What Is Digital Dating Abuse and How Can You Deal with It?

The digital world has presented us with online dating which makes it easier to meet more people and hopefully improves our chances of finding the right person. Unfortunately when we meet an abusive person online they can be hard to deal with and even dangerous. And that abusive person can take advantage of the internet to abuse whenever he or she wants and has more people to prey upon. PR Newswire reports on the Mary Kay Truth about Abuse Survey and problems with digital dating abuse.

As digital dating abuse emerges as an epidemic among young people, the need for education and intervention is also on the rise.  Today, Mary Kay released more data from its eighth annual Truth about Abuse Survey revealing that 89% of young people are confident they know what a healthy relationship looks like and yet, 68% have actually experienced digital dating abuse.  As young people navigate the complex combination of today’s dating scene alongside social media, the new survey provides insight on gaps in resources and education.

Here are the high points of the survey.

  • More education needed: 82% of young people said they need more information to talk to friends about digital dating abuse.
  • Get the right help: experts agree that confronting an abuser can put a victim in danger, yet nearly 1 in 4 (22%) young people incorrectly believe that talking to a friend’s partner is an effective way to intervene.
  • Social influence: 42% report that they learn about healthy relationships from entertainment and news media.
  • Intervention: 95% say they would want to intervene if a friend experienced digital dating abuse.

Despite realizing that digital dating abuse is a bad thing many young people hesitate to do anything about it. Here are the most common reasons.

  • They would be concerned they were overreacting (37%)
  • They wouldn’t know what to say (29%)
  • They fear hurting their friendship (28%)
  • They wouldn’t want to hurt feelings or embarrass their friends (27%)

The survey was done on individuals aged 13 to 24. The responses sound typical of young people who are constantly navigating the social norms of their peer groups. Digital dating abuse is simply an extension of verbal and physical abuse but much easier to inflict in a digital age. How to deal with digital dating abuse is to realize that it is not normal and is not right. Then our advice about how to avoid an abusive relationship applies.

Knowing how to avoid an abusive relationship can mean the difference between happiness and unhappiness, safety and serious bodily injury. The stabbing death of a young woman in Los Angeles, California, school cafeteria has been in the news lately. There were many cues preceding the murder of this young woman. Knowing how to avoid an abusive relationship not only helps us avoid psychological trauma but physical assault and even death. Knowing how to avoid an abusive relationship usually starts with the person’s own self esteem. When we like ourselves and feel good about ourselves we tend to avoid situations and relationships that are psychologically and physically abusive.

Young people looking for friends and groups to belong to need to realize that they do not need to trade off their self-esteem or personal safety to get acceptance from someone who in the end is simply an abuser.

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