BEDA #7: Jo wonders-out-loud on… Anonymous Harrassment

A few days ago, my good friend Raven tweeted a link to an online article about sexual harrassment via anonymous, obscene SMSes. The saddest thing was that while the person on the receiving end reported it to the police, nothing could be done.

Now therein lies the rub.

Sexual Harrassment need not be molestation, rape or physical. As we all know, it can also come in the forms of constant lewd comments, obscene advances or anonymous messages. Such actions (especially in the office) can be reported and led to consequences like suspension or termination of employment.

But while we know that such things can happen totally out of the blue, what worries me is the aspect of how helpless the receiving end can be, especially if there’s little or no help.

First thing, half the time, the number can’t be tracked or Googled. Telecomm companies can’t do anything despite the evidence saved in the phone and any smart harrasser in the right mind will not reveal any real form of relation to anyone – all you have is a number this person is hiding behind.

Second thing, harrassers don’t stop, even if you do ignore their messages. It’s worse when no one can do anything about it. You can ask your friends, people around you or track. But unless you’re a trained profiler, you don’t really come up with anything.

So here’s the situation, there’s someone annoying you with offers for sex or lewd comments about you or giving you “recommendations” about how you should “do things” or threats about knowing where you work or live. You have no idea who it is and you can’t find any leads amongst people you. Despite ignoring these messages, this person comes back with comments that get worse.

At the last straw, you decide to ask for help. Yet, help is either lukewarm, not given or taichi-ed around.

My wonder is then this: What would you do if you were in that situation then?

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