Candy hearts, paper valentines, Cupid – the month of February has some iconic symbols for love and offers a boundless opportunity to spread some! But February is also National Teen Dating Violence Awareness month and an opportunity for the community to come together to rally around teens and young people. Specifically, the 1 in 3 young people who will experience abuse from a dating partner across the U.S. in this year alone.

Annually, Mary Kay Inc. releases our Truth About Abuse Survey.* Our most recent survey revealed startling facts about teens and digital dating abuse:

  • More than 1 in 4 (27 percent) report personally experiencing digital dating abuse
  • 39 percent know someone who has experienced digital dating abuse
  • 82 percent report that they need more information to talk to friends about digital dating abuse

 Take a look at the attached infographic for a complete breakdown of the survey results.

But what is digital abuse? According to our partners at loveisrespect, digital abuse is the use of technologies such as texting and social networking to bully, harass, stalk or intimidate a partner. In most cases, this type of abuse is emotional and/or verbal but even though it is perpetuated online, it has a strong impact on the victim’s real life.

Be aware of the warning signs and spread the message that love can be healthy! How will you show love this February?

According to the advocates at loveisrespect, your partner may be digitally abusing you if he/she:

  • Tells you who you can or can’t be friends with on Facebook and other social sites
  • Sends negative, insulting or even threatening emails, tweets, DMs or other messages online
  • Uses sites like Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat and others to keep constant tabs on you
  • Puts you down in their status updates
  • Sends unwanted, explicit pictures and demands you send them in return
  • Pressures you to send explicit videos
  • Steals or insists on being given your passwords
  • Constantly texts and makes you feel like you can’t be separated from your phone for fear of punishment
  • Looks through your phone frequently, checks up on your pictures, texts and outgoing calls
  • Tags you unkindly in pictures on Instagram, Tumblr, etc.

*Survey conducted by Wakefield Research, young people defined as ages 13 to 24.


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