We all know that cyber bullying is rampant. I’m pretty sure that most of us have been bullied, or know someone who has been bullied. There comes a point, though, when a victim of cyber bullying can ask for help, and get it to stop. You follow the proper channels, keep records, and it should end. But what if it goes beyond just cyber bullying?
What if they hack into your channels, or your wifi? What if they figure out how to access your devices remotely? What if they were able to listen to your private conversations and they knew everything your said? What if you received death threats? What if they stalk your house, your car, your family? What if you went to the school, the police, and even the FBI for help?
What if NO ONE HELPED YOU?
Melody and Julia are two 12 year olds who live in Leander, Texas. Melody and Julia have been bullied, harassed, threatened, stalked and have received death threats. All of it is documented, but nothing has been done to stop it.
They both used to be friends with a girl names J. As happens, as it happened to me, they had a fight, and then the other girl started talking about them on Instagram and bullying them. The girls mothers, Marti and Christine, spoke with J.’s parents who denied that their daughter was doing anything- they said she was being hacked. So the Moms complained to the school, where nothing really was done, and then decided to file a police report. Even as the police were at her house, taking a report, they were being harassed. ( All the details are on Christines’ Blog) Their parents have reached out to both local and federal authorities and hired a attorney, yet, the cyberbullying continues. After receiving message such as this on Instagram:
“…If you don’t kill yourselves, I will. You can go ahead and tell Julia that I am on her account, and I’m going to pretend to be her. I’m going to make everyone hate her.”
Both families deleted all social media accounts, wiped their devices, and carried on, thinking that would end it. It didn’t. In fact it got worse. Another Instagram account was made and began sending messages that only could have been heard from inside the girls house – taunts about crying in fear, and being scared to go to school. Then it progressed, horribly, to death threats.
“You are pathetic and I hate you. Just reply all ready. You are a sick
retarded person and I hate you. What else to say? I FU**ING HATE YOU. And
one day soon I will kill you. I will, if it’s the last day I do.”
You would think that a death threat would be enough to stop this, right? Wrong. It escalated to more harassment, stalking, and death threats. This is from YESTERDAY.
WHY?? Why isn’t this being taken care of? I know if these types of threats were being made toward someone at a school, it would be taken more seriously. Does someone have to be hurt, or even worse, DIE for it to be taken seriously? You see, even though they “know” who is behind it, the police say it can’t be “proven”. The only way is can be proven at this point is with information provided by Social Media companies who can provide IP addresses. Instagram, who was served with a subpoena doesn’t want to give up the information, because it will “cost too much”. to research. Will it cost less when someone is dead?
Cyber bullying doesn’t often go to this extreme. But bullying in any form needs to be taken seriously. There is so much lip service being given to “anti bullying laws” but oftentimes when it comes down to it, nothing is being done. I can’t imagine not being helped when receiving death threats and being harassed, stalked and threatened. There are some things that you should do if you are cyber bulled, to help:
- Ignore: Do not react or respond. It’s hard, I know but many times, just not responding will stop the attention they are seeking.
- Cut Off- Block the bully. You can block them from your phone, your social media accounts, your computers. Screen calls from unidentified numbers.
- Report Online. Most Social Media sites have TOS (Terms of Service) that you can report bulling behaviors to. Sometimes service providers can look up IP address and disclose “anonymous” bullies.
- Get Help. Most states have laws or schools have policies that should help protect you against bullying. If they can’t, or won’t help you, keep moving up the chain. Even the FBI has an Internet Crime division.
- Record: Keep screen shots, printouts, texts, anything they used to bully you. It’s best to print it out. Also, if they are calling your and bullying you, keep a phone diary of what calls you received.
Cyberbullying is just as hurtful as physical bullying. And it’s just as much of a crime. We need to prove to the bullies who hide behind screen names that they, too, will be held accountable.
And Melody and Julia? Stay Strong, and #BeBrave! It WILL get better. She WILL be stopped. Have faith.
Some more links to help with cyber-bullying from my Mom’s blog, The AntiBullyMom:
- Protecting your child from Cyberbullies
- Keeping Kids Safe Online
- My Child Has Been CyberBullied: What Next?