Most dwell in the broad expanse between good and vicious: the land of the unhealthy relationship.
Danielle Gindele is a digital peer advocate—the person in the ether who responds when teens text or chat to the loveisrespect hotline.
In fact, the threat of outing a partner can be a controlling tactic to trap a victim.
“Educators should keep that more holistic view of violence in mind.” Digital abuse may be the most invisible to adults, but it is prevalent among the tech generation.
“There is a lot of pressuring for nude pics, or pressure to give up your passwords for all of your social media.
Join your students in clicking through the “Relationship Spectrum” on the loveisrespect website.
It reveals different dating scenarios—“your partner randomly stops by your job, even though you told them it makes you uncomfortable”— and asks students to choose whether the scenario indicates a healthy, unhealthy, or abusive relationship.
“Females are just as clingy and abusive as men,” says Hunter.
Also important to keep in mind: same-sex relationships are not immune from abuse.“The most frequent chat I get is somebody unsure about whether their relationship is unhealthy,” says Gindele.If you have to ask the question…the answer is likely yes, but Gindele puts it this way: “Listen to your gut.” The problem is, she says, “Unfortunately, there isn’t a lot of education for young people on what a healthy relationship looks like.Or is it an act of control to isolate a victim from friends?“You can see the partner grab their hand in that way,” says New York college student Trendha Hunter, a member of loveisrespect’s teen advisory board.Today’s educators need to be alert to the signs of teen dating abuse. Learning how to develop and maintain positive relationships is part of the social and emotional learning that keeps us all safe and happy—and leads to academic success.