If you are the victim of online abuse, there is little you can do to avoid it.
It is possible to defend yourself from abusive messages or threats on social media, and this article outlines some steps to take if you are.
If you believe someone you know has been abused, you can call the National Sexual Assault Hotline at 800-656-4673 or the National Domestic Violence Hotline in Florida at 1-800-799-SAFE (7233).
The National Domestic Abuse Hotline is staffed 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year.
It offers free, confidential support, including confidential telephone counseling.
To report abuse, visit www.victimhelp.gov or call the hotline at 1–866-799–SAFE.
If someone is sending you unsolicited sexual or other unwanted messages, they can be reported to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC).
You can also file a report online at www.missingkids.gov.
NCMEC also has a hotline to help with the reporting process.
Report suspected or confirmed child abuse or neglect to the police or local authorities.
Report a sexual offense to the state or local criminal justice system.
Report suspected or proven criminal wrongdoing.
If your child is a victim of stalking, contact the National Crime Information Center (NCIC) at 1‐800‐373‐5678.
The NCIC also has an online reporting form.
If you believe your child has been stalked or harassed online, contact law enforcement.
If an online threat has been reported to you, call the NCIP at 1−800‐656‐4673.
You can report a cyberbullying threat to the FBI or state, local or federal law enforcement agencies.
You will also need to provide a valid social security number or a unique code on a piece of paper, and submit it to the NCIC.NCI also offers free online reports of cyberbullies to victims.NCIS, the National Cybersecurity Center, also offers information and support to cyberbullied users.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation has a cyber-stalking program for adults and children.
If the victim reports a suspected cyberbulling to the authorities, they will investigate.
The FBI will also provide support, advice, and training to law enforcement in cases of cyberstalking.
If a law enforcement officer or law enforcement agency is involved in an investigation of cyberharassment, they may have to notify the victim and obtain a search warrant.
The victim will need to file a complaint with a local jurisdiction.
The law enforcement will also have to make a search and seizure of the suspect’s computer and phone to locate evidence of the crime.
If the suspect is a convicted felon, they would need a judge to order him or her arrested.
The suspect would then be arrested and charged.
The criminal charges would be sent to the federal district court.
If not arrested, the accused would have to pay restitution for damages to be paid.