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Monday, February 18, 2013

When Teens’ Constant Texting Is Dating Abuse



February is Teen Dating Violence and Prevention Awareness Month.

One of the issues that’s raising concern for advocates and workers is constant texting – the practice of continually checking in on a partner and demanding to know his or her whereabouts and what he or she is doing.

It’s sometimes called “textual harassment.”

Christina Escobar is director of, a teen dating resource created by the National Dating Abuse Helpline and Break the Cycle, an advocacy group that works against domestic violence.

Escobar says that while it may seem this type of abuse would typically be committed by boys, that’s not always the case.

“We have a cultural stereotype that girls can’t be abusers,” she told Here & Now’s Robin Young. “Anyone, anytime can be an abuser or a victim.”

Studies by, as well as by MTV in partnership with the Associated Press, show that about one in four teens has experienced this kind of abuse in a relationship.


  • Christina Escobar, director of, a teen dating abuse resource.

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Robin Young and Jeremy Hobson host Here & Now, a live two-hour production of NPR and WBUR Boston.

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