Lessons Learned About Online Harassment and Cyberbullying Since My Harasser Pleaded Guilty
Two years ago this week, my harasser pleaded guilty in what was called a most egregious case of online harassment. Since then, it’s been my privilege to help individuals and organizations prevent cyberbullying and online abuse, while promoting positive digital citizenship, cyber-safety, and communicating with empathy, kindness, and respect — online and off.
I’m often amazed about what I’ve learned during this time, especially the multitude of challenges victims of online abuse face in pursuing justice. During my ordeal, I was very fortunate my case was handled by professional and compassionate detectives, law enforcement officers, and specialists. I also was fortunate to have been able to hire investigators and attorneys to advocate on my behalf, even though justice shouldn’t come with a price tag, and bureaucracy shouldn’t get in its way.
While we have a long way to go, it’s reassuring to know there are many professionals, volunteers, and organizations who are dedicated to preventing cyberbullying, harassment, shaming, and nonconsensual image abuse. Witnessing their work and dedication to make our cyber-world safer is inspiring, and I’m lucky to have met some of the world’s best and most passionate advocates.
Thank you to everyone who has been a source of encouragement for me during this time. Your support means the world to me.