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Teen Digital Dating Violence Toolkit

We use technology daily to connect with friends and family, post photos and videos, and find information about health issues, current events, or what’s happening in our community. Increasingly, teens are reporting violence and abuse from current and former dating partners through text messages, social media, and the distribution of nude or semi-nude images without consent. This is called “digital dating violence.”

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).

You may not know that digital dating violence is happening to you or to someone you know. It’s OK that you don’t know, but it’s not OK that it’s happening. This toolkit will help you identify whether digital dating violence is happening to you and provides information, tips, and ideas for what to do and what kind of help is available.

This section provides helpful information for teens about the most common forms of digital dating violence, including harassment, threats, location tracking, texting and sexting, distribution of nude or semi-nude photos, and online luring and sexual exploitation. It also provides resources that can help.

Harassment

When Does Caring Become Controlling? (video, in English), That’s Not Cool

Help! My Ex Is Harassing Me Online

My Partner is Harassing Me through My Cell Phone (in English), HACK*BLOSSOM

My Partner is Harassing Me through Social Media (in English), HACK*BLOSSOM

Dealing with Harassing Calls, Texts, and Messages

Threats

Help! My Partner is Threatening Me

What to Do if Your Partner Threatens Suicide

Location Tracking

My Partner is Stalking My Location (in English), HACK*BLOSSOM

Texting and Sexting

What is Sexting? Kids Help Phone

Sexting Basics: How to Stay Safe, Kids Help Phone

Sexting and Consent: Important Facts to Know, Kids Help Phone

Sexting: Privacy and the Law, Kids Help Phone

Distribution of Nude or Semi-Nude Photos

What to do If Someone Has Shared or Threatened to Share Your Intimate Image

Is there a Sexual Image of You Online and You Don’t Know What to Do? Cybertip

Sextortion: What is Critical to Know? Cybertip

Removing Pictures/Videos Need Help Now

Helping a Friend, Need Help Now

Take It Down (in English and Spanish)

If you are under 18, this tool can help remove images from Facebook, OnlyFans, Instagram, Pornhub, TikTok, and yubo

Deepfakes: A Victim Resource Guide (PDF, in English), Endtab

Please note that this resource sends you to US-based resources. Please see our Legal Remedies and Preserving Digital Evidence Toolkits for Canadian-based resources.

Online Luring and Sexual Exploitation

Stop Sextortion, (video, in English), Thorn

What is Online Sexual Exploitation and Abuse? Kids Help Phone

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

Helping a Friend with Online Sexual Exploitation & Abuse, Kids Help Phone

No matter what you’re experiencing in your relationships, we want you to be able to continue to use technology in the safest way possible. Here are some resources to help you navigate online spaces.

Online Dating: Safety Tips, Kids Help Phone

Social Networking Safety for Teens

Online Gaming: Privacy Risks and Strategies

Helping Young People Recognize and Respond to Online Hate, Kids Help Phone

My Partner Has Unwanted Access to My Online Accounts (in English), HACK*BLOSSOM

How Can I Protect My Privacy when Using Social Media? Kids Help Phone

DIY Cybersecurity for Domestic Violence (in English), HACK*BLOSSOM

Often, the most dangerous time for someone is when they are planning on leaving a violent relationship. The resources in this section provide you with information to strategically use technology in ways that can enhance your safety by creating a safety plan. A safety plan can not only help you strategically think through the steps needed to leave your relationship, but also help to take back some control if you are being stalked, monitored, or abused through a perpetrator’s misuse of technology.

Using Tech Safely in Dating Relationships

Tech Safety Planning Check List

Safety Planner, Kids Help Phone

I Want to Leave My Partner: Creating a Safety Plan (in English), HACK*BLOSSOM

If you or someone you know is experiencing any type of violence in your relationship, there are many people who can help. You may be feeling a variety of different emotions from sadness, anger, shame, embarrassment, or fear about getting in trouble. Know that you are not alone. Finding support early on will very likely result in you feeling less alone. Reach out to a friend, family member, or a safe adult. A safe adult can be a teacher, a coach, or even the parents of a good friend.

The Importance of Seeking Support (PDF), Canadian Centre for Child Protection

How to Identify a Safe Adult, Kids Help Phone

How to Help Someone in an Abusive Relationship, Kids Help Phone

Signal for Help, Canadian Women’s Foundation

Here are some organizations where you can seek support:

Kid Help Phone’s crisis line is available 24/7 by call or text

Sheltersafe.ca connects you with your local domestic violence shelter and its crisis line. You can phone them for advice, counselling, and safety planning.

This section provides additional resources that may be helpful for you and your experiences of Teen Digital Dating Violence.

Other Helpful Resources for Teens Experiencing Digital Dating Violence (PDF, in English), Spark! Teen Digital Dating Violence

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

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 sheltersafe.ca 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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