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Safe and respectful relationships on and offline

Blog post

High profile cases reported in the media and reports such as the Urban Institute’s 2013 report, Teen Dating Abuse and Harassment in a Digital World, have drawn attention to cyber abuse. There are many helpful resources to help schools and communities promote safe and respectful relationships on and offline.

mydigitalTAT2: Living Out Loud in a Digital World helps educators, parents and students work together to create a community of kindness and respect both on and offline. Their goal is to help students see the power and responsibility associated with living out loud in the digital world while empowering them to be 21st century learners who are ethical and responsible producers and consumers of media.

Common Sense Media has a comprehensive Digital Citizenship Curriculum that addresses a range of topics (digital footprint/reputation, privacy/security, self identity/image, cyber-bullying, etc.) for grades K-12. Use their Scope & Sequence tool to find the lessons address digital literacy and citizenship topics in an age-appropriate way. The “relationships and communications” section is most relevant to healthy relationships promotion and dating abuse prevention.

The That’s Not Cool – Lesson Plan has information for adults to help teens think critically about the ways they use technology in their relationships and to prevent abuse. The five lessons include cyber-bullying, sexting, over-texting, harassment, controlling behaviors, and privacy protection. 

The That’s Not Cool website, is an interactive website for youth that aims to raise awareness about digital dating abuse. It addresses problems like unwanted and disrespectful texting, pressuring for nude pictures, and breaking into someone’s e-mail or social networking page. The site includes a discussion board, videos, and callout cards.

MTV’s A Thin Line campaign was developed to empower youth to identify, respond to, and stop the spread of digital abuse. The campaign is built on the understanding that there’s a “thin line” between what may begin as a harmless joke and something that could end up having a serious impact. On-air, online and on cell phones, the campaign hopes to spark a conversation and deliver information that helps each person draw their own digital line. 

More resources

Cyberbullying Fact Sheet: Electronic Dating Violence 

Electronic Aggression and Teen Dating Violence