Wednesday, September 14, 2011

The Use of Technology in Dating Violence

I've decided to write something different this time. Like other articles I've written it's about technology, Law, and how the evolving interplay between them affects people. Unlike my previous articles though, there's nothing at all enjoyable in researching or writing about this distressingly prevalent issue.

On January 31, 2011 President Obama issued a presidential proclamation recognizing February as National Teen Dating Violence Awareness and Prevention Month. Although this is only the second year that the month of February has been so recognized, dating violence has long been an issue affecting many of our country's teenagers and young adults.

According to a 2009 study by the CDC, ten percent of teens report having been physically abused within the past twelve months by a dating partner.[1] Furthermore, by the time students have graduated from college 44% of them will have been in an abusive relationship.[2] As February is National Teen Dating Violence Awareness and Prevention Month, I'm writing about how technology is often used in abusive relationships.

First, it's important to note that technology is not at fault for this abuse, but like any other tool it can be misused by abusers. It's also important to note that anybody in an abusive relationship could find technology being leveraged against them by an abuser.

However, as teenagers and college students are heavy users of technology they are disproportionately affected by these abusive practices. According to a 2007 study 67% of teens own cell phones, 93% use the internet, and nearly half visit social networking sites daily.[5]