04-Jan-2016 09:03

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When a victim/survivor of abuse is thinking about leaving their abusive relationship, it is best to ask for help.Leaving an abusive relationship can be dangerous, so if you or anyone you know is being abused, please contact a local domestic violence agency or counselor to help plan for safety.(CNN) -- There were no scars, no bruises to indicate the abuse Allyson Pereira, a 16-year-old high school sophomore in New Jersey, had suffered. She said he gave her an offer: Text him a naked picture of herself, and he would get back together with her. Pereira, who was featured in the MTV anti-digital dating abuse campaign, "A Thin Line," in December, has been speaking out against the growing problem of digital dating abuse among teens.Her emotional pain was caused by her high school boyfriend, who blitzed her with cruel comments via instant messages, e-mails and My Space, calling her ugly and accusing her of cheating. Pereira, now 21, regrets sending her boyfriend the topless picture that was subsequently forwarded to other students in her high school. In the MTV documentary, Pereira's parents and friends also warned about the consequences of sexting photos like the one that caused Pereira such pain.The study examined 4,400 responses from 11- to 18-year-old students in one school district in the southern U. The study's authors say this is one of the first attempts to quantify how often digital dating abuse is occurring among teens."It may be checking her text and pictures to make sure she's not texting with any other boys," explains Sameer Hinduja, co-founder of the Cyberbullying Research Center and associate professor of criminology at Florida Atlantic University.

Abusive teens may also exert their control by preventing their partners from using technology, experts say.

About 10 percent of teens interviewed say a romantic partner stopped them from using a computer or cell phone.

Dating or domestic abuse occurs when one partner uses different types of abusive behavior to gain POWER and CONTROL over the other partner.

Dating or domestic violence is a pattern of behavior that can include emotional/mental/verbal, financial, physical, sexual, and social abuse. Teens and adults experience abuse in their relationships at the exact same rate!

Dating abuse can happen to anyone, no matter their sexual orientation, gender identity, ethnicity, income level, educational and/or national background!

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It is important for victims/survivors of abuse to find local resources like a domestic violence agency or counselor and to have trusted friends or family members who can keep their confidentiality and give them nonjudgmental support.

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