What To Do If You Receive Threats From Anonymous Internet Users
People who are in the public eye often receive rape and death threats via social media. In most cases they do not know who they are from. You should consider reporting the threats to the police. For the police to help you, you need to make sure to document everything. Every single piece of information that makes you feel harassed and stressed is important evidence. Take this important information with you when reporting harassment to the police. Tell them that you are being harassed.
If it is more than one time, it falls under harassment and malicious communications laws. However, the reality is that the police desperately need more training and education in this area, particularly when the threats are posted on social media. Some pernicious harassers have learnt how to game the system and mask their IP address to avoid detection, which makes it even harder for the police to identify who they are.
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What Qualifies As Harassment
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.
What To Do And What Not To Do
You are not alone! Break the silence:
- contact a service in your area
- talk to a friend, co-worker or family member
Maintain detailed notes about the stalking conduct. Dates, times, places, actions and threats are easier to explain and remember when written down.Keep all recorded telephone messages, e-mails, gifts, letters or notes that have been sent by the individual. Keep a list of emergency numbers posted in several locations. Emergency numbers should include:
- victims advocacy groups
Pay attention to incidents that may seem coincidental. Are you suddenly running into this person more often? If you are not sure if you are being stalked contact the police.
Do not agree to have contact with a person who you think may be stalking you. Do not try to deal with a stalker by yourself. Each stalking situation is different. Rather than intervening with the person yourself, contact the police. Consider that sometimes, when a stalker is confronted or meets with resistance, they may react with violence or the conduct may escalate.
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Who Is Harassing You
If youre being harassed by a creditor it’s important to know who is asking for payment. They may not be the people you originally owed money to. This is because your original creditor is allowed to pass the debt onto someone else to collect. If your original creditor does this, they can no longer chase you for money. If your creditor decides to pass the debt on, they must tell you in writing before they do it.
Your debt may be collected by:
- your original creditor
- a debt collection agency acting on behalf of your creditor
- a third party who has bought the debt from your creditor
- bailiffs in England and Wales or sheriff officers in Scotland.
How To Deal With Harassment On Facebook
Did you know that, according to Statista, 77% of online harassment victims reported that they had been harassed via Facebook? If you find yourself in this situation, here are :
- Unfriend the abuser
- Block the person
- Report the person or their abusive posts
In case the offender starts bothering you in messages on Facebook, there are a few steps specific to that situation that you should take, including the following:
- Block messages from that person
- Report the threatening message
- Click on Ignore Messages
- Delete the conversation
If you decide to delete the conversation, dont forget to take a screenshot first so that you have proof of harassment for future use if need be.
Another useful thing you can do on Facebook is report harassment even if youre not the victim, but your friend is.
Facebook gives you an option to report posts that show hate speech, violence or harmful behavior, or sexually explicit content.
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To Help Frame The Situation Ask Yourself:
- What was the context in which the incident took place?
- Was the behaviour improper?
- Was the behaviour directed at me?
- Was I offended by the behaviour?
- Did the incident occur within the scope of the Policy?
- Was this the first incident or is it a series of incidents?
- What is my work relationship with this individual?
- Are individuals doing things, saying things to make me feel uncomfortable?
- Would a reasonable person well informed of all the circumstances and finding himself or herself in the same situation as yours view the conduct as unwelcome or offensive? The behaviour in question is not only assessed by the impact or effect on yourself, but it is also assessed against a reasonably objective standard.
- Did the behaviour exceed the reasonable and usual limits of interaction in the workplace? Would a reasonable person be offended or harmed by this conduct?
- As I describe and evaluate my work environment, are there other factors contributing to the situation ?
- Am I being singled out and treated differently than my colleagues, being given the silent treatment?
- Is the incident related to my work performance?
- Am I being criticized regularly even though my standards have not changed and my performance has always been satisfactory or better?
- Am I being blamed for mistakes I believe are not my fault?
- What impact and/or consequences did this incident have on me?
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What Will Police Do About Harassment
If the harassment or stalking is happening in a public space, you also have the right to record what is happening on your phone. Police are not legally allowed to delete those photos or videos, or demand that you do so. After the incident, you can file a formal complaint with the officers department.
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Examples Of What Constitutes Harassment When Repeated Or One Single Severe Event
- Preventing a person from expressing himself or herself: yelling at the person threatening constantly interrupting that person prohibiting the person from speaking to others.
- Unwanted sexual advances which may or may not be accompanied by threats or explicit or implicit promises.
- Making rude, degrading or offensive remarks.
- Making gestures that seek to intimidate.
- Engaging in reprisals for having made a complaint under this Policy.
- Discrediting the person by spreading malicious gossip or rumours, ridiculing him/her, humiliating him/her, calling into question his/her convictions or his/her private life, shouting abuse at him/her.
- Compelling the person to perform tasks that are inferior to his/her competencies that demean or belittle him/her, setting the person up for failure, name calling in private or in front of others.
- Isolating the person by no longer talking to him or her, denying or ignoring his or her presence, distancing him or her from others.
- Destabilizing the person by making fun of his or her beliefs, values, political and/or religious choices, and mocking his or her weak points.
- Harassing a person based on a prohibited ground of discrimination .
Where Can Harassment Occur
The scope of the policy applies to employee behaviours in the workplace or at any location or any event related to work, including while:
- On travel status,
- At a conference where the attendance is sponsored by the employer,
- At employer sponsored training activities/sessions, and
- At employer sponsored events, including social events.
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Strategies To Manage Harassing Messages And Calls
Experiencing harassing calls and messages can be very difficult emotionally. It may feel as though the person is always there, you cant get away, and the only solution is to disengage from all technology so he cant contact you. While you cant make the other person stop harassing you, there may be some things that you can do to alleviate the constant bombardment of harassment.
