A lot of people don’t know that cyberstalking is actually a crime under Canadian Law. Being cyberstalked can make you feel unsafe, uncomfortable, and scared, at the worst of times.
If someone is cyber stalking you, they might:
- Creep/ harass you online constantly
- Constantly send you messages on social media, text or email you even when you don’t respond
- Make new accounts and find new ways of reaching you after you have blocked or reported their accounts
- Make accounts in your name and identity without your permission
I was seeing someone for a few months and eventually his behaviour was pretty aggressive and I didn’t want to deal with him anymore. For an entire year after I ended things, he kept following me on different social media and making new accounts whenever I blocked him. Every time his name popped up on my screen, it felt like an invasion of privacy. I never even responded, and he never clued in. – Tara F.
What are some of the reasons people harass online?
- They want to pursue a relationship with you even though you’ve said no
- They’re a rejected partner trying to get back with you.
- They might want revenge
- They might have hate or a problem with a specific group that is known as sexism, racism, transphobia, etc.
If you’re being cyber stalked….
You’re not alone. Read Julie Lalonde’s story about her stalker of 11 years. She is breaking the silence, and you can too by talking to someone you trust.
Below, you’ll find some quick steps to help deal with cyberstalkers…
- Let them know you DO NOT want to hear from them. Be FIRM, direct and don’t leave room for interpretation.
- After step 1, DON’T respond to them, or else they’ll keep trying to get you to message again.
- Leave the screen or leave the online conversation.
- Keep a record of any and all messages they send you. Screenshot and save it. This can help as evidence if things get bad.
- If you feel at risk, Report online harassment to the social media site and block the person responsible.
- Tell an adult you trust or speak to a social worker or call Kids Help Phone, it’s confidential.
- Report criminal offences, such as threats, assaults and sexual exploitation to the police. You can reach them at www.cybertip.ca or 1-866-658-9022.
Cyber Stalking Tips from Toronto Police Services:
- Do not reply to abusive messages or postings.
- Save copies of the messages and photos.
- If you received a nude image or text about someone else, do not forward it. You could be assisting a bully or breaking the law.
- Make sure you tell someone.
Girls and young women, if you’re ever in a situation and you are questioning the nature of it, I advise that you tell a friend, a parent, a guardian, call a help phoneline, or reach out to someone you trust. Sometimes it’s better to get the advice and help from someone else before proceeding without caution. – Olivia