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How To File A Police Report For Internet Harassment

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Include Your Contact Information

Cyber-bullying prompts parent to file police report

Make sure you include your contact information on the very front of your binder or folder that contains your evidence. Do not limit your contact information to just your name and phone number. Include your address, email and an alternate contact phone number.

If you have information about your harasser , make this its own folder. Do not include this on the main page, as you do not want your evidence accidentally returned to your harasser instead of you.

A Handy Guide On How To Report Online Harassment Of Women

Women are breaking the glass ceilings and making their presence felt in all walks of life. However, the issues of womens safety and well-being still remain rampant. Since centuries, women have been typecast as being physically inferior. Therefore, women continue to remain the most vulnerable sections of society. Miscreants wait to prey on the emotional and physical weaknesses of women, the latest menace being in the cyber space. At least one woman in India gets tricked into a cyber crime every single second! The numbers are staggering. It is time that we take prompt and sturdy steps to prevent online harassment of women. At the same time, women must also be increasingly made aware of cyber harassment laws applicable to their case.

What Happens When You File A Police Report For Harassment

Last Updated on May 11, 2022 by Fair Punishment Team

If you suffer from harassment, no matter what type of harassment it is, you have the right to protect yourself, and to report it to the police. The police and local authorities will then be able to take the appropriate measures in order to deal with the situation, and ensure that the harassment stops and that the person committing said harassment against you is dealt with in the way that the law states.

In order to do this, you have to follow the proper procedure, collecting evidence to support your report, all while you also take your own steps to remain protected. But, once you have filed the report to the police, what happens? What do the police do? What procedures are followed?

If youve ever wondered about this, youre in the right place. Were going to tell you exactly what happens after you file a police report for harassment, and well also give you some information on how to file a report in the first place, what qualifies as harassment, what the penalties are, and more.

Does that sound like something youre interested in? Then lets get right into it!

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How To Report Internet Harassment

Internet harassment also known as cyber-bullying refers to the malicious use of technology to willfully and deliberately harass or harm another individual or entity. Internet harassment can be an incredibly scary experience for victims, especially if you know or are acquainted with the offender who is harassing you. Unfortunately, the law is intrinsically behind technology, so there is currently no centralized law enforcement agency to which you can report Internet harassment. However, cyber-bullying is a federal crime, and there are ways to report Internet harassment if the offender refuses to stop.

If you are in imminent fear of your and/or your familys life, call 9-1-1 to report the harassment immediately.

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What Will The Police Do About Online Harassment

Filing a police report for 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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What Qualifies As A Harassment Charge

There is no one answer to this question as it can vary depending on the jurisdiction in which the charge is being filed. However, some examples of behavior that may be considered harassment include making threats, repeatedly sending unwanted messages or gifts, engaging in physical or verbal abuse, and stalking. If you are unsure whether a particular action qualifies as harassment, it is best to consult with an attorney or law enforcement officer in your area.

If You Or Your Business Are Being Harassed Online There Are A Few Things You Can Do To Protect Yourself Or Your Company

  • Social media harassment poses a serious threat, not just to young adults but also to brands and business owners.
  • Online harassment shouldnt be taken lightly and should be dealt with in a delicate yet assertive manner.
  • If necessary, social media users should report instances of online harassment to the proper authorities.
  • This article is for someone currently experiencing social media harassment and is looking for actionable, effective ways to handle the situation.

Online confrontation can be stressful and difficult to manage. It may even impact your safety. If you or your business are the target of social media harassment, this article can help you take the next steps so you can put this chapter behind you.

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Upon Completion Of This Report Process You Will:

  • See the words: âYour online police report has been submittedâ.
  • You will then immediately receive a temporary police report file number and an email informing you that we have received your report and that it is pending review. A temporary file number will appear in this format: T11000999. Temporary file numbers cannot be used for insurance purposes.
  • If you do not receive an email with a temporary file number, please check your Spam or Junk-Email folder.
  • A police officer will review your report and either Approve, Reject or request additional follow-up information from you. You will be advised via email of the status of your report. Do not reply via email to any of these automated messages as these accounts are not monitored. Follow the directions provided on how to respond regarding your report.
  • Once your report is approved, you will receive a permanent report number â this number appears in this format: 11-123456.
  • Be able to print a copy of the police report to keep for your records only. This copy cannot be used for insurance purposes.

