • 71% of parents were unaware that their teen is afraid of not responding to a cell phone call, text or IM massage or email for fear of what their partner might do.
    • 67% of parents were unaware that their teen was asked to have sex or engage in sexual acts via cell phone, email, IM, or texting when they did not want to.

    Parents believe technology makes dating abuse more prevalent and more hidden - yet few are doing anything about it

  • 57% of parents believe that computers and cell phones make abuse in teen dating relationships more likely to occur. And 53% of parents believe that computers and cell phones make abuse easier to conceal.
  • But roughly one in four parents of teens (28%) say they limit their teenager's use of a cell phone and online communications with a partner.
  • Parents also do not know that their teens are victims of physical and sexual abuse

    • 75% of parents were unaware that their teen had been physically hurt or bruised by their partner.
    • 69% of parents were unaware that their teen was pressured by their partner to perform oral sex.
    • 58% of parents were unaware that their teen had been hit, slapped, pushed, punched, kicked or choked by their partner.

    To read the full survey go to


    Shelli said...

    Okay, as a mother of a 15 year old girl, you have sufficiently freaked me out. She is a texting freak. I don't think that she is being abused or controlled, but you can be sure that I will be more vigilant.

    Not a Granny said...

    I would just watch who is texting her, how often, and when. Sleep deprivation is a type of abuse also.

    kayli_k42 said...

    my "little" sister just got out of an abusive relationship! He is CRAZY...not sure of the outcome on his part though! I knew something was going on but when i asked her she straight up denied it but she finally got away!

    After i get my degree (1 more semester!!) I want to try to get into the type of stuff you are doing.