How To Stop Online Harassment
Before you report online harassment to the police, you might want to consider other ways to put an end to disturbing behavior. Here are some suggestions to keep in mind to fight back against cyber harassment effectively:
What to Do
How to Do It
Resist the urge to respond
|Keep in mind that the abuser expects your reaction to their harassing behavior. No matter how disturbing the content youve received is, dont respond to it in any way.|
Resist the urge to delete abusive content
|When you manage to fight the urge to respond, the next challenge is to fight your instinct telling you to delete the abusive content right away. Without evidence, you cannot prove that youve been harassed, so its crucial that you save the abusive content as proof.|
Block the abuser
|Use all the tools you can to block the abuser. If youre being harassed on social media, you have the option to block anyone whos disturbed you. If the abuser starts making harassing phone calls, you can use blocking apps.|
Report the aggressor to the social media representatives
|Another useful option that social media platforms give you is to report the abuser. If blocking doesnt work, do not hesitate to turn to the social media representatives and report the person in question.|
Reprisal Is Against The Law
The Code also protects you from reprisal . This means that you have a right to raise issues or complain about racial discrimination or harassment without facing discipline or other negative treatment. This protection applies if you speak out about harassment or discrimination in your workplace, in your housing or in services and when making a formal complaint such as by filing an application with the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario.
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We Know About Criminal Harassment In Canada
1.3.1 Police and Court Reported Data
The most current Statistics Canada police and court data relating to criminal harassment reveal the following facts:
From 1999 to 2009, the number of victims of criminal harassment reported to a subset of police servicesFootnote 14 increased by 65%, from 6,411 victims in 1999 to 10,589 victims in 2009.Footnote 15 Such an increase is not uncommon following the introduction of a new law. It is difficult to assess, however, whether the rise is due to an increase in the number of criminal harassment incidents, increased reporting by victims, or a change in the way police respond to and record such incidents.
1.3.2 Victim/Survivor Survey Reports
Given that over half of the people who are criminally harassed do not report this crime to police,Footnote 16 it is helpful to look at sources other than police-reported data to get a more complete picture of criminal harassment in Canada. Statistics Canadaâs General Social Survey on Victimization provides self-reported data on criminal victimization. It is an important complement to crime rates, as it measures both crime incidents that come to the attention of the police and those that are unreported. The 2004 GSS reveals the following facts about criminal harassment:Footnote 17
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Take Precautions If Your Child Has Retaliated
If your child or teen retaliated with their own cyberbullying, you also need to include a full discussion about the inappropriateness of their behavior and what the consequences will be. The assertion that “the other kid started it” is irrelevant. Your child cannot blame their choices and behavior on anyone else and must be held accountable. If they want justice for what was done to them, they need to expect the same yardstick to be applied to any cyberbullying they committed.
Acknowledge Your Childs Pain
Recognizing your childs pain and letting them hear you affirm that what happened wasnt fair or right is important validation. Being cyberbullied is alienating enough do your best not to make your child feel any more isolated. Bullying hurts and that hurt is exhibited in many formsanger, embarrassment, betrayal, frustration, confusion, fear, and reprisal. Help them see that bullies actions are not a result of a fault within your child the responsibility lies with the bully.
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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.
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Is It Illegal To Send Threatening Texts
Making a written threat via text is not only prohibited by state law but also by federal statutes. Under 18 U.S.C. § 875 transmitting through any type of communication a threat to injure a person is illegal. The two maintained their relationship by communicating through social media and text messages.
How To Report Threats To The Police
This article was co-authored by Saul Jaeger, MS. Saul Jaeger is a Police Officer and Captain of the Mountain View, California Police Department . Saul has over 17 years of experience as a patrol officer, field training officer, traffic officer, detective, hostage negotiator, and as the traffic units sergeant and Public Information Officer for the MVPD. At the MVPD, in addition to commanding the Field Operations Division, Saul has also led the Communications Center and the Crisis Negotiation Team. He earned an MS in Emergency Services Management from the California State University, Long Beach in 2008 and a BS in Administration of Justice from the University of Phoenix in 2006. He also earned a Corporate Innovation LEAD Certificate from the Stanford University Graduate School of Business in 2018.There are 13 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page. This article has been viewed 9,971 times.