When To File A Complaint Against Online Harassment

UM student lodges police report over sexual harassment claim

You can report an online harassment incident even if you have suffered on a very minor level. When it comes to any form of abuse, no amount defines a minimum threshold for registering a complaint. Similar is the case with incidents of online harassment of women. Report the very first instance of such abuse, first on the very platform where the harassment took place.

Every online platform has clearly defined steps and policies to report online harassment. Nevertheless, if the response and results do not satisfy you, dont hesitate to file a complaint at the cyber crime cell or local police station.

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Contact A Harassment Watch Group

Contact an Internet harassment watch group for more assistance. While your matter is under investigation, you can contact an organization such as WiredSafety or Stop Cyber Bullying for further assistance and general support. Note that these agencies are not governmental or law enforcement agencies and you should not rely on these groups as an alternative to your local law enforcement authorities.

References

Try To Reduce Further Harassment

Do what you can to reduce or prevent further Internet harassment from occurring. This includes changing your email address, screen names and member names for instant messaging programs and social networking websites, privatizing profiles and websites that are currently public and ceasing all contact with the person who is harassing you. You must demonstrate that you have taken steps to stop the person from harassing you. If you converse with the individual who is harassing you, your chances of reporting and stopping Internet harassment with significantly drop.

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How To File An Online Harassment Complaint

The Government of India has now launched a cybercrime reporting portal: www.cybercrime.gov.in under the National Mission for the Safety of Women. It is a progressive initiative by the Indian Government for the speedy reporting and redressal of online harassment incidents. Moreover, an online platform encourages women worried about social embarrassment to report such crimes from the confines of their homes. One can also report complaints anonymously on this portal.

Apart from this, one can also approach the citys cyber crime cell or police station with a written complaint. In one of our previous blogs, we had provided a detailed list of the cyber crime cells in India. Remember that cyber crimes do not fall under a specific jurisdiction of the state. You can report it to any cyber crime cell or police station regardless of where the offense is committed.

What Qualifies As Harassment

BREAKING NEWS: Potential Victims (Plural!) of Sexual Harassment or ...

Another important thing you need to know about is whether something actually counts as harassment or not.

The legal definition of harassment can change in each state, so it is very important that you check the specific statutes within your local jurisdiction.

That being said, in most states harassment is usually defined as a misdemeanor, in which you are suffering discrimination, threats, direct danger to your wellbeing, and similar.In order to be able to claim harassment, you will need to prove two main things:

  • Firstly, prove that you felt harassed due to something that was said or done to you
  • Secondly, prove that what was said or done to you, was out of an intent to torment, scare, threaten, or embarrass you.

The penalty for the harassment will then depend on the type of harassment, the severity, the situation, and the state in which you are in.

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Defining Online Abuse: A Glossary Of Terms

The first step to combatting online abuse is developing a shared language to identify and describe it.

The phenomenon has many names: cyber harassment, cyberbullying, trolling, flaming, etc. Some terms are used interchangeably, others have been drained of meaning. PEN America prefers the terms online harassment or online abuse, which we define as the pervasive or severe targeting of an individual or group online through harmful behavior.

  • Severe because even a single incident of online abuse, such as a death threat or the publishing of a home address, can have serious consequences.
  • Pervasive because, while some individual incidents of online abuse, such as insults or spam, may not rise to the level of abuse, a steady drumbeat of incidents, or a coordinated onslaught, does.
  • Online includes email, social media platforms , messaging apps , blogging platforms , and comments sections .

Below youll find definitions of many of the abusive tactics that writers and journalists face, as well as examples and tips on what to do. We hope youll explore the rest of this Field Manual for more detailed guidance.

Increase Your Personal Cybersecurity

Stop perpetrators from gaining any access to your private information by upping your cybersecurity measures. Change your passwords to strong, un-crackable keys that include randomized numbers, letters, and symbols, and dont ever use the same password for multiple sites. We recommend checking out different password managers to make this as easy as possible. Additionally, enable two-factor authentication when appropriate and keep personal & professional online accounts separate.

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What Happens When You Get Charged With Harassment

The consequences of a harassment charge depend on the severity of the offense and the jurisdiction in which it is filed. A conviction may result in jail time, fines, and other penalties. In some cases, a restraining order may also be issued in order to protect the victim from further harm. If you have been charged with harassment, it is important to seek legal assistance as soon as possible. An experienced attorney can help you understand the charges against you and develop a strong defense.

