Harassment On The Internet Or In Chat Rooms
Harassment on the internet and in chat rooms is also known as cyber bullying.
If youre being harassed on the internet you should try to stop that person from contacting you, for example by ‘blocking’ them in a chatroom or on a social network.
If something makes you uncomfortable on a social network, you can also click the ‘report’ button.
Try to get evidence of the bullying by making copies of any threatening online conversations, for example by saving emails or taking screen shots.
If blocking somebody doesn’t stop the bullying, you can report it to the police or contact your internet service provider. You can show them any evidence you’ve managed to collect to help them investigate the situation.
The charity Bullying UK have lots of advice fact sheets about different types of cyber bullying, if you need more information.
Technology & Social Media Platforms
Acts of online abuse â impersonation, cyberstalking, revenge porn, harassment and more â can be reported to most online platforms like Instagram or Twitter. Such acts violate their user guidelines and policies. In response, these platforms MAY take action by deleting the offending post, message or account.
Before you report, know this: These companies are not legally obligated to comply with your request and cannot be held accountable for inaction or delay. Put another way, Facebook can refuse to take down an account that is blatantly impersonating you and suffer no legal consequences. Read this if you want to understand the law in question â Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act â that makes this possible.
That said, this is absolutely an actionable step to stop online abuse and should be utilized. Here are the dedicated pages to report abuse for , , , , Snapchat and TikTok.
How To Prove Police Harassment
For you to bring a case against the police and get justice, you should be able to prove your case beyond every reasonable doubt. These are ways you can put up a water-tight case against the police.
3. Put the incident down on paper
Because the human brain cannot be trusted to remember the minutest detail of an incident over a period of time, you need to write down what took place between you and the police officer on paper. You must record everything you remember about the incident. Even if you feel disorganized or disoriented after the encounter, you need to put down as much details as you can remember.
But while you are straining to remember the details of the event, you should endeavor not misrepresent facts as it can be used against you in court. Remember the police would also have their own records.
4. If you had injuries, take photos of them
If your scuffle with the police led to any injuries, you need to take photographs of them so that they can be used as evidence. Note that these photographs need to be taken as soon as possible in all their gory nature. You may also have to examine yourself hours and days after as well because some marks, such as bruises, may only appear hours later.
If you were arrested, it may be difficult to take photos of your injuries. In that case, do what you can to write down a description of any marks, cuts, or bruises, and where they are located on your body.
5. Get medical attention
6. File a complaint to at the nearest police department
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Is There A Time Limit On Reporting To The Police
There is no limitation on when a victim can report a crime to police. However, in many states, there is a limitation on when charges can be filed and a case can be prosecuted. This is called the statute of limitations. Statutes of limitation vary by state, type of crime, age of the victim, and various other factors. Visit RAINNs State Law Database to learn more about the criminal statutes of limitation where you are.
I Feel Ive Been A Victim Of Police Harassment What Shall I Do Now
If you feel that youve been a victim of police harassment, dont suffer in silence. It is possible to make a claim against the police, and with the help of our expert police claim solicitors you have a good chance of getting the compensation you deserve.
Contact a member of our friendly and approachable team to discuss your case and get started on the police claims process.
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How To Put An End To Unwanted Or Harassing Phone Calls
Posted: Oct 01 1992 | Revised: Jun 01 2016
This is for informational purposes only. We are not able to counsel stalking victims.
Obscene or harassing phone calls can be one of the most stressful and frightening invasions of privacy a person experiences. And unwanted phone calls, while a minor problem when compared with threatening calls, can still be a major inconvenience. Fortunately, there are steps you can take to help put an end to these unwelcome intrusions.
2. What makes a phone call harassing?
When someone calls and uses obscene or threatening language, or even heavy breathing or silence to intimidate you, you are receiving a harassing call. It is against the law in California and other states to make obscene or threatening calls.
Having Trouble Reporting Online Harassment
Sometimes, small police departments wont respond even, if you do receive specific threats of violence. The department will tell you there is nothing it can do until the person threatens you offline or comes to your house. In those cases your best bet is to get in touch with the state police as well as the FBI. In a non-emergency situation, you can file a complaint with the Internet Crime Complaint Center. Unfortunately, if you do not have any proof of a threat of violence, it will be all but impossible for the police to act.
