New Technologies

Stop virtual gender violence in children and adolescents


Did you know that one of the most widespread forms of gender violence among adolescents is the control of their partner through mobile phones and social networks? It is what is known as virtual gender violence And it is important that you talk with your children so that they identify the different situations of limitation of their intimacy by their partner, so that, if they are living any of them, they can put a stop to it.

The important thing is that they do not normalize this form of virtual violence and that they are aware and warned not to allow their freedom to be restricted through the internet and mobile messaging.

No one has the right to read your WhatsApp conversations
If your partner tells you to let him enter his WhatsApp or any other instant messaging program with the excuse that there is nothing to hide between them, your son or daughter should refuse, alluding that the people who have written to him have the right to their privacy and have written to you thinking that only he or she was going to read it.

Spying on the content of someone else's mobile is a crime
If your partner takes your son or daughter's cell phone when they are not present, or spies on their cell phone through specific applications, tell them that the person doing this is committing a crime of discovery and disclosure of secrets typified in article 197 of our Penal Code. The question is serious and the fact can be denounced.

Never give the access code to your mobile
Article 18.3 of the Spanish Constitution says: 'The secrecy of communications is guaranteed and, especially, of postal, telegraphic and telephone messages, except in a judicial decision'. In this way, the content of a person's mobile is protected by the secrecy of communications and no one can be forced to give the unlock code.

They should not let anyone into their email account
Some people think they have the power to look at everything their partner receives because couples should not have secrets. Explain that the communications that another person maintains by email are private and that no one should read the mail of others for ethical reasons and that if it is done, it would be committing a violation of the secrecy of correspondence.

Your partner should not check or control new friends or 'likes'
In some couples, social networks are the reason for continuous discussions. When someone of the opposite sex follows one of the two, puts comments or 'I like you', the other member of the couple should not be upset by that, nor recriminate anything to the other, guided or guided by jealousy. It is normal for both of you to have friends of both sexes.

No one should demand the location or make a video call to the partner to control itto
A form of virtual control is to ask one member of the couple to send the location to the other in order to check if he is really on the site he says, for example, to check that he is at home and has not left. Another way is to force him to make a video call to confirm that what he says is true. All of these requests limit personal freedom. Relationships should be based on trust. No need to ask for proof. That way of acting only leads to a toxic and unhealthy relationship.

No one should censor the photos that your partner publishes on social networks
No one has the right to supervise what their partner should or should not post on social media. If you do, you are interfering with your decisions and your freedom. No one should be offended by a photo.

No to control comments
'You left me in line!' or 'You have been online for 10 minutes and you do not answer me' are comments that can become a form of control of the couple. Getting angry about not receiving an immediate response on instant messaging is also a common reaction among teens. Teach your children to be patient and to think that in remote communication there are always circumstances that we do not know about, such as the other person being busy or meeting someone or having a task to solve suddenly.

The couple cannot be forced to send intimate images
Engaging the couple to send intimate photos via WhatsApp or any other means is not a good idea. Once sent, control of those images will be lost. Sometimes there have been cases in which, after leaving a relationship, the person who has the photos can spread them out of revenge.

The partner should not be forced to show the conversation with another person
As we have pointed out in a previous point, forcing to teach a chat or having to send screenshots of a conversation due to mistrust is a form of virtual gender violence and is considered a crime of discovery and disclosure of secrets.

Ultimately, we must teach our sons and daughters to respect the privacy of others and to know that the content of their communications is private. In addition, we must talk to them about the importance of trust and respect in order to maintain balanced and healthy relationships.

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