(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.
"He wants to make sure the pictures are appropriate.
It's the coercion and control that borders on real-world violence." And sometimes, the abuse involves the exchange of racy photos, a practice called sexting.
She has heard of cases where the abusive partner may take the partner's password to check up on him or her routinely.
"It's the phenomenon of no place to run and no place to hide," Jennings says. You can't even see your predator coming." Jill Murray, a psychotherapist in California who has worked with victims of teen dating abuse, says almost all her new cases in the past three years involve technology.She never expected the image would be spread like wildfire. "Someone actually came to me and said 'You're Ally. A new study released this week finds more youths are using their tech gadgets and social media to abuse each other in romantic relationships.One in 10 teens reported they received a threatening cell phone message from their romantic partner, according to new results from the Cyberbullying Research Center, a research group dedicated to tracking bullying behaviors online among youth.The 24/7 technology enables the abusive partner to stalk the other person after school and on weekends, he said.Jennings said social networking, which can connect hundreds and thousands of students, gives the abusive partner more leverage.