Oct. 10, 2013: “Technology and Teen Dating Violence”

October 10, 2013 @ 7:30 p.m, Wayland High School. Join guest speaker, Meredith Dank, Ph.D., Professor, Senior Research Associate at the Justice Policy / Urban Institute NYC  and Author, as she leads our discussion on “The Rate of Cyber Dating Abuse among Teens and How It Relates to Other Forms of Teen Dating Violence”.

Dank notes: Just over a quarter of youth in a current or recent relationship experience cyber dating abuse victimization, with girls more likely to experience abuse than boys. Victims of sexually-oriented cyber abuse are seven times more likely to experience sexual coercion. These and other findings from a survey of 5,647 youth in three northeastern states shed new light on how technology is used to perpetrate abuse and sexual violence among youth, as well as implications for prevention and intervention. Dank also notes – that one in four dating teens is abused or harassed online or through texts by their partners, according to the largest survey to date on the subject. Social networking sites, texts, cell phones, and e-mails haven’t pushed abuse rates up, but they have given abusers another way to control, degrade, and frighten their partners, even when apart. Digital harassment also warns of a deeper pattern of abuse offline. Victims are 2 times as likely to be physically abused, 2.5 times as likely to be psychologically abused, and 5 times as likely to be sexually coerced.

The discussion will explore Cyber Abuse within Teen Dating Violence. While more is known about youth’s use of technology in general and cyber bullying among teens, less is known about the extent to which teens experience dating violence via technology (cyber dating abuse). will be recent studies that highlight the myriad ways that youth can use technology to abuse their partners. Specifically, it found eight ways in which partners used electronic communications, the last six of which were related to violence, abuse, or controlling behaviors: (1) establishing a relationship; (2) nonaggressive communication; (3) arguing; (4) monitoring the whereabouts of a partner or controlling their activities; (5) emotional aggression toward a partner; (6) seeking help during a violent episode; (7) distancing a partner’s access to self by not responding to calls, texts, and other contacts via technology; and (8) reestablishing contact after a violent episode.

This Walden Forum will be held at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, October 10, at Wayland High School, 264 Old Connecticut Path, Wayland, MA.