Dating Abuse Prevention

Dating Abuse Prevention

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1 in 4 teens in a relationship says they have been called names, harassed or put down by their partner through cell phones and texting

"That's Not Cool"

A majority of today’s teens has mobile phones and uses them to talk to friends, send text messages, and post to social networking sites. But use of this technology creates new challenges for teens, particularly as they develop intimate relationships.

One of those challenges is learning to recognize digital dating abuse. Digital dating abuse can include persistent and unwanted calls or text messages, breaking into email or social networking accounts, or being pressured to send private or embarrassing photos or videos.   

Just how big is this problem? According to a Technology and Teen Dating Abuse Survey conducted by Teen Research Unlimited in 2007, one in three teens says they have been text messaged 10, 20 or 30 times an hour by a partner wanting to know where they are, what they are doing, or whom they are with. One in four teens in a relationship has been called names, harassed, or disparaged by their partner via calls and text messages.

That’s why the Ad Council, in partnership with the Family Violence Prevention Fund and the Department of Justice’s Office on Violence against Women, launched “That’s Not Cool,” a national public service advertising campaign designed to help teens identify digital dating abuse and take steps to prevent it.

In addition to traditional media, the campaign—created pro bono by R/GA—uses web-based ads and posters in schools and malls to connect with teens where they hang out, online and off. PSAs direct teens to visit, ThatsNotCool.com,where they can find tools to help them determine for themselves what is acceptable relationship behavior and connect with other teens to share their experiences. An ambassador program encourages teens to get involved in raising awareness about digital dating abuse in their schools and communities.

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