With all the modern electronic devices available to the public, people who harass women do not have to be in the same room with their intended victims. As Forbes points out, sexual harassers can use electronic means like a phone text or an email to send malicious or obscene messages. It is important for Colorado residents to know that the state has a law that specifically addresses electronic harassment and bullying.
In 2015, Colorado enacted Kiana Arellano’s law, named for a teenager who endured cyberbullying and attempted suicide because of the torment she had suffered. Her story shows the devastating impact harassing and bullying behavior can have on victims. With Kiana Arellano’s law in place, harassers who try to hide behind an electronic medium may have a rude awakening.
Obscene language and gestures
Kiana Arellano’s law forbids behavior intended to harass, annoy or alarm somebody, either physically in person or through an electronic medium such as telephones, emails or computer networks. This harassment may involve obscene messages or gestures. According to state law, obscene messages can refer to an offensive description of sexual acts or solicitation to commit them. A belligerent party might also decide to goad someone into starting a fight by constantly taunting the victim with provocative communications just to make the victim into an aggressor.
Electronic harassment and provocations
Some harassers will stay away from harsh or demeaning language. They may think they can stay on the right side of the law by annoying their victims with a phone call at a late hour at night when they know the victim will be asleep. There are also malicious parties who constantly call their victims on the phone just to ring it off the hook, with no intention to actually have a conversation.
However, no harasser who performs these actions should rest easy. Colorado law forbids all of these behaviors as part of its anti-bullying law. So anyone who suffers from these forms of harassment, even ones that do not involve words, has recourse to legally stop it.