I don’t “play” the victim. I am a victim of cyberstalking. Cyberstalkers frequently call what they do a “game”, or spin it around and say the victim is “playing games”. Games are fun, cyberstalking isn’t.
I’ve come across people who have been cyberstalked for years, and their stalker has not been held accountable for their criminal behavior. Why? I don’t accept being a victim without any action on my part to stop it and see to it that the criminal actions of my stalker(s) are criminally prosecuted. I understand the victims’ perspective-it is far from an easy endeavor. It takes time, effort, and loading yourself up with knowledge of your rights and what you can do to stop it. It also takes emotional strength and restraint. I can’t even count how many times I’ve wanted to verbally berate every single person(s) who have contributed to the stalking. I’m not perfect, and I have snipped back a time or two.
I have experienced personally what lengths some will go to stalk a victim; it made me ponder the idea of these cyberstalkers having a handbook. I’ve seen the same tactics used over and over again-not just with me, but with other victims of cyberstalking.
I’m of the belief that knowledge is power, and for the victims, understanding how these people operate can only help in understanding what can be done to protect yourself and how you can assist in the prosecution of these criminals.
- Choose victim (victim is a real or imagined adversary)
- Reveal victims’ identity (It is easier for others to join in the cyberstalking/harassment of the victim with the victim’s identity. After his/her identity is revealed, the victim can also be called “someone else”, “a sock puppet”, “a troll”, “playing a game”, “attention seeker”, “the REAL stalker”, “playing the victim”, derogatory names, etc..)
- Call victim a liar immediately (This is so the “others” who join in on their cyberstalking smear campaign believe the stalker’s story and only their story.)
- Call victim “crazy”, “mentally unstable”, “schizophrenic” (To further their lies and twists of truth, when the victim comes to his/her defense, the stalker back tracks saying the victim is imagining the actions against him/her.)
- Post as much information that can be found about victim (If you’ve ever been arrested, whether you’ve been charged or not, you likely have a mug shot out in the www. If you’ve ever used your email address to comment on a public page, it’s still out there. If you’ve ever used social media and have posted pictures of yourself, it’s still out there. If you use the same email publicly as you do privately, that information is out there. If you’ve ever used your real name associated with your email address, public or private, it’s still out there.)
- If the victim has a criminal history of any sort, make up a story and publish as fact (This is called manipulating the truth. It states on mugshots.com and other public information sources of arrest records that the person is not guilty of a crime unless convicted of the charges. Many people have been arrested for crimes they did not commit and they were never charged. This is of no consequence to the stalker. The stalker takes the charge and states, “I have information that [insert victim’s name] was arrested for [insert charge] and that it was because [insert false story].” It plants the seed of doubt in the minds of the reader.)
- Smear campaign (The cyberstalker posts on his/her own blog, others’ blogs, Twitter, Facebook, the victims’ blog, the victims’ Twitter or Facebook, and anywhere else that will get the lies about the victim to be seen by the most people.)
- Have “others” help in your “dirty work” (The stalker gathers up “others” of his/her stalking kind to “gang stalk” the victim. This adds to the readers’ confusion on who is behind the stalking. It adds to the victims’ confusion as to who is behind the stalking.)
- Send someone to gain the victims’ trust (The best way to get info from you to report back to the stalker is to “employ” someone to get close to the victim to gain their trust. This person is particularly disturbed. This person uses a balance of trust and manipulation to gain information from you. This person is used to point the victim in another direction of belief of who the stalker is— if the victim has a suspicion. This person seems “helpful”, “sympathetic”, “relateable”, and “understanding”— it is all fake. At the time of any cyberstalking, you are very limited in who you can trust. Trust nobody online you have not met in person. Do not give information about yourself, family members, phone number, where you work, etc. Do not fall for the Facebook pages set up to look like an old friend who is “just getting back to Facebook” or “I made a 2nd page”. Do not bring family/friends into your own smear campaign, as tempting as it may be— they could become victims.)
- Intimidate, harass, threaten, manipulate, confuse, offend, control (The end goal for cyberstalkers is usually to silence you for whatever illogical reasoning of theirs. It is hard to explain logically the reasoning of illogical people. Other cyberstalkers have a more nefarious plan in mind, and those can be severely dangerous and have fatal consequences. This is why cyberstalking needs to be reported and prosecuted because you never know which one of those you are dealing with. In either case, staying off the computer doesn’t remove the threat, it just removes your knowledge of it. It is better to stay in the know than to be completely blindsided of a dangerous situation. This is where knowledge is power for the victim. Document. Document. Document. File reports. Document. Document. Document. Do NOT take NO for an answer when reporting. Be hyper vigilant in protecting yourself. EVERY threat is to be taken SERIOUSLY. If local Law Enforcement doesn’t take you seriously, go to the State, if the State doesn’t take you seriously, go to the Federal level. There are laws in every state that protect victims of cyberstalking. Use the law to your advantage and familiarize yourself with those laws. Read cases about cyberstalking that were prosecuted, and arm yourself with them to give to LE if you’re not taken seriously. Read the Federal Statutes on cyberstalking laws. Pursue criminal charges!)
- When all else fails, call yourself the victim or claim to be a teen (When you don’t buy into the BS of the cyberstalker, he/she “plays the victim” of cyberstalking and/or claims to not understand what is going on and that he/she is only a teenager and didn’t know what he/she was doing was wrong.)
- Use the victims’ defense of him/herself against him/her (It’s so difficult to restrain yourself from coming to your own defense. When you know something is a lie, it is hard to sit back and let that lie fester into something that isn’t remotely close to the truth. It is all too easy to retort with the truth in defense of yourself. The cyberstalker uses this against the victim to further confuse, misdirect, misinform, and manipulate the truth. Defending yourself from the lies is wasted time in most cases. It’s an exhaustive effort if you try. I don’t suggest letting every false accusation/statement slide, but choose carefully and be aware that it may get twisted once again— as I’m sure this blog will the moment I publish.)
Criminals are everywhere in real life, and real life has taken on a new form on the internet. Social media is reality in 2013. It is how we communicate with each other. Technology is reality, and it seems to gain new forms daily. Many readers can remember when text messaging didn’t exist, and it wasn’t that long ago. Try explaining “beepers” to teens now. Pay phones are almost extinct now, but that was how we called someone if we were out and needed to get in touch with someone. I’m not even in my 30’s, and I remember getting my first cordless phone. It all seems like a distant memory. Prosecuting the criminals who abuse the technological advances of today won’t advance with the technology if the victims of those criminals are allowed to abuse it and the victims do nothing to stop it. Stop allowing the criminals to move onto another victim. REPORT IT!