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Transcript of Digital Abuse:
The Dark Side of Teen Dating Violence
What Is Teen Dating Violence?
Physical, sexual, or emotional abuse that occurs within a teen dating relationship.
In person and Electronic
Occurs across all cultures, races, and socioeconomic groups
1 in 3 Adolescents in the U.S. is a victim of Teen Dating Violence
Critical stage of emotional and physical development
Tend to abide by traditional gender roles - Men are Dominant, while Women are Submissive
Shy away from reporting crimes in general, but especially when related to domestic violence
Similar to Adult Domestic Violence...
Occurs across every race, religion, class, and sexual orientation
Abuse can be physical, sexual, and/or emotional in nature
Rooted in abuser's desire for Power and Control
Many State Domestic Violence Laws Fail to Protect Teens
Nature of Relationship with Abuser
Teens + Digital Dating Abuse
Digital Dating Abuse = Verbal and/or Emotional Abuse, which includes unwanted, repeated calls or text messages, pressure to send nude or private pictures/videoes, and use of social networking sites to bully, harrass, stalk or intimiate a boyfriend/girlfriend.
Teens are using technology at a rate that far exceeds their adult counterparts
Girls between 13-17 send + receive an average of 4,050 texts/month!
18-24 - approx. 1,630 texts/month
45-54 - approx. 323 texts/month
Nearly all teens use the Internet, with approx. 80% using social media
In Case You Didn't Know...
Most Parents Don't Know
Teens are more likely to report abuse to their friends, not their parents
Don't think behavior is "serious enough" to warrant parental involvement
Fear getting in trouble
Parents might keep them away from their significant other
47% of Adolescence ages 14-17 have been victims of digitially abusive behavior
1 in 3 report they've been texted 10, 20, or 30 times an hour by a partner want to "check in"
1 in 5 have been asked via cell phone or the internet to engage in sexual activity they did not feel comfortable with
1 in 10 claim to have been PHYSICALLY THREATENED via email, IM, text, or chat!
The Prevalence of Digital Dating Violence is SHOCKING!
Do State Domestic Violence Laws Protect Against Digital Abuse?
NJSA §2C:12-10 - Stalking includes Cyberstalking, but not explicitly
NJSA §2C:33-4 - Harassment does NOT include Cyber-harassment
New bill (#2469) was introduced in NJ Senate in Jan. '13 and would create the crime of Cyber-harassment
New York Penal Law §240.30 - Aggravated Harassment specifically covers electronic communications
However, other NY Laws are less clear, including those related to stalking, are less clear
What About Federal Laws?
VAWA amended two federal statutes to combat cyberstalking and cyber-harassment
The Federal Interstate Stalking Punishment and Prevention Act - 18 U.S.C. §2251A - Interstate Stalking includes Cyberstalking
The Federal Telephone Harassment Statute - 47 U.S.C. §223(a)(1)(C) - Protects against Anonymous Online Harassment
The Interstate Communications Act - 18 U.S.C. §875(c) - broadly prohibits interstate threats
Does not take into account DV prospective
Only applies to threats of kidnapping or physical injury
Solutions: A Multifaceted Approach
Changing State Domestic Violence Laws by explicitly allowing minor victims to petition for ROs/OPs against their abusers, including minor abuses, on their own behalf
Changing Federal Domestic Violence Law
Education for teens, parents, AND law enforcement