Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Internet Harrassment

Because I am currently dealing with an internet stalker, I would like to share some advice on how to deal with internet harrassment. I came across an article (sorry can't remember who wrote it). It was a very enlightening and informative article that has helped me dealt with my situation.

Being harassed or stalked on the internet is no fun under any circumstances. But if you are being harassed, here are a few steps I am taking toward catching my internet stalker and putting them in jail where they belong.

Don’t suffer in silence: Whatever you do, don’t be silent about the harassment or stalking. Tell anyone and everyone who will listen: the police, a psychologist, religious advisors, counselors, trusted family and friends.  Stalkers may or may not be dangerous, and the more people who know what you are going through, the better. If you are suffering emotionally or fearing the stalker, all the more reason to get support.

Document everything: Write everything you know about your situation down in full detail and put it in file. Keep a log and make a copy of every communication or posting you suspect was initiated by your harasser/stalker, including usernames, website addresses, everything. Set up Google and other internet alerts that notify you when any new activity about you appears on the internet. No matter how insignificant the communication or posting, if you suspect harassment, log the URL address, make a printed copy of the site where it appeared and put it in the file. This will help you to show a pattern of harassment and intent to do harm, and you will need it when you prosecute.

Contact the police: Even if your case is difficult to prove (stalkers are often quite creative), take the information to your local police and file a report (you may be referred to the FBI depending on the circumstances). Even if there isn’t enough evidence to prosecute someone right away, you will have documented your concerns about the harassment, and if, god forbid, your situation should escalate there will be no question as to who would have a motive or vendetta against you. Filing a report will also let it be known in a court of law that you take your stalker seriously.

What my internet stalker doesn’t know, is that for every thrill they get thinking that they have gotten to me, they only confirm how badly I have gotten to them. They confirm their cowardice. In attempting to diminish me, they diminish themselves. Their destructive behavior consumes them, and every harassing comment I receive only proves to me what a damaged person they are; what sane person would focus their energies on harassing me instead of focusing on building a future that would be beneficial to them?

It is only a matter of time before I’ll be able to trace my harasser even if they use multiple computers or convince others to do their dirty work.