What To Do If Police Won’t Help You: Harassing Harassment Stalking
This is Part 3 of this series about Harassment. I encourage you to read my two previous parts in this series if youre currently dealing with Text Message Harassment . Dont worry, youll be directed right back to this article at the end of the prior articles. Or, continue on with this article:
In Part 1 of this series we discussed what Text Message Harassment is and HOW to properly report it to police , then in Part 2 I explained the process you can expect to occur after you have reported your incident. But what happens when you have your evidence returned to you and nothing happens? Well, most likely you are very frustrated and possibly afraid of your harasser. However, you have hit a brick wall with local police because the Detective determined there wasnt a reason to pursue the report. However, giving up might not be an option, especially if the harasser is destroying your life. Severe, ongoing harassment can lead to a nervous breakdown in addition to a plethora of medical conditions if not stopped.
Before you can continue on, you need to judge how severe the harassment is. Do you feel that you are on the verge of breaking down? Is the harassment to the point where it is now hurting your work abilities, your family life and your relationships with others? OR is the harassment simply childish and annoying but not destructive to your life and well being? Only you can truly answer this question.
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What Can You Do About It
If youve experienced this kind of harassment you can contact your local authority and they can take action against your landlord. You can also can contact the police.
If youre harassed by your landlord you may need advice from an experienced adviser – for example, at a Citizens Advice local office.
Other Steps You Can Take To Curb Online Harassment
Fortunately, in most cases online harassment is not likely to lead to actual violence. Most of the time the person or people engaging in harassment are bullies looking for a response. In this kind of a case your best response is no response.
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How To Report Harassment The Easiest Way With Donotpay
Harassment can happen to anyone, anywhere. It could happen in the workplace, on the street, over the phone, and on the often conveniently anonymous internet. You could be harassed by anyone, including former lovers, your neighbors, or your landlord. The official statistics on different types of harassment in the U.S. are concerningly high across the board, which probably means that the real picture is even grimmer.
So, what does it mean when somebody is harassing you? Sadly, there is more than one answer to this question. Harassment is an umbrella term that can cover a multitude of different types of abuse. Under U.S. laws, harassment is described as any repeated or uninvited contact that serves no useful purpose beyond creating alarm, annoyance, or emotional distress.
As a society, we are at risk of getting desensitized to harassment and bullying. This is all the more reason to educate ourselves, speak up, and stand up against the abuse.
Block The Abusive Person From Contacting You
One of the strategies can be to block the abusive person from contacting you. You can block someone on your smartphone, through the telephone company, or on the social media platform. Blocking works differently depending on the technology platform or smartphone device, so its important to test it so you know what to expect. Test the blocking feature with someone you trust to see how it works.
Keep in mind that there are limitations to blocking. When you block someone, you are blocking their ability to contact you via a particular phone number or social media account. They can still contact you on a different phone number or a social media account.
Depending on the type of phone you have, you can block the other person in your phone settings to prevent them from contacting you. Generally, once blocked, any calls or text messages from the blocked phone number will not come through. However, blocking is going to be different on each phone, for example, the device may block incoming calls but not text messages or the blocked person may still be able to leave a voicemail but you wont get a notification. If youre not sure how to block on your phone, Google how to block a number on and if possible, test blocking to see how it works on your phone.
Through the telephone company
On social media
Use a specific ringtone for the abusive person
Let the call go to voicemail
Get a second phone
Forward calls from a specific phone number
Make your number private
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What Happens When You File A Police Report For Harassment
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!
Reasons Why People Dont Report
Understandably, many people feel reluctant to involve police in minor, or even major, street harassment offenses. There are several legitimate reasons why:
* They may fear that the police wont respond, or wont believe them.
* They may fear the police will engage in victim-blaming by questioning their clothing or their choice to be out alone or late at night.
* Some people may feel that their communities are already over-policed and fear that the treatment a harasser will face from police or the justice system will be disproportionate to his or her offense.
* For example, individuals and communities of color often face more severe outcomes from legal processes than their white counterparts.
* Other individuals may fear further harassment from police even when they are victims of a crime.
* Police harassment of LGBTQ individuals is a real and serious issue in many cities around the United States.
At Stop Street Harassment, we believe that however you choose to respond to street harassment whether you report it, ignore it, or deal with the harasser directly is a valid choice. If you do want to report street harassment to the police, this guide can help. If you arent sure, see our section on Why and When to Report Street Harassment.
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Case Law Dealing With Cyberstalking And Online Harassment
The use of technology to stalk and harass has been a growing concern in Canada over the last few years. Not only does it present unique investigatory and evidentiary challenges to police officers and prosecutors, but it also exposes and subjects victims to new types of harms. To date in Canada, because section 264 of the Criminal Code is not restricted to a specific method of communication, it has not been necessary to update it for it to apply to emerging technologies. It remains that so long as the user of the technology has knowledge that his or her conduct is harassing another person, and that person has a reasonable fear for his or her safety, the elements of the offence of criminal harassment will likely be satisfied.
As fact situations involving the use of new technologies to stalk and criminally harass began entering the courts, reported decisions did not reflect any challenges or reluctance in applying the established jurisprudence to these fact situations. In other words, the elements of the offence remain the same, and no new legal tests have appeared. The ways in which these cases do appear to differ, though, is in the kind of evidence that is presented to the court and in the recognition that is being given to the unique ways in which this type of harassment affects victims. This impact on victims has been noted both in reference to the reasonableness of the victim’s fear and at sentencing.