Hey Biz...what did this cyber-harassment look like?
If I posted it all, it would break the internet. You can see some of it HERE
So why don't you ask another question, k?
Um...how did you get the harassment to stop?
I don't know much about this subject, except for what I've lived through. I'm not a lawyer -- I don't even have that many lawyers in my family. This isn't advice for what you should necessarily do, but here are the steps I have taken so far:
1. Went to the police. I documented each and every photo, message, email, I could, organized them so that a total stranger (in this case a busy law enforcement officer) could understand the scope of the harassment quickly and easily. My local police told me that I could file a criminal complaint (they believed that the material I had amounted to a crime) and then go through the process of getting a restraining order.
2. At the same time, I consulted a lawyer in the state where my harasser lives. My lawyer suggested sending my harasser a "Cease and Desist" letter.
3. I opted to send the Cease and Desist letter because, frankly, I was afraid of my harasser's reaction if she were charged with a crime/had to appear in court in a state very far from where she lives. I was afraid that the harassment might get worse.
4. My harasser ignored the letter from my lawyer. So I filed charges. A judge looked at it all and decided there was probable cause that a crime had been committed.
5. The prosecutor decided he didn't want to be bothered with this case because it's not serious enough and it involves a lot of work. (I'm guessing at this -- he never bothered to tell me himself. I had to hire yet another private attorney to explain what was going on.)
6. My boyfriend obtained a restraining order for the harassment he has received. She is well aware of it, but has evaded it for over 5 months.
7. Filing charges has helped...somewhat. The random pictures of me and comments to my website have slowed. Since she received notice of being charged with a crime, my harasser has obtained a lawyer. Now it's he who has threatens me...with filing false charges against his client. Good times.
8. Over the past two years I've learned that getting the police and courts to take cyber harassment seriously is an uphill battle. I've learned that getting a restraining order served to someone who goes to great lengths to avoid it is next to impossible. I've learned that restraining orders from one state cannot be enforced in another. I've learned that the process of chasing down every false story, ugly picture, and anonymous text message is exhausting. More than exhausting. It's made me ill.