How To File A Police Report For Harassment

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If you decide to go to the police, you should learn more about the process of filing a report to be prepared for each step. Keep in mind that the reporting procedures might differ from state to state, but some crucial things will certainly be required to file a police report:

  • Evidence of online harassment
  • Description of your relationship with the abuser
  • As many details as possible about the abusers harassing act
  • When you know what exactly youre going to include in the report , you can call the police or go to your local police station.

    Depending on your particular situation, you might need to talk to a specialist police officer. For instance, if your situation includes domestic violence, you can turn to a Domestic Violence Officer.

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    Incognito Forensic Foundation Combating Cyber Crimes Against Women

    Incognito Forensic Foundation is a private forensics lab in Bangalore specializing in digital and cyber forensics. It houses a state-of-the-art digital forensics laboratory equipped with the latest digital and cyber forensics tools. This, coupled with the backing of the best-in-class forensics professionals and industry veterans makes IFF Lab a class apart. Apart from its core services for investigation and cyber security, IFF Lab also offers various awareness and training programs to law enforcement agencies, and other private and public institutions.

    The Basics Of Cyber Harassment

    Cyber harassment is the use of electronic communication to harass, stalk or threaten someone. It can include sending threatening or abusive messages, publishing derogatory or private information about someone or engaging in other online activities that make someone feel scared or threatened. Cyber harassment can have a serious impact on its victims, causing them to feel isolated, anxious and even suicidal.

    The Effects of Cyber Harassment

    The consequences of cyber harassment can be serious and wide-ranging. Victims of cyber harassment may experience depression, anxiety, low self-esteem and social isolation. If left unchecked, cyber harassment can have a lasting impact on the victims mental and emotional health. In extreme cases, it has been linked to suicide.

    What Is Considered Cyber Harassment

    There are a number of different ways cyber harassment can occur, such as:

    • Sending threatening or abusive messages
    • Publishing derogatory or private information about someone online
    • Engaging in online activities that make someone feel scared or threatened
    • Creating fake social media profiles or websites to humiliate or embarrass someone
    • Sending spam or viruses to someones computer
    • Attempting to hack into someones online accounts
    • Posting offensive or derogatory comments on someones social media pages
    • Threatening to release compromising photos or videos of someone
    • Cyberstalking someone by repeatedly sending them unwanted messages or making unwanted contact with them online or offline.

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    Report Cyberbullying To Law Enforcement

    When cyberbullying involves these activities it is considered a crime and should be reported to law enforcement:

    • Threats of violence
    • Taking a photo or video of someone in a place where he or she would expect privacy
    • Stalking and hate crimes

    Some states consider other forms of cyberbullying criminal. Consult your states laws and law enforcement for additional guidance.

    We Do Not Have The Time And Resources To Investigate Your Case

    This Is What Happens When You Report Online Harassment to the Police

    Blaming the lack of willingness to even understand your harassment case on the lack of resources is still unfortunately very common among police officers in the UK. It is difficult to understand what the police is there for, if not to protect individuals from social or physical harm. As more and more features of our society move online, crime also follows.

    Investigating internet harassment is often easier for the police because the victim in most cases is able to hand over nearly all the evidence in the case. The problem is that with long lasting cases of online harassment, the evidence might have piled up. When police officers tell you that they do not have the time and resources to investigate your online harassment case, before reading the evidence properly, your conclusion should be that those police officers should be looking for a new job, where no reading, analysing or enquiring is required. Not having the time or financial resources is simply not a reason you should accept.

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    Internet Blackmail In California

    Under California Penal Code Section 518, blackmail is prescribed under the blanket term of extortion. Section 518 reads:

    Extortion is the obtaining of property or other consideration from another, with his or her consent, or the obtaining of an official act of a public officer, induced by wrongful use of force or fear, or under color of official right.

    Section of Penal Code Section 518 then further elaborates on what constitutes consideration, defining it as anything of value, including sexual conduct

    Blackmail is a felony in the state of California, meaning a perpetrator will face more than one year in prison and a fine up to USD $10,000. Depending on the nature of the act blackmailed and requested in California, blackmail may be considered a wobbler offense, meaning it may be tried as either a misdemeanor or a felony.

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