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Supporting Teens’ Experiences of Digital Dating Violence

As technology evolves and becomes more prevalent in our daily lives, it is important to understand the impacts of teen digital dating violence and the resources available for caregivers and anti-violence workers who support them.

Digital Dating Violence means physical, sexual, or psychological/emotional violence that occurs between dating partners via texting, social media, and related online mediums. This term is also known as, and will be used interchangeably with, technology-facilitated gender-based violence (TFGBV).

This toolkit provides anti-violence workers and caregivers supporting teens through their experiences of digital dating violence with information, tips, handouts, and resources from Women’s Shelters Canada and other organizations.

Technology safety planning should always be done in tandem with safety planning for other aspects of a survivor’s life. Online violence and offline violence are interconnected; it is vital to consider the non-technology-related risks that may be associated with technology safety planning. This section offers anti-violence workers suggestions on how to support teens experiencing digital dating violence as well as safer use of technology suggestions and a tech safety planning checklist to incorporate into safety plans.

Supporting Teens Through Digital Dating Violence

Supporting Indigenous Teens through Digital Dating Violence

Conversation Starters for Tech Safety Planning

Tech Safety Planning Check List

Violence Is Preventable (video series), Victoria Women’s Transition House Society 

What’s the Deal: Activity Book Grade 7/8 (PDF), Canadian Centre for Child Protection

Its a Big Deal: Activity Book Grade 9/12 (PDF),
Canadian Centre for Child Protection 

It’s Your Body, It’s Your Image, Take Back Control (video), Canadian Centre for Child Protection

Being a parent or caregiver of someone in an abusive dating relationship is hard. Add technology abuse to your teen’s situation and this can heighten fear and frustration especially if you are unfamiliar with technology. This section provides helpful information to caregivers supporting teens through digital dating violence.

Supporting Teens Through Digital Dating Violence

How to Help Your Teen Recognize Unhealthy Online Relationships, Canadian Women’s Foundation

The Importance of Seeking Support, Need Help Now

Parenting in an Online World, The White Hatter

Self/Peer Exploitation: What Parents Need to Know, Canadian Centre for Child Protection

Self/Peer Exploitation: Family Resource Guide, Need Help Now

Trauma and Youth who Have Experienced Online Exploitation (PDF), Canadian Centre for Child Protection

Sexual Exploitation And Trafficking Of Children & Youth In Canada A Prevention And Early Intervention Toolkit For Parents, Children of the Street Society

Take It Down

Steps You Can Take to Remove Pictures off the Internet (PDF), Need Help Now

DIY Cybersecurity for Domestic Violence, HACK*BLOSSOM

5-Minute Parenting Guide to Catfishing (PDF), The Tech-Savvy Parent

A Note on Language

In this toolkit, we will sometimes use the word woman/women and feminine pronouns for simplicity and to recognize the significant impact technology-facilitated violence has on women and girls. We recognize that TFGBV also impacts trans, non-binary, and Two-Spirit people. We hope that all people impacted by TFGBV will find these documents useful.

Word of Caution

This toolkit is available as read-only on this website with an option to download the PDF versions of each document. If you are reading this toolkit on a device that may be monitored by your abuser, do not download the PDF versions as they will automatically save in your downloads folder. If you think that someone is monitoring your phone, use a different device that the person cannot access (and that they have not had access to in the past), such as a computer at a library or a friend's phone. You can also use to find a shelter/transition house near you to discuss options with an anti-violence worker.

Safety Check!

If you think someone is monitoring your devices, visit this website from a computer, tablet, or smartphone that isn’t being monitored.

EXIT NOW from this website and delete it from your browser history.

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