Liz Claiborne-sponsored app imitates teen dating abuse

Aug 12, 2011
Shine

For those who have ever said, thought, mimed or sang the words “parents just don’t understand,” there’s a new app geared at teen dating abuse that challenges this notion. Liz Claiborne’s Love is Not Abuse campaign has introduced an app to help parents comprehend and virtually experience digital relationship abuse. The LINA app allows parents […]

For those who have ever said, thought, mimed or sang the words “parents just don’t understand,” there’s a new app geared at teen dating abuse that challenges this notion. Liz Claiborne’s Love is Not Abuse campaign has introduced an app to help parents comprehend and virtually experience digital relationship abuse.

The LINA app allows parents to step in the shoes – or mobile phones – of their children by sending them texts, emails and calls from a fictional abusive “boyfriend” or “girlfriend.” In the fake messages, the fictional abuser threatens things such as removing friends from social networks, unauthorized access to personal information or posting inappropriate photos. The gender-specific app sends threatening messages when imitating an abusive “boyfriend,” and excessive contact when mirroring the abusive actions of a “girlfriend.”

Parents are trained through the app, which was developed with help from psychotherapist Jill Murray, to understand and identify characteristics of an abusive relationship. “The main point of the app is to get parents talking to their teens,” Murray said. “While most parents discuss drugs, alcohol and sex with their kids, only slightly more than half discuss dating abuse.” The app is the campaign’s first effort targeted specifically at technology abuse, following a previously-created school curricula and resources on its website for parents.

While there are plenty of things that parents may not understand (like your wardrobe, for example), when it comes to this growing and important problem facing teens today, at least they have an app to help them start.

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