The Rising Threat of Cyberstalking and Revenge Porn
Cyberstalking and revenge porn. I know, not exactly fun topics to chat about. But as our lives become more digital, these threats are ruining more lives. So we need to talk about how to fight back.
Victim’s Rights Attorney Stephanie Myron from Cagnet Myron Law, provides insight into these issues and how victims can fight back. Here’s what she said we all need to know:
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The Online World Can Bring Out the Worst in People
With social media, the lines between free speech and harassment have gotten fuzzy. Myron told me that often folks “stop viewing the person on the other side of the screen as human.” Anonymity online can make people do and say things they’d never dare face-to-face.
While cyberstalking laws require at least two contacts, Myron said there’s usually a longer pattern people put up with until they reach their limit. And not knowing who an online harasser really is can be downright scary.
If You’re Being Harassed, Speak Up and Document Everything
Myron stressed how important it is for victims to document the harassment with screenshots, dates, identities, and more. Doing this creates a timeline you can use to get legal help through an injunction or criminal charges.
Don’t wait – report cyberstalking as early as possible. Even if there’s not enough yet for action, you’ll start a paper trail. And a call from law enforcement alone may make the attacks stop.
Social Media Sites Need to Step Up Accountability
Here’s the frustrating part: federal law protects social media platforms from liability for what users post. But Myron said with the rise of cyberstalking and revenge porn, these sites need more accountability to promptly remove inappropriate content when reported. She shared the heartbreaking example of minors taking their own lives due to cyberbullying.
Myron suggested people should advocate for updating the law and push for more online safety education. Parents especially need to monitor their kids’ internet use and be aware of the platforms they’re on.
Share Your Story to Empower Other Victims
Myron shared an inspiring example of a client, a retired news anchor, who turned her revenge porn nightmare into a documentary called “50 Shades of Silence.” By giving other victims a platform to share their stories, they don’t have to feel so alone.
Working with advocates like Myron, victims can fight back against cyber abuse through legal means. They can regain power over their lives and voices by speaking out.
You Don’t Have to Suffer in Silence
Myron said victims need to know they don’t have to tolerate cyberstalking and revenge porn – there are actions they can take. Reach out for help early, before things escalate. Report posts to get them removed. Send cease and desist letters. File for injunctions or criminal charges.
Together, we can overcome these disturbing threats. Victims have options and a voice. By learning from brave souls like Myron’s clients, we can work to end the harassment.
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