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An iPhone App to Combat Digital Dating Abuse

love-is-not-abuse-iphone-appAs if teen dating weren’t challenging enough, add in social networking, smartphones, texting, etc., and things get really complicated — and often abusive!

For parents, protecting their teenagers as they enter the world of relationships and dating can sometimes seem impossible. I know when I was a teenager, despite my parents good intentions, I ended up in an emotionally abusive and controlling relationship for three years. I can only imagine how the level of that abuse would have risen had my boyfriend been able to check in on me constantly via Facebook and text messaging!

“Technology is a tool for someone trying to exert power or control to do that. We’ve heard of cases of teens in relationships checking up on their partner, 10, 20, even 30 times an hour,” said Jane Randel, of the clothing company Liz Claiborne Inc., which helped to launch Love Is Not Abuse (LINA), an app to educate parents about digital dating abuse.

“We tend to think of abuse as black eyes and bruises, but there is a lot more to it than that. This app allows us to show the subtleties and insidious aspects of it.”

Can An App Help Protect Teens?

Liz Claiborne Inc.’s Love Is Not Abuse (LINA) application shows parents how their teen can be a victim of digital dating abuse through technology such as cell phones and social networking sites.

This application simulates for parents the abuse that many teens endure in their dating relationships. For just a few minutes, application users will receive text messages, emails and phone calls from a ‘boyfriend’ or ‘girlfriend’ that mimic the actual communications abused teens receive – in many cases, all day and night. Videos on such topics as privacy invasion, deleting a partner’s friends on social networks and unauthorized access to a boyfriend or girlfriend’s social networks teach parents about the destructive behaviors in digitally abusive relationships.

Users are also provided with resources to get help and can access the Love is Not Abuse curriculum, designed to teach teens about abusive relationships.

Love Is Not Abuse (LINA) app is available for FREE at the iTunes App Store.

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