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What Does The Law Cover
This law applies in any of these situations:
- You has been intimidated, confronted, or threatened with physical force three or more times by the same person, and you were afraid, intimidated or suffered damage to your property as a result.
- Your harasser has committed one of several serious criminal acts against you, such as criminal assault, terrorizing, gross sexual assault, criminal restraint, arson, stalking, or violation of privacy .
- Free exercise of your Constitutional rights have been threatened.
If you are being abused by a spouse, former spouse, partner or former partner, you can get protection under a different law. That law is called the “Protection from Abuse” statute. You can look at our Protection From Abuse articles, , or get information from any District Court Clerk.
If you are being harassed because of your race, color, religion, sex, ancestry, national origin, disability, or sexual orientation, you can contact the Maine Attorney General’s office at 626-8800 ext.4 to make a complaint under the Maine Civil Rights Act. If they cannot help you, you can still bring a Protection from Harassment complaint.
What Is Civil Harassment
In general, civil harassment is abuse, threats of abuse, stalking, sexual assault, or serious harassment by someone you have not dated and do not have a close relationship with, like a neighbor, a roommate, or a friend . It is also civil harassment if the abuse is from a family member that is not included in the list under domestic violence. So, for example, if the abuse is from an uncle or aunt, a niece or nephew, or a cousin, it is considered civil harassment and not domestic violence.
The civil harassment laws say harassment is:
- Unlawful violence, like assault or battery or stalking, or
- A credible threat of violence, and
- The violence or threats seriously scare, annoy, or harass someone and there is no valid reason for it.
Credible threat of violence means intentionally saying something or acting in a way that would make a reasonable person afraid for his or her safety or the safety of his or her family. A credible threat of violence includes following or stalking someone, making harassing calls, or sending harassing messages, by phone, mail, or e-mail, over a period of time .
Read about the law in Code of Civil Procedure section 527.6.
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Reflect On What You Consider Suspicious
Stereotypes surrounding people of color are abundant in the United States and can influence even the most genuine people.
These stereotypes have infiltrated people’s thoughts through negative media portrayals, inaccurate social media posts, and even racist relatives. In fact, it’s not uncommon to buy into stereotypes and prejudices without even realizing it.
One prime example, of these inaccurate portrayals, is that of Black teenagers with their hoods up. Some people automatically assume that these young people are up to no good, but there can be many other explanations for wearing a hood up including cold weather or a sense of style.
Overall, the problem with stereotypes is that not everyone recognizes that they are being influenced. For this reason, it’s important to question the thoughts that filter into your mind and ask yourself why you are thinking along those lines. You can help combat racism when you begin with addressing and undoing your own biases.
The Harassment Complaint Process: A Model For Applying The Steps
The procedural information provided in this section can be tailored to the distinctive operational needs and culture of each organization as long as the required steps under the Directive on the Harassment Complaint Process and the principles of procedural fairness toward the complainant, the respondent and all parties involved are respected at all times. For more information on how to achieve procedural fairness within the context of a harassment complaint process, please consult your organizations Legal services or Labour relations advisors.
As per the Directive on the Harassment Complaint Process, designated officials are responsible for ensuring that the harassment complaint process is carried out promptly and respects the principles of procedural fairness towards the complainant, the respondent and all other parties involved. Steps 1 to 4 in the formal process are to be completed without delay, within twelve months, and step 5 initiated within the same time frame.
Step 1 Acknowledging receipt of the complaint
Upon receipt of the complaint, the person responsible for managing the complaint process notifies the complainant in writing acknowledging receipt.
If the complaint is incomplete or has not been filed within twelve months of the last incident of the alleged harassment , or if a grievance has already been filed on the same issue, then the complaint does not proceed further and the complainant is notified.
Twelve-month time limit
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More Info For Request A Harassment Prevention Order
If you want to appeal
If you arent given an order or not given everything you request, you can appeal. You have 30 days to appeal after the judge makes their decision. No matter what court issued the order, you must appeal to the Appeals Court. To start your appeal, you must file a Notice of Appeal at the clerks office of the court that issued the order within 30 days of your hearing. See the Clerk’s Guide to Appeals for Lawyers & Self-Represented Litigants for information on the appeals process.
