At The Dragonfly House Children’s Advocacy Center, our goal is to help put an end to child abuse and to help survivors of abuse or violence heal from their trauma. We work with children from birth through the age of 17, as well as their families, to give them the support they need to recover from those experiences. Our team covers all types of child abuse, including physical, sexual, and mental harm. In this article, we want to bring your attention to a lesser-known form of child abuse known as social media abuse and provide an overview of how to recognize it.
What is Social Media Abuse?
Social media abuse is also known as digital abuse, and as the name states, it is a form of abuse in which the abuser uses social networks, texting, and other forms of digital media or communication to bully, harass, stalk, or intimidate the victim.
What Does Social Media Abuse Look Like?
There are many ways that abusers can use social media to control, isolate, or harm their victims. Some of the ways that our team has seen this form of abuse manifest over the years include things like the abuser:
- Dictating who their victim can or can’t be friends with on social networks
- Sending cruel, negative, or threatening messages through email, instant messages, tweets, etc.
- Insulting, belittling, or shaming the victim in their status updates
- Sending unsolicited nudes or explicit images/videos, and demanding the victim send similar photos in return
- Stealing or demanding the victim’s login information
- Going through the victim’s phone to check their photos or read their private texts or messages
- Making the victim feel like they have to be available to the abuser at all times, or punishing them for failing to answer their calls or texts within a specific timeframe
All of the behaviors listed above are designed to isolate, control, and bully the victim. If you suspect that your child is being subjected to this treatment, we encourage you to give us a call to find out more about how to help them.