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(CNN) -- There were no scars, no bruises to indicate the abuse Allyson Pereira, a 16-year-old high school sophomore in New Jersey, had suffered. She said he gave her an offer: Text him a naked picture of herself, and he would get back together with her. Pereira, who was featured in the MTV anti-digital dating abuse campaign, "A Thin Line," in December, has been speaking out against the growing problem of digital dating abuse among teens.Her emotional pain was caused by her high school boyfriend, who blitzed her with cruel comments via instant messages, e-mails and My Space, calling her ugly and accusing her of cheating. Pereira, now 21, regrets sending her boyfriend the topless picture that was subsequently forwarded to other students in her high school. In the MTV documentary, Pereira's parents and friends also warned about the consequences of sexting photos like the one that caused Pereira such pain.
Teens who have experienced dating violence are at much higher risk for a variety of serious problems.Since the rise of online dating over the past decade, many dating websites have come and gone.A common complaint shared by seasoned online daters who have tried various dating sites is that, rarely do the multitude of matchmaking services live up to their claims.For example, they're more than twice as likely as others to consider suicide.Boys who have faced dating violence are nearly four times as likely to have been bullied online; girls are more than twice as likely.For a monthly fee, dating sites claim they'll do the math for you and spit out your soul mate in return.
Some websites gather data about you and crunch the numbers with all kinds of mathematical formulas and algorithms in order to fill up your inbox with compatible matches.
Teens are sometimes more willing to talk to doctors, especially if their parents are not in the room.
Pediatrician Claire Mc Carthy says she talks about healthy relationships with her adolescent patients and asks if sex is consensual, but she says it is hard for doctors to find time to delve into such intimate issues, given that most pediatric appointments last only 15 minutes.
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"They need to feel safe telling a parent."Teens often hide the abuse from their parents, Spinks-Franklin says.