Check If It Was Because Of A Protected Characteristic
The harassment you experienced was discrimination under the Equality Act if it was related to one of these protected characteristics:
- gender reassignment – this means if youre transgender
Its also discrimination if someone harassed you because they made a mistake about your protected characteristics. For example, its discrimination if you and your housemate are straight but your landlord made offensive jokes about you being gay. This is called discrimination by perception.
If someone harassed you because of the protected characteristic of a person you know, its also discrimination. For example, its discrimination if you told your colleague that your partner was disabled and they started making upsetting comments about people with that disability. This is called discrimination by association.
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What Is Phone Harassment
Phone harassment is defined as any form of unsolicited telephone communication that is threatening, obscene, or unwanted. Phone harassment can be said to occur when someone intends to annoy, harass, threaten, or even harm you by:
- Constantly making your phone to ring
- Making obscene comments, suggestions, or requests
- Refusing to identify oneself over the phone but is still calling over and over again
- Making repeated telephone calls where the conversation consists only of harassment, especially after you have requested not to be contacted again
- Attempting to steal your financial or personal information over the phone
- Pretending to be someone the caller is not
- Making a telephone call and using heavy breathing or silence with intent to intimidate
If you are not sure whether or not the phone call you are receiving constitutes phone harassment, you should ask yourself: Does the caller intend to threaten, intimidate, steal, or annoy me during their phone call? If the answer to any of these questions turns out to be a yes, then the phone call can be considered to be phone harassment.
Table of Content
How We Can Help
Our Police Assistance Line and online reporting service allows you to report non-urgent crimes or events 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The Police Assistance Line and online reporting service cannot assist with urgent matters.
In an emergency, always call for immediate police attendance.
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What Will The Police Do About Online Harassment
In general, the police will be most able to assist you if:
- The perpetrator has published sexual images of you without your consent.
- You have received true threats or specific threats of violence that name a time, day, or location.
- You know the perpetrator and would like to seek a restraining order.
- The perpetrator has violated state or federal stalking laws.
Choosing to go to the police can be a difficult or intimidating decision for many people. Not everyone will feel comfortable involving law enforcement, and not all police precincts will have experience investigating and prosecuting cybercrimes. Ultimately, it is your decision whether or not you feel safe filing a report with the police. If you do choose to report online harassment as a crime, be prepared to be asked to provide evidence and describe your experience to officers or detectives. Our experience across the United States has shown that it is rare for law enforcement to get involved or provide meaningful help when online harassment occurs.
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Is It Harassment For My Ex To Constantly Email Message And Call Me
Harassment often happens when an ex-wife, or husband start to constantly email, messages and call their former partner. This situation could be tricky but whether they constitute harassment, would depend on how the constant communication is making you feel. If you feel that your ex is harassing you and you feel distressed and anxious about it and have told your ex to stop, then it is harassment.
If the incidents are all related and close together and you feel oppressed by them , then harassment is occurring. If you are not distressed by them, then it might be best to just ignore them and hopefully, your former partner will eventually give up. If your ex-partner continues with what you perceive to be harassment, which starts to cause you distress, contact the police with all the evidence. Or if you want to take it down the civil court route, or obtain across the board advice about your option, contact us or another specialist harassment lawyer.
Bomb Threats By Telephone
If you receive a bomb threat over the telephone, Ready.gov provides the following information on what to do:
- Get as much information from the caller as possible. Try to ask the following questions:
- When is the bomb going to explode?
- Where is it right now?
- What does it look like?
- What kind of bomb is it?
- What will cause it to explode?
- Did you place the bomb?
