It seems that cyber stalking or harassment has occurred more often than we know. Bullying and crude comments (arising to the level of an actionable legal claim) can take place even if you’re not in the teenage environment. My memory is quite hazy about being a teenager as this time period is ages ago. It was indeed a fun but at times difficult phase, especially mentally, transforming through the young adulthood.
During high school, I personally witnessed a bullying incident in the school restroom where a much stronger (and tougher) student robbed another much smaller student. The big kid reached inside the tiny kid’s pocket and got $20. The bigger student shouted: “Nice, it’s a $20 bill.” The small student responded: “Dude, give me my money back.” You know, I have never forgotten this event for some reason. Until this date, I still feel bad for this kid.
Perhaps, I can channel my energy and past experience toward the correct direction. What is bullying to me can encompass the situations where parties breach and fail to honor the agreements, commit wrongs for personal gains, insurance companies refuse to pay out insurance claims and people deny liabilities for the wrongs done…
I never actually thought about Internet harassment until a client consulted me on this issue. My cases generally would involve actual physical harmful contacts to the persons. However, mental distress can sometimes manifest in physical form, resulting in physically apparent damage to the person such as hair loss, sleeplessness, skin irritation or rashes, etc.
Women in general are more prone to harassment or stalking. The harassment does not necessarily derive from strangers. Sometimes, the harassing behavior can happen during the breakdown of a relationship. I suppose men are fortunate in some respects as some may perceive this kind of demeanor as an undivided attention. Although personally there weren’t serious consequences, I had come in contact with a few women who exhibited overly passion and enthusiasm. In retrospect now, I appreciate those feelings—a little light humor in a serious topic.
California was one of the first states to enact legislation to criminalize online harassment. If faced with this situation, you may contact the police for assistance. There are civil claims that can be filed against the individuals who publish false and defamatory statements as well as disclosing private information in the public forum. Restraining orders may be sought in court to prohibit this type of conduct also.
Hopefully, all of you will continue to have passionate and enthusiastic admirers but no stalkers. But, if the circumstances appear to be unpleasant and harassing, you know you have certain legal remedies to exploit.