In sum, it can be difficult to hold bullies accountable for their actions (for both adolescents and adults).
In a country such as ours that values free speech so highly, many people genuinely believe they can say whatever they want, to whomever they want.
In Wisconsin, for example, it is a misdemeanor if someone uses computerized communication systems to “frighten, intimidate, threaten, abuse, or harass another person.” It is also against the law to “harass annoy, or offend another person.” See what the laws in your state are to determine if the police should get involved.
If there are ways you can determine who exactly is making the comments, also document that.Second, contact the service or content provider through which the bullying is occurring.In that case, the adult victims were being bullied in an AOL chat room.Everyone agreed that what the bully was doing was wrong, but to what were the victims entitled?If you are ever afraid for your safety, you need to contact law enforcement to investigate.
They can determine whether any threats made are credible.That said, I thought I would take some time here to give the adults who have been victimized out there some general advice.First, it is important to keep all evidence of the bullying: messages, posts, comments, etc.It’s no wonder that many teens are wrestling with this problem—they see the adults in their lives saying mean and nasty things to others on a regular basis.Do your part to model appropriate behavior and address any hurtful language when it comes up.For example, if you are being cyberbullied on Facebook, contact them.