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12% of U.S. internet users who have been in romantic relationships have experienced intimate partner digital abuse…

Digital tools are often an integral part of healthy romantic relationships. Romantic partners frequently use digital tools to connect with each other through text messages, photo-sharing, social media posts, and other online activities. These same digital tools can be used in unhealthy ways, facilitating negative behaviors such as monitoring, unwanted picture sharing, and abusive messages — both within the romantic relationship and after the relationship is over. Better understanding how often intimate partner digital abuse is happening, to whom, and in what ways are critical pieces to understanding the scope of the problem.

This report, part of a series of research reports on digital harassment and abuse, examines the prevalence and impact of intimate partner digital abuse. Findings are based upon the results of a nationally representative survey of 3,002 Americans 15 years of age and older conducted from May 17th through July 31st, 2016. Respondents were surveyed on either their landline or cell phone. Interviews were conducted in either English or Spanish. Findings in this report refer to the 2,810 respondents who have ever been in a romantic relationship.

This report, “Intimate Partner Digital Abuse” (press release), complements earlier reports covering the prevalence of online harassment and abuse more broadly, as well as nonconsensual image sharing.


Michele Ybarra
Myeshia Price-Feeney
Amanda Lenhart
Kathryn Zickuhr

Jan 18, 2017

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