The Department of Homeland Security also provides a helpful telephone bomb threat checklist.
Get more information on what to do if you receive a bomb threat or find a suspicious item.
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How Do California Laws Criminalize Online Harassment
Harassment refers to the knowing and willful course of conduct directed at a specific person that a reasonable person would consider as seriously alarming, annoying, tormenting, or terrorizing.
Cyber Harassment Defined Under California Law 653.2 PC
California criminalizes cyber harassment under Section 653.2 of the California Penal Code. Under 653.2, it is a misdemeanor to electronically post certain types of information about an individual on the internet. The information posted must be likely to incite or produce unlawful action by a third person and commonly takes the form of personally-identifying information like a digital image of another person or a harassing message about the other person.
Furthermore, harassing communication must be made with the intent to place the victim in reasonable fear for their safety or the safety of their immediate family. The harassing communication must also be made without the consent of the victim and for the purpose of causing the victim unwanted physical contact, injury, or harassment by a third party.
For example, a message could rise to the level of cyber harassment if a perpetrator posts a photograph of an individual, his or her address, and calls on third parties to punch him for me if you see him.
Several of the above types of online harassment are typically addressed through Californias cyber harassment statute .
Cyberbullying in California
Is Doxxing a Crime in California?
Is Trolling Illegal in California?
What Happens After I File A Report
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Discuss The Steps With Your Child
Discussing what you have learned about the laws and procedures with your child or teen is important because it helps you and your child keep a strong line of communication while you chart out the best course of action. Cyberbullying robs victims of their sense of control, but by including your child in the process of resolving the issue, you help them regain that control.
What Can I Legally Do About Harassment
If the court decides that the incident is harassment, it can order the person harassing you to stop their behavior. If they dont stop, its a criminal offense, and they can be prosecuted in criminal court. Making a civil claim can also help you get compensation, a restraining order, or an Order of Protection.
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Taking Someone To Court For Harassment
You can take someone to civil court if:
- theyve harassed you more than once – this includes stalking
- the harassment made you feel distressed or alarmed
The court can order the person harassing you to stay away from you – this is called getting an injunction. The court can also award you compensation.
If the person keeps harassing you after you get an injunction, theyve broken the law – this means they could go to prison.
You can go to civil court even if:
- you havent reported it to the police
- you reported it to the police, but the the CPS decided not to prosecute the person who harassed you
- the CPS prosecuted the person who harassed you and the court decided they werent guilty
What Happens When You File A Report For Harassment
Firstly, lets get right into the main question, by telling you what happens once you have filed a report for harassment.
Basically, once you have reported the harassment to the police, the matter is now in the hands of the authorities, and they will take the necessary steps. Depending on the severity of the harassment, a degree of priority will be given to the case, especially as some cant really be stuck on a waiting list.
But what happens, first and foremost, is that the police will investigate the report. Usually, they will do this by analyzing all of the evidence, interviewing witnesses, and verifying the events of the harassment. They will also usually reach out to the person harassing you, in order to give them a warning or place them under specific measures. It depends, of course, on the situation and the type of harassment, as well as the level of its severity.
If the harassment continues, the police will take harsher measures. And if it still continues after this, you could file a court complaint, and also get a restraining order. The police will be able to help you with the necessary steps for this.
It is also worth noting that, while the police are already investigating the harassment you reported, you can and should report any new harassment, even if it is from an ongoing case. Always keep the police up to date with any of the events taking place, so that they are fully informed of everything, and are therefore better able to take action and protect you.
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Complaints About Police Officers
If you have experienced police misconduct:
- Contact the law enforcement agency involved.
- Submit your complaint in writing to the chief of police or the head of the law enforcement agency involved.
- Send a copy of your complaint to the Internal Affairs Division of the law enforcement agency. Be sure to keep a copy for yourself.
If the problem remains unresolved, learn how to file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Justices Civil Rights Division.
Finally, as with any potential legal dispute, you may want to contact a licensed attorney.
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