TAKE A STAND AGAINST CYBER HARASSMENT .pdf
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TAKE A STAND AGAINST CYBER HARASSMENT
Every year, 850,000 American adults—mostly women—are targets of cyber-stalking (2014). In a
March 2017 study, Pew Research Center found 40 percent of adults have experienced online
harassment, with young women enduring the most severe forms of it.
What is cyber-stalking?
When someone is a victim of cyberstalking, they can make their complaint to the criminal or civil
courts. In civil court, victims of cyber-stalking, sexual harassment, revenge porn and online
bullying, can sue their antagonist for defamation and the intentional infliction of emotional or
physical distress, through tort law or civil wrongs.
In Europe, United Kingdom, and more recently, within the United States, laws allow authorities to
press charges against cyber stalkers and cyber harassment, holding antagonists accountable for
their criminal offenses with jail sentences.
Slowly laws have adapted to protect victims from cyber-bullying and harassment. For example,
Congress replaced the federal mandate language on harassment via communication, to “harass
any specific person.” Which technically makes digital communication harassment a federal
offense. Thanks to laws like California’s Bane Civil Rights Act, harassers motivated by biases
such as their victim’s gender, will be subjected to enhanced sentencing penalties.
If harassment communications come from email and social-media accounts, victims should file
complaints with those companies and report the harassment to social media outlets. Although
social media companies cannot offer much resolve, it is worth doing to cover your bases in legal
For more information on reformed laws for cyber harassment visit Mellissa Riddle