If you or a loved one is facing Title IX allegations at school, you probably already have your hands full of worries and concerns. The last thing you need is to add online harassment to your plate. In fact, there are some very specific actions that you should and shouldn't take in these instances. Let's take a closer look at three actions from each category.
What Not To Do
Do not engage
It's important that you not respond to any communication from your accuser. If you're sent DMs or voice memos, do not reply to them. And, equally important, don't send out any messages of your own. If the harassment is public-facing and in a forum visible to others, you should not comment on the post or try to defend yourself. It can be hard to take this approach, but it's really the better one in the long term.
Don't discuss it with classmates or anyone at your school
Although you may want to discuss how you're feeling with your best friend at school, or a trusted advisor, DON'T. Anything that you share with them could be culled and used as evidence in your Title IX hearing.
Harassment can be very frustrating and painful. And social media harassment, even more so. Your instinct might be to react in a way to try and hurt your accuser. Don't do this. It puts your case at risk as well.
What To Do
Take screenshots and keep a record
With Title IX cases, it's important that you document as much as possible, and social media harassment is no exception. Take screenshots of any exchanges, whether in DMs or on your main page. Capture the examples and then share them with an attorney-advisor
Speak with an attorney-advisor about the best steps and possible actions you can take
A Title IX Defense Attorney-Advisor will be able to advise you as to the next steps and what types of recourse you have. Their expertise and experience is invaluable.
Block the individual after screen capturing
Once you have a screenshot of the harassing interaction or post, block the individual or individuals who were bothering you. You can also lock down your personal profiles so that they are more private and less public.
Experienced Title IX Defense Attorney-Advisor Team
You don't have to (and shouldn't try to) navigate Title IX allegations on your own. A Title IX Defense Attorney-Advisor can advise you on the best possible approach to your case and help protect your future. Attorney Joseph D. Lento and the Lento Law Firm Student Defense Team have helped hundreds of students and their families across the nation as they faced these challenging accusations. Call them at 888.535.3686 or reach out online to see how they can help you.