It typically starts innocently enough: someone’s met someone else online and they begin ‘chatting’, exchanging information and creating an online ‘friendship’ of sorts.
But when one of these ‘exchanges’ turns toxic, there can be few protections for the victims — who can find themselves the target of misdirected angst which seems to know no boundaries. Generally, they’re harmless enough but, too often, they result in a real crime — and harassment that can last decades with a viciousness that exceeds even the most vitriolic relationships. All to often, it’s over some perceived ‘wrong’ or simply based in jealousy.
Many report being absolutely astonished that they were targeted in the first place.
The bigger question, though, is what to do once targeted.
There is nothing worse than being afraid of something you can’t see and cannot effectively escape. Beware of online attachments and be diligent when choosing online friends.
It can be helpful to threaten legal consequences provided that your antagonist is thinking clearly and is not suffering from drug addiction, mental illness or any other debilitating condition which might limit their ability to think clearly and, thereby, compromise their ability to render thoughtful and reasonable decisions.
If, though, you are not familiar enough with them to draw a reasonable conclusion about the risk of ‘threatening suit’, it can be better to avoid any action which might only further antagonize your would-be assailant.
Make no mistake: many people have been injured or even killed by online acquaintances and, so, you need to be ready to err on the side of caution.
We have a consultant standing by to discuss with you some of the options available to you if you are concerned about a situation in your life or that of someone you love. We’re available 24/7 and can provide legal assistance within 24 hours of your call if you wish to speak to an attorney.