Author Topic: So I have a friend, victim of systematic harassment  (Read 271 times)

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Offline Darkstarshades

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So I have a friend, victim of systematic harassment
« on: December 25, 2018, 09:15:53 PM »
There's this girl I used to talk to fairly often, for years, we were schoolmates and when we went separate ways at college, we still remained in contact often.

At someone point she started dating a guy from her school, which we'll name D, a highly possesive and violent individual that, for whathever reason, one day decided it was a good idea to start a difamation campaign against her.
The exact reasons that led him to do this are not clear to me, but it appears to be an overexageration and, in any case, the effects that this event had are impossible to justify no matter how you see it.

The assault campaign included sharing text messages, as well as facebook messages out of context. Personal information as well as intimate material on a rather extensive basis.

D also actively sought to drive other people away from her until eventually he succeeded in turning a lot of people from their school against her, which only worsened things. People she didn't even talk to from the school started texting her as well, and many people eventually hated her altogether, some truly disgusting situation if you ask me By this point it should be obvious that the relationship was long over, and maybe more than one of you is asking "why didn't she act against the individual?"

Turns out she didn't because of fear of retribution of some sort, as if she was afraid that the guy would act physically against her. By this point she had developed an anxiety disorder that pretty much disabled her from doing many of her usual activities.

So she did pretty much the only thing the thought she could do: leaving the city
She went away and hoped to start over again, but the harassment didn't end there. Months after she had moved, she continued to get text messages from an anonymous source which is presumably the same individual insisting that she should apologize to him, and that it was all her fault.

Either way, my question is as follows: which is the best way to proceed in this case? Is there anything I can do or say to her? I've been thinking this lately since it doesn't appear to stop.

Keep in mind that since this whole situation started (that is, D started behaving like an ass) to this point it's been already more than a year, so it's quite a long time.

Any comment or question about the situation would be pretty much appreciated, and sorry for the tl:dr
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Re: So I have a friend, victim of systematic harassment
« Reply #1 on: December 25, 2018, 10:15:58 PM »
Jesus, what a prick. If I were her I'd at least change my phone number, even if she's afraid of the consequences of seeking help legally/from the cops (no idea where you live but sounds like grounds for a protection order at this point).  Nobody should be having to move to a different city just to try to avoid harassment. That's sad, I'm sorry she's going through it. All you can really do is be a friend and be there for her, and maybe gently encourage some more aggressive tactics without making her feel bad.

I had an ex (a legit sociopath and methhead, fucking nightmare breakup) who would not stop texting me after I'd repeatedly asked him to leave me alone. I just ignored him for a long time because I didnt wanna fuel the fire and give him what he wanted, but when he reached out again several months after I had cut the cord, I realized I needed to do something more. I finally told him that if I heard from him again I would be forced to change my number and/or call the cops because I was trying to move on with my life and this motherfucker was harassing me. His response was a horrible scathing message that called me all sorts of names and threatened to use photos he had against me, that sort of thing. Soo I changed my number and called the cops just to inquire about what my options were. I decided not to pursue anything on that end, but I also happened to have recently moved into another apartment so he no longer knew where I lived, and I never heard from him again.
Anyway, I had to figure shit out on my own but am VERY grateful for the friends I had around me during that nightmare, so I'm glad your friend has you.
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Offline MirrorMask

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Re: So I have a friend, victim of systematic harassment
« Reply #2 on: December 26, 2018, 02:58:57 AM »
I understand the fear of retribution, but she has to go to the cops indeed. No one deserves to be harassed this way and furthermore there are laws about difamation and unwanted sharing of personal information on the web.

She already moved, changing the phone number would be a small step in comparison, but how many concessions she has to make again? she has the right to live the way she wants and where she wants without someone harassing her. So she either continues to be victim to these harassments, goes to the cops, or picks the unrealistic way of sorting it out on her own, you know, knowing a friend who knows a friend who knows people who are willing to teach some sense into a guy one way or the other, that sort of stuff that happens I guess only in movies however.

He is but one guy after all, it's not like she's blowing the whistle against a crime syndicate that could come after her and everyone she knows.
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Offline TempusVox

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Re: So I have a friend, victim of systematic harassment
« Reply #3 on: January 01, 2019, 08:10:41 AM »
Everything Jackie said.

I'll also add that no one deserves to live in fear from anyone or anything. Going silent gives power to the guy. I completely understand the fear of retribution, but I hope she doesn't let the defamation force her to give up her power.

She should start, if she hasn't already, to document EVERYTHING. Take screenshots of all of the messages. And don't be afraid to seek help from the police or other agencies.

The are a number of sources available for tips and help with this. Most of all, let her know she's not alone. It's easy for good people to become victimized. We are programmed to do the right thing, and turn the other cheek. Confrontation is not easy, especially when all we want is to live our lives in peace. And her fear of physical harm is very real. Standing up to that fear is the hardest thing to do; but she doesn't have to do it alone.

https://iheartmob.org   -is just one resource that might offer some solutions.

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Offline Stadler

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Re: So I have a friend, victim of systematic harassment
« Reply #4 on: January 01, 2019, 05:31:27 PM »
I understand the fear of retribution, but she has to go to the cops indeed. No one deserves to be harassed this way and furthermore there are laws about difamation and unwanted sharing of personal information on the web.

She already moved, changing the phone number would be a small step in comparison, but how many concessions she has to make again? she has the right to live the way she wants and where she wants without someone harassing her. So she either continues to be victim to these harassments, goes to the cops, or picks the unrealistic way of sorting it out on her own, you know, knowing a friend who knows a friend who knows people who are willing to teach some sense into a guy one way or the other, that sort of stuff that happens I guess only in movies however.

He is but one guy after all, it's not like she's blowing the whistle against a crime syndicate that could come after her and everyone she knows.

I don't at all agree that "changing the phone number would be a small step in comparison", IF that is the one way he has to contact her.   Look, I feel very bad for her (it's not exactly the same, but very close to a type of bullying that my step daughter endured; we took the "cops" route, and while it did tone down it never really, truly ended, it just sort of ran it's course) but life isn't always fair and doesn't always afford us every possible option we want to have.   She may have endure inconveniences like changing her number, or stepping back from that wonderful, benign uniter that we call "social media".   It's very sad, and I hate that I had to type that, but unfortunately it is true.

Offline MoraWintersoul

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Re: So I have a friend, victim of systematic harassment
« Reply #5 on: January 04, 2019, 05:26:23 AM »
picks the unrealistic way of sorting it out on her own, you know, knowing a friend who knows a friend who knows people who are willing to teach some sense into a guy one way or the other, that sort of stuff that happens I guess only in movies however.
That's not an unrealistic option at all, and she should pick it if she has friends who are frightening and have the sense not to do anything illegal while intimidating the guy... failing the second part, they should beat him up real good, in a way that leaves him afraid of a second beating.

Screenshot all the messages and go to the police with them, meanwhile, change everything that needs to be changed, use different transportation/route home sometimes, and never post locations where you might be found to Instagram or Facebook, even if it's private. She shouldn't do all of this in fear, but because it makes good sense and most women do it anyway. You can offer to chaperone sometimes if you are able, or reassure her when she's feeling anxious, but your prime duty as a friend is to get her to the police and corroborate what she says. Yes, there's a load of cops who are assholes, but also loads who enjoy bringing creeps like these to justice.

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