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Digital Dating Abuse Widespread, Mary Kay Survey Finds

For young Americans in the dating scene, a new epidemic has emerged – digital dating…

  • October 25, 2017

For young Americans in the dating scene, a new epidemic has emerged – digital dating abuse.

Cosmetics marketer Mary Kay has released data from its eighth annual Truth About Abuse Survey, which reveals that more than 1 in 4 (27%) of young Americans report they have personally experienced digital dating abuse and another 39% know someone who has.

While the problem is widespread, it is also underreported, increasing the need for intervention and education.

Warning signs of digital dating abuse may include:

  • Significant other going through their phone (46%)
  • Texting, calling or emailing excessively to “check-in” (33%)
  • A partner sending unwanted, lewd texts or emails (18%)
  • Posting embarrassing or negative content about a significant other on social media (14%)

The survey also revealed surprising results about the widespread epidemic:

  • Gender gap: young women are at an even greater risk for abuse with 30% of girls compared to 24% of boys reporting that they have personally experienced digital dating abuse.
  • Social media danger: 75% of young people believe social media has become more of a tool for abusers than a resource for victims.
  • More education needed: 82% of young people said they need more information to talk to friends about digital dating abuse.

The 2017 survey is part of Mary Kay’s Don’t Look Away campaign which works to educate the public on recognizing the signs of an abusive relationship, how to take action and to raise awareness for support services.

In partnership with Wakefield Research, 1,000 young people ages 13-24 nationwide participated in the survey as a representation of America’s young population. To date, Mary Kay Inc. and The Mary Kay Foundation have given $57 million to domestic violence prevention and awareness programs in an effort to end the cycle of abuse.

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