Renewing harassment prevention orders
If the judge grants a harassment prevention order, the order will state how long it will last, and will tell you when you need to contact the court if you want to renew it. If you want to renew the order, youll need to contact the court on the return/expiration date on the order, and ask for the order to be renewed, otherwise the order will expire.
How To File Charges Against The Police
This step cannot begin until all criminal charges and civil actions have been resolved. As have been previously said, prematurely filing a police misconduct report will hurt your chances in court by revealing too much information to the police. But if you were not charged with a crime, you can go ahead and file the charge.
14. Find out which right the officer contravened
Under the law, police officers have a defense known as qualified immunity. If you cant overcome this defense, you arent even entitled to sue the officer. Showing that the police officer violated one of your Constitutional rights is the first part of overcoming this defense.
Many police misconduct cases are based on the 4th Amendment, which protects you from unreasonable search and seizure. You should be able to prove that your case falls within this jurisdiction so you can be eligible to go to court.
15. File a lawsuit
If you think your complaints have yielded no results, then contact a qualified lawyer. Start by asking if there are further options that you can adopt in order to seek redress. If there are no other options, then pressing formal charges should be your next step.
On a final note, always keep in mind that the police are not immune to the law, and they must abide by both the laws that bind their profession and those that protect civilians. You should always stand up to hold them accountable whenever they exceed their boundaries by harassing or abusing you.
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How To Deal With Harassment Tips And Advice:
Just as a little extra, we wanted to include some tips and advice on what to do, and what not to do, if you are being harassed:
Things you should do:
- Ask the person harassing you to stop
- Communicate your boundaries and make it clear that what you are experiencing is unwanted, and therefore harassment
- Keep any and all evidence of the harassment, as well as a timeline and a summary of everything that you experience
- Talk to loved ones and to people close to you about the matter
Things you should not do:
- Do not answer any attempts of contact from the person harassing you
- Do not retaliate with harassment, let the authorities handle the situation, or else you will also be at fault
- Do not feel ashamed, or guilty. This is not your fault, you are the victim, and do not deserve to be harassed in any way, shape, or form.
- Do not wait for the police to act, take some protective measures of your own, such as informing loved ones, and staying safe.
What To Know Before Involving Law Enforcement
Involving law enforcement in online harassment can be intimidating and overwhelming, especially for writers who have never visited their local precinct or filed a police report. It can help to have a trusted loved one by your side if you end up going to your precinct in person, or if the police decide to send an officer to your home to take a statement. Whether you go to the police or they come to you, be aware that you may be asked to present documentation of your online harassment and/or to answer a series of interview questions with as much detail as possible.
Filing a police report does not always result in helpful action, unfortunately. There are various reasons for this. Sometimes a hateful online message falls within the realm of protected speech, and the law doesnt apply. Sometimes a local precinct has not been adequately trained to respond to cyberattacksan area of policing that continues to evolve. Sometimes the police officer handling your case may be unfamiliar with the online platforms where the harassment occurred. We do not share this information to disparage members of law enforcement, but rather to acknowledge that police response to online harassment still has a long way to go, and to alert you to certain realities you might encounter when turning to the police for help.
There is hope that as online harassment continues to gain recognition as a serious, well-documented phenomenon, law enforcement agencies will catch up.
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Does Harassment Reported To Police Has To Involve Threats
Harassment might be a silent act and does not have to involve threats. To constitute harassment, the harassers action only needs to cause the victim alarm or distress and be an action that took place more than once. Sometimes, if the victim knows that there is something out there on the internet about him, that is enough to constitute harassment even if the content does not include explicit or implied threats. Just to know it is there could be sufficient to be harassment. You can read more about What is Online Harassment.
Elder Or Dependent Adult Abuse
Abuse of an elder or a dependent adult is abuse of:
- Someone 65 years old or older or
- A dependent adult, who is someone between 18 and 64 that has certain mental or physical disabilities that keep him or her from being able to do normal activities or protect himself or herself.
The law says elder or dependent adult abuse is:
- Physical abuse, neglect, financial abuse, abandonment, isolation, abduction , or other behavior that causes physical harm, pain, or mental suffering OR
- Deprivation by a caregiver of things or services that the elder or dependent adult needs to avoid physical harm or mental suffering.
Read about the law in Welfare and Institutions Code section 15610.07.
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