Digital dating violence is a pattern of behaviors that control, pressure, or threaten a dating partner using a cell phone or the Internet. Common examples of digital dating violence are texting and misusing social networking to bully, harass, stalk or intimidate a partner. Often this behaviour is a form of verbal or emotional abuse perpetrated online.
In a healthy relationship, all communication is respectful whether in person, online or by phone. It is never ok for someone to do or say anything that makes you feel bad, lowers your self-esteem or manipulates you. You may be experiencing digital dating violence if your partner:
You never deserve to be mistreated, online or off. If you’re experiencing digital dating violence, we encourage you to chat with a trusted adult.
You don’t have to give up your devices or online presence if digital dating violence is happening to you. It’s possible to use technology safely.
If you or someone you know thinks they are experiencing digital dating violence, chat with a trusted adult or seek help from one of the organizations listed below. Often digital dating violence may be part of a continuum of gender-based violence that can be both online and in person.
You are not alone and there are confidential safe support services available.
Spark Teen Digital Dating Violence Project
This document is a part of BCSTH’s Teen Digital Dating Violence Toolkit for Teens. This document, or any portion thereof, may be reproduced or used in any manner whatsoever as long as acknowledgment to the BC Society of Transition Houses is included in the product.
This document was published March 2022.
Adapted for Canada from Day One, New York, United States.
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