Authorities Using More Tools to Fight Cyberstalkers

December 3, 2012 – In The News
Press of Atlantic City

Social media is putting users at increased risk from stalkers, and local police agencies have new departments and tools to help protect victims. Authorities are continuing to investigate and more victims are coming forward in cases where internet stalkers are contacting women through fake accounts.

Apple Sulit-Peralejo, an attorney at Fox Rothschild in Atlantic City who specializes in family law and domestic-violence victims, said restraining orders can be effective tools to protect people.

State law says parents can receive a restraining order if their child is harassing someone over the Internet, she said.

In cases in which a victim has had a relationship with the harasser, the victim can file a restraining order in civil court, Sulit-Peralejo said. If the level of threat is high, one can also be obtained in criminal court, she said.

And in cases with no prior relations, a person may be able to get a restraining order if the severity of the threat is high enough, she said.

The orders require the perpetrator to cease contact online, she said.

Sulit-Peralejo said that in some cases, simply notifying the social media organization of the problem or “blocking” the perpetrator can be enough to stop the harassment.