'Abused Emoji' App Makes Difficult Conversations Easier For Teens

Some situations are too complex to communicate in words. 


A smiley face and hearts following a line of encouragement, balloons accompanying a birthday wish, a slice of pizza stamped at the end of a lunch date request. Sprinkle a few emojis into a text message, and it adds enthusiasm, while simultaneously lightening the mood of the entire exchange. The tiny symbols have been widely accepted into our system of digital communication, and app developers are taking notice—recently crafting a way in which emojis can be used more conscientiously to express what words cannot. 

Abused Emoji is a brand new app that features a set of images depicting concepts that adolescents would likely find too uncomfortable or complicated to communicate in writing, such as abuse and depressive or suicidal thoughts. But just because they’re stuck in sticky situations doesn’t mean those teens have to be deprived of expressing their feelings.

BRIS, the Swedish teen help non-profit organization behind the app, makes difficult communication a little bit easier through emojis. Examples include a sad child with a parent’s shadow looming in the background, a child with a black eye, and more. Abused Emoji is free and anonymous (meaning that BRIS doesn’t collect any data that identifies its users as individuals).

The app is available for download here. You and your teen can also peruse these helpful resources for families experiencing difficulties:

- The Crisis Text Line hosts trained professionals who respond to cries for help quickly via text message.

- The National Parent Helpline assists parents who feel at risk for abusive behavior.

- Empowering Parents offers advice for how to deal with teens who act abusively toward their parents. 

What do you think? Will Abuse Emoji be effective in helping children and teens communicate tough situations, or will its images be used and abused in improper contexts? Tweet us your opinion @Choices_Mag.