We recently held a Sexual Assault Awareness Month webinar with Michelle Issadore, a sexual violence prevention expert, on “Decoding Digital Abuse: Prevention Strategies for 2020 and Beyond + Insights on Pending Title IX Regulations.” If you were unable to attend, please feel free to watch our recorded webinar.
Sexual exploitation was not included in most campus sexual misconduct policies until recently, if at all. Much of the commentary on the topic is based in victim-blaming for the new age: “why did you put yourself in that position?” is the updated “what were you wearing?” In a continually evolving landscape of social media platforms, apps, video and photo sharing services, surveillance technology, and more, how can outreach efforts best target effective risk reduction, primary prevention, and changing social norms?
Here’s what we learned:
Digital abuse is the use of technologies such as texting and social networking to bully, harass, stalk, or intimidate a partner. Often this behavior is a form of verbal or emotional abuse perpetrated online. (Definition provided by LoveisRespect.org.)
The latest research shows digital abuse is widespread:
Here are some of the types of digital abuse that can impact students in higher education:
As technology continues to evolve, its role in digital abuse is significant. Here are some of the different technologies used to commit or facilitate digital abuse:
Some of the differences between digital abuse and other forms of violence are as follows:
Since digital abuse is relatively a new form of sexual violence and research is continuing to come to light, here are six critical takeaways to help create positive change within your community:
If you were unable to participate in our Sexual Assault Awareness Month webinar with Michelle Issadore or interested in learning even more about digital abuse, please be sure to watch our free webinar recording.