Harassment is the act of systematic and/or continued unwanted and annoying actions of one party or group, including threats and demands. Harassment covers a wide range of behaviors, all offensive in nature. Typically, harassment is any behavior that demeans, humiliates, or violates a party in regards to the reasonableness of current social or moral standards. Unfortunately, most individuals are the victims of harassment at one point in their lives. In the modern age, harassment through technology is becoming exceedingly more common. As a result, there are five things that a victim of text messaging harassment should know:
Harassment may occur in any form, including in-person contact, internet contact, phone contact, or text message contact. Recently, Texas established new harassment statutes that say that text messages do not need to be specifically threatening, but instead only need to appear spam-like or abusive to be considered harassment.
It is imperative that any victim of text message harassment create a log of the abuse. If possible, a victim should take screenshots and save the text messages to multiple data centers; backups are recommended for security purposes.
In the technological age, it has become relatively simple to track an individual’s online or mobile whereabouts. There are many things that an individual can do to gather adequate documentation of the harassment for the court. Any phone owner can request call records from his/her mobile provider. Some mobile providers even offer an accessible database online.
Go to Local Law Enforcement
Any individual experiencing harassment should contact the police to report the activity. Even if a police department is unable to help, such contact creates a record that can be referred back to if the harassment continues and even worsens. Victims should approach the police department with as little emotion as possible and present the documentation compiled in previous steps. By presenting solid proof of the crimes to a detective, police officers are then able to legally question the defendant about the incidents. Additionally, a victim should be aware of their language and use key terms like “harass” and “continued.” Cyberbullying is a crime in most jurisdictions and it is important to protect oneself from the downfalls of such harassment.
Retaining an Attorney
Retaining an attorney, such as a criminal defense lawyer from Brandy Austin Law Firm, PLLC, may help ease the process, especially if the affected individual believes that there is an immediate threat to his/her safety. An experienced attorney may be able to obtain certain protective orders to help keep their client safe.
Harassment in the 21st century is a common occurrence and has only worsened with the increase of technology and anonymity. Consequently, it is important that mobile-users are aware of available avenues in situations involving harassment.