Online harassment is the same as harassment that happens offline, on the street or at home
Victims of online harassment cannot tell the difference between online and offline harassment unless they have experienced both. However, for some reason, when they attend a police station to report online harassment to the police for harassment advice, the police tend to treat victims of online harassment far less seriously.
The reality is that victims of online harassment tend to receive an inferior treatment by the police and they very rarely receive the advice and the support they need. The ideas that we live in two different societies, one which operates offline and the other which operates online is misconceived. There are no two different societies so when it comes to online harassment advice, victims should be treated in exactly the same way as victims of offline harassment. In many respects, online harassment could have a much greater impact on the victim.
Online harassment happens in the virtual world. However, the law says that when it comes to harassment, any harassment, what is important is how the harassment affects the victim of harassment rather than whether it happens on the internet or on the street. Online harassment tends to represent a persistent, unrelenting harassing behaviour and it often involves a high subjective level of distress on the part of the victim.
Online harassment is a criminal offence and a civil wrongdoing, which means it can be resolved by the police or by yourself or your lawyers, through the civil courts. On the internet, the posts and images can be threatening, embarrassing, slanderous, defamatory, derogatory, malicious, libellous and may involve false accusations, fake news and even the truth. Contrary to common belief, you can harass someone by posting the truth about them.
Usually, harassment needs to involve more than one act of harassing conduct. However, on the internet, it is enough to have one web page as your harassment page because the existent and the constant publication of a single web page makes the conduct of the harassing person recurring and therefore ongoing.
The online harassment can be targeted through social media, website creation, live chat rooms, forums, email - anywhere that allows public contributions online. It means that the harassing person may use innocent agents to carry out the harassment on the victim by, for example, allowing people to post harassing comments on a web page or on a Tweeter or Facebook feed.
However, what makes online harassment unique is that you can harass someone for a considerable amount of time, without your victims knowing who you are, where you are or how to get in contact with you. The uncertainty that is often involved with online harassment is the one factor that makes it substantially more distressing to the victim.
It is extremely difficult to quantify how the harassment affects a victim of online harassment as opposed to how it affects a victim of offline harassment. Online harassment never goes away and often escalates because if it is on the internet, it is there 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, which means the distress to the victim is ongoing in the deepest sense of the word.
If there is a physical risk to you, you should report the harassment to the police. Victims of online harassment should seek online harassment advice as soon as possible. Don't leave matters for too long. There might be a limitation period applicable to some of the harassing acts and you might be suffering needlessly for many years. You can visit our page on frequently answered questions about understanding online harassment.
We are a specialist harassment law firm. We understand internet law and how the internet works and through so many years of experience, we have developed strategies and techniques to deal with the complexities of dealing with online campaigns of harassment. We have helped people from all walks of life achieve freedom from online harassment for over 23 years. If you are being harassed online and need help quickly or require an urgent harassment injunction, call us today: 0800 612 7211.
Prior to talking with us, many of our clients have said that they did not think that they could get their online harassment matter sorted out legally due to financial limitations. You need to know that seeking online harassment advice may not be as expensive as you think because many of our clients, after they booked a full and comprehensive consultation, manage to have their matter solved.
In the consultations, we look at the whole picture and give a thorough consideration of the reputational consequences and what is best for you, personally. After an initial consultation with you which lasts between 60 and 90 minutes, where we will discuss the various options, we will then consider, through thinking and research, the best route to take to protect you further and then send you a carefully thought out letter of advice.
Then, we give follow up advice, on receipt of your letter. All in all, our solicitors invest on each consultation an average of 4 hours. It is no wonder that our online harassment advice consultations are so popular because many people get their online harassment matter resolved in less time than they thought, without huge expense and a lengthy legal procedure, whilst protecting their reputation.