Digital Era has ushered in a new sort of communication. Though technology has its fair share of positives, it has now become a tool of systematic control. Do you feel like your partner is a control freak? Unhealthy relationships are on the rise these days where lack of respect and hurling abuse is the most common form of bullying that people go through in the relationship. The most common forms of online harassment are abuse and insults (63 per cent) and malicious gossip and rumours (59 per cent). Shockingly, 87 per cent of the people with disabilities or poor mental health and 77 per cent of those with weight issues reported experiences of abuse or insults online.
According to a recent report published in the Indian Express, “digital dating abuse is on the rise. Online harassment is on the rise in India, with eight out of 10 surveyed reporting to have encountered some form of online harassment, cyber bullying and cyber stalking, global cyber security firm Norton by Symantec said on Wednesday. The highest threats of physical violence were reported by victims from Mumbai (51 per cent), Delhi (47 per cent) and Hyderabad (46 per cent), with Delhi victims (51 per cent) experiencing the highest incidence of cyber bullying.”
Sometimes, people mistaken the abuse can love or care. It is difficult to get out and leave when either of the person is too attached to the abuser. Here are a few signs which will help you recognise if you are being a victim of digital dating abuse. Take action when either of these are happening to you every day and stay safe.
You are directed on the kind of people to befriend
A healthy relationship means that you can maintain your own identity while sharing your life with a partner. A relationship in no way means that you throw away your freedom to decide on the kind of people you should be friends with. When you are dating someone you don’t necessarily have to stick to your partner’s friends while ditching your own. You should be free to make your own decisions and if your partner always wants to have a say in this, then it’s time you should rethink this relationship.
Their texts are derogatory
Are you always instructed like a slave? Are you told to be always up on your toes to receive his calls? Do you get threats when you say you would leave? When you don’t do as they say, do they abuse you through texts and calls as well? The red flags of digital dating abuse are: lewd and disrespectful messages, threats and blackmails. This not just includes words with sexual connotations but also anything that means to put you down, belittle your worth or saying things like you would never have someone better than them because you are undeserving.
They stalk you on social media
Does your partner keep track of the time when you were online and makes a big fuss about it? Does your partner coerce you to share your passwords with him/her? Did you ever catch him trying to steal your password? Does he give you a silent treatment when you demand your own space? A healthy relationship means that you should be free to do whatever you want without your partner raising heads over your whereabouts and the kind of people you choose to go out with. This speaks volumes about the lack of trust and the weak foundation that your relationship stands on.
They pester you for nude pictures
Sending nude pictures can be very risky no matter how trust worthy your partner is. There are instances where photos have been leaked. You never know when your partner breaches your trust and leaves you embarrassed in a situation that cannot be undone. If you have already clarified it to them that you don’t really want to do it but you are still being pressurised, then you are undergoing digital dating abuse. You have the right to decide on what kind of images you choose to send over a digital platform and this should be blindly respected by a partner who loves you.
They openly embarrass you online
Did you ever wake to see a very derogatory post on your partner’s profile that explicitly referred to you? Have you been name called or abused in any of his statuses? If your partner resorts to making your private life public then you are being a victim of digital dating abuse. A truly loving partner knows how to keep his personal life private. He will respect you and will see to it that others respect you as well. If your personal issues become public there is no point continuing because there is absolutely no form of dignity that is meted out to you in the relationship.