Should I report internet harassment to the police?

Report internet harassment legal help

Many sex workers don’t seek legal help or report internet harassment to the police

Sex workers should feel no different when seeking support, than anyone else that is suffering harassment on the street or online, and we hope that this article helps you seek that much needed help for this very serious matter, whether you need our assistance to help you report internet harassment or take it further.

Our internet lawyers can help you report internet harassment to the police because we understand the complexities of why you feel that you cannot seek the help that you need, and we will advise to document all evidence and not to be fobbed off by the police (more instructions below) but we also want you to know that Cohen Davis are here to support you going down a different route with this serious matter, if you do not want the police to be involved. 

Why would a sex worker be put off and not report internet harassment to the police?

Mostly because they are put off by the consensus of prejudism against sex workers and the stigma that exists around sex work that the police are less likely to investigate any physical or mental attacks on sex workers, which can lead people to feel isolated, frustrated, powerless and scared. Online attacks, threats, sextortion, hate speech and being forced into sex films that were posted online or filmed having sex without full consent can have serious physical and mental affects on targets of harassment and if it is happening to you, you need support with this very serious criminal act.  

Everyone has a right to work and live without fear of violence and seek help from the police when they need it but if you are under someone's control, or you work with someone else, worry about arrest, deportation and fines that you will need to do more sex work to pay, it is inevitable that you feel that you cannot report internet harassment to the police. 

How Cohen Davis understand your situation

We know that many people feel like they receive a lot of support, help and the understanding that they need from our internet law firm because discretion, protection and care are three of the many things that we are noted for, whilst we work diligently for our clients. We understand the delicate nature of why, as a sex worker, you feel the need for us to tread carefully and need somebody on your side that will understand the internet, understand your situation and deal with all of the complexities, without judgement and without too many questions. 

The worry of being arrested even though innocent

The online harassment that many sex workers are subjected to, and their fear of limited access to justice is enabled by social stigma that position sex workers as second-class citizens and that they choose to put themselves in danger. The laws don't make it easy for sex workers and this is why it will feel very hard for sex workers to think about going to the police to report internet harassment issues but we encourage you to. You may be worried about arrest or exposure when you report internet harassment and of course, if you are fined, you know that you have to go and find more sex work to pay the fine but it is important for you to know that we will represent you at the police station, too. If you are arrested and it was internet related and feels unjust, you need us there representing you because we are sex worker lawyers and you need a fair trial (and the overall outcome is very often what is filed initially at the police station).

It is very hard for you to think about going to the police to report internet harassment, since you think about what you are up against but we want to support you in doing so. Online harassment in all of its forms is a very serious crime and if you are experiencing it, you need support as soon as possible. Call us for more advice on how to report internet harassment to the police or how we can help you, if you want to go down a different route with your online harassment issue.

Why else do sex workers not report internet harassment?

Many adult sex video performers fear their producers, as do many sex workers that have pimps controlling them, as they threaten them with violence, humiliation and exposure. It is common for coercive sex film producers to exploit the performers and use manipulation and ply them with drugs and alcohol to get them to sign consent orders and releases and all the while, humiliate them, abuse them physically and sexually, gaslighting (sowing seeds of doubt to question someone's own sanity) them and keeping them under their control.

Many sex workers are also reluctant to disclose any harassment, threats or violence that they experience for fear of incriminating themselves, having themselves 'outed' or making themselves targets of additional verbal, physical and sexual abuse. The reporting of violence may also hold implications for family relationships, custody of children, legal consequences, credit and 'straight' job applications among other consequences. 

I heard that the police are not equipped for online harassment issues.

Yes, it is also a fact that many police forces across the UK are not equipped to deal with any crime that is related to the internet because of lack of funding and resources and also that very few senior police officers do not understand the psychology of how the internet works, as it isn't their field. Knowing this doesn't encourage you to report internet harassment but you will need to document all of the evidence and file it with the police, as key evidence in whichever route it goes down: criminal courts or civil. 

Do the below, twice (one for you and one for when you report internet harassment the police):

1. Screenshot emails, posts, webpage addresses (URLs), images; anything that relates to the online harassment.

2. Write down anything else that you can remember, including dates and names and numbers (if known) of suspects.

3. Put everything in a file and put your name and phone number on it.

4. Take the file to the police station and hand it in to the person manning reception and tell them that you would like to report internet harassment. If they tell you that there isn't anyone in to deal with it, still leave it with them. They will have to enter the information into their computer and start a formal investigation. Do not be told to come back another time when someone is on duty. Leave the file with them. We have told so many people to go back when they have been fobbed off when they report internet harassment, and told them to leave a file with them, so that they have to investigate. They always do investigate. This is good general advice. 

Do police investigations take a long time?

Do not also be put off if you have heard that police investigations may take some time when you report internet harassment because they may very well take a long time but if you want help sooner, then do please call our internet law firm. We are a dedicated team that assist everyone, no matter their walk of life. We can often work on a no win no fee arrangement, so do not be put off by any ideas that appointing a lawyer is a ludricously expensive affair and not applicable for everyone.

Justice for sex worker harassment

We are advocates for supporting the most vulnerable on the internet, in getting justice for the serious crime of harassment. Of course, you may want us to work discreetly and rest your mind from further fear, if you are worried about taking it further. We will do what we can to make you feel supported and listened to and understood, just as you should be. We will apply for anonymity in the courts, if it gets that far, too. Sex worker identity protection is what you can rely on with Cohen Davis. 

Whatever your work is, harassment is not acceptable

Keep in mind that just because you work in sex work, it doesn't mean that you should be subjected to harassment and accept it as part of what you do. Cohen Davis are here to support sex workers and any adult pornographic related harassment issue for any user on the internet. Report internet harassment to the police or call us: 0800-612-7211 or contact us discreetly to let us know when is a good time to talk.

 

Yair Cohen

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