Demand Police Training For Online Harassment Victims!

  • By: Kristi Arnold
  • Target: National Association of Police Organizations President Thomas J. Nee, NAPO VP Mick McHale,

Journalist Amanda Hess recently wrote a harrowing story about her experiences being threatened by those who disagree with her writing.

One harasser threatened to "rape you and remove your head." When she went to the Palm Springs Police, the officer asked "What is Twitter?" Demand that officers receive proper training about online media outlets and harassment of women.

Hess describes her experience: "I felt disoriented and terrified. Then embarrassed for being scared, and, finally, pissed. On the one hand, it seemed unlikely that I’d soon be defiled and decapitated at the hands of a serial rapist-murderer. On the other hand, headlessfemalepig was clearly a deranged individual with a bizarre fixation on me. I picked up my phone and dialed 911."

But the police offered no assistance to Hess. 

There are three federal laws that apply to cyberstalking cases; the first was passed in 1934 to address harassment through the mail, via telegram, and over the telephone. Since the initial passage of the Violence Against Women Act, in 1994, amendments to the law have gradually updated it to apply to new technologies. Thirty-four states have cyberstalking laws on the books; most have expanded long-standing laws against stalking and criminal threats to prosecute crimes carried out online.

Yet somehow police are unable to deal with these crimes. Speak out and ask that your police department include training for online harrassment victims!

Dear Sirs,


We the undersigned ask that you advice police departments to include training in online harrassment.


Journalist Amanda Hess recently wrote a harrowing story about her experiences being threatened by those who disagree with her writing.


One harasser threatened to "rape you and remove your head." When she went to the Palm Springs Police, the officer asked "What is Twitter?" Demand that officers receive proper training about online media outlets and harassment of women.


Hess describes her experience: "I felt disoriented and terrified. Then embarrassed for being scared, and, finally, pissed. On the one hand, it seemed unlikely that I’d soon be defiled and decapitated at the hands of a serial rapist-murderer. On the other hand, headlessfemalepig was clearly a deranged individual with a bizarre fixation on me. I picked up my phone and dialed 911."


But the police offered no assistance to Hess. 


There are three federal laws that apply to cyberstalking cases; the first was passed in 1934 to address harassment through the mail, via telegram, and over the telephone. Since the initial passage of the Violence Against Women Act, in 1994, amendments to the law have gradually updated it to apply to new technologies. Thirty-four states have cyberstalking laws on the books; most have expanded long-standing laws against stalking and criminal threats to prosecute crimes carried out online.


Yet somehow police are unable to deal with these crimes. Add training to police departments nationwide to prevent victims from suffering this injustice again.

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