Expert Advice for Adults Who Are Cyberbullied

By Renee Ruffin-Price

One of the founders of the Cyberbullying Research Center, Justin W. Patchin, Ph.D., offered some advice to adults who had been cyberbullied. Here are just a few of the suggestions he made:

1. Retain all written or recorded evidence of the bullying: messages, posts, comments, etc. Also document who is making the comments. These records might be used as evidence.

2. Contact the service provider being used to report the bullying and to request their assistance. Review each websites’ Terms of Use because most sites openly express that they prohibit any form of bullying or harassment, and members can be removed for violating that policy.

3. This might be difficult, but don’t retaliate or do anything that could be perceived as you contributing to the problem. 

4.  Do not respond except to calmly tell the person to stop and that if the cyberbullying continues, you may have to take additional actions. 

5. If you are afraid for your safety, contact law enforcement so they can begin an investigation, using your evidence to determine if the threats are credible. 

Most states have laws regarding cyberbullying; examples of words used in some of these laws include “frighten,” “intimidate,” “harass” and “offend”. Reviewing these laws prior to contacting law enforcement will help you know what they can do. 6. Consider consulting with an attorney who specializes in harassment, intentional infliction of emotional distress or similar types of civil action. Since this is a very brief overview of what Dr. Patchin discusses, you can find the original article on the website under  “Resources.”

Article submitted on March 28, 2022, by Renee’ Ruffin-Price, Community Advocate for Children, for the April 2022 issue of Al Dia Today