Welcome. We believe you.
If you are in need of immediate support/help
Crash Override Network has an email helpline
Heart Mob can help you create a safety plan and offer support
The Suicide Prevention Lifeline has people 24/7 to talk you through a crisis so severe that you are considering self-harm.
The Ottawa Coalition to End Violence Against Women (OCTEVAW) and the Purple Sisters Youth Advisory committee have developed Tech Without Violence, a set of resources to help prevent, respond to and support individuals experiencing online gender-based violence or harassment—known as cyberviolence.They have site-specific strategies for dating apps and social media platforms as well as some excellent online safety tips.
Below are a series of tips and tools for addressing the violences you’re currently experiencing. We have information on how to document, block, and report harassment. At the bottom of the page are a series of additional resource links.
Self-care is important all of the time, but especially when you’re experiencing harassment and/or being abused. Where possible, take time for yourself and surround yourself with people you trust. At the same time, it may be hard to explain to people what you’re going through. Crash Override has a helpful guide to talking to friends and the police that may be useful. One of the particularly pernicious forms of online harassment targets family members, so it may be a good idea to share news and resources with family as well.
If you are in physical danger, consider staying with a friend or family member until you are more secure. Also consider developing or activating a network of people who you can call should you find yourself at risk or simply overwhelmed. If you feel safe doing so, talk to your employer so that they hear from you first. If you have children, talk to their caregivers and/or teachers.
If you are concerned that you may be SWATTED because you have been doxed and your physical address has been released, you can use this sample letter to notify local police.
My personal information, including [address/phone number/social security number (as appropriate)] were recently posted on the internet by someone who is harassing/stalking me. There is a chance that someone may call in a fake bomb or hostage threat at my address as part of the harassment, so I wanted to reach out and let you know that this could happen. If you receive a threat like this for my address, I need you to call my cell number before sending emergency responders.
In addition to taking care of your bodily and emotional well-being, there are concrete steps you can take to “lock down” your digital identity.
While local laws vary regarding recording phone calls, you can explore these tips and software to record calls across a range of devices.
The first step in taking any kind of legal action (which is frustratingly hard) is to create screen shots of all harassment. If you plan to file a complaint or contact the police it is essential that you document what you are experiencing – while the Internet may be forever, savvy users can delete harmful content and collecting evidence is important. For more information on pursuing legal protections against online harassment, check out our Histories and the Law resource page. You may also want to go directly to the Cyber Civil Rights Initiative’s resources regarding state and national laws.
Download all harassing emails and include as much information about the source, time, etc as is possible. Consider storing these on a non-networked device like a flash drive for additional security.
Online harassment can go on for a long period and has real effects on your health and well-being. Consider asking a trusted network of friends or family to help you document the harassment.
Here are a few tutorials on capturing and documenting online violence