One of the newest epidemics in the world of texting is Textual Harassment, a form of harassment delivered by text message. Textual harassment and techno-stalking are a growing concern, especially because it’s so quick and easy to accomplish, and affects all ages of both women and men.
Textual Harassment is an unfortunate reality that has developed as a result of the growth and popularity of texting, to the degree that special laws have been put in place to protect the innocent.
The laws that define textual harassment vary from state to state, but in California a single unsolicited text message that threatens physical harm or is obscene is enough to meet the definition of textual harassment. If the text doesn’t fall into either of these categories, then the text must be sent several times in order to be considered textual harassment.
What should you do if you get text harassed?
I – Ignore the Text – DON’T RESPOND & make a copy of the message
B – Block – Call your provider and have them block the number
R – Report – Report the harassment to the police
It really comes down to one question when you’re trying to decide if a text has crossed the line. Ask yourself “Do you feel threatened or violated in any way?” If your answer is “Yes”, stop responding to the texts, keep copies of the messages in your e-mail, and if needed, block their number. If you feel threatened, strongly consider reporting them to the police, which is why you need to document the messages by making copies.
Most importantly, if you get harassed by text, understand that you’re not alone. There is millions of textual harassment cases reported every year in the United States, and it’s my strong opinion that most cases go unreported.
For more information and reports published by the US Department of Justice, Violence Against Women, go directly to their site at: http://www.ovw.usdoj.gov/ .