If you want the low down on how I tracked down the real name and school of a 19yr old who was harassing me and at least four other women online, the post is here. The TL;DR version is that when I made a complaint to a school about a student they gave my personal information to the student and family, and that the person who handled my complaint was also a policeman.
It’s challenging to write an update on something when the update is that literally nothing has happened. In terms of what I have been doing over the Christmas/New Year/Summer break here in New Zealand… well a lot of nothing, so let’s break it down in case you or someone you care about is ever in the same situation – these are the things I did:
- Contacted the local police in Lawrence via email (Chief of Police Tarik Khatib and his Secretary Shannon Parker)
I received no response from the Police Chief, and only when I followed up with a phone call did I recieve an email from his secretary Shannon who asked me to call another number to make my complaint.
- Contacted the local police in Lawrence via phone
When I called the Lawrence Police number as provided by Shannon Parker, I spoke to a dispatcher who said I was unable to make a complaint as I lived in New Zealand. She was also unable to transfer me to any member of the Lawrence Police as my international number caused problems, I requested someone call me back or email me. Email was not appropriate and no one could call me back as the Police can’t call international phone numbers. So complete dead end. I was advised to make a complaint with my local NZ police. I updated Shannon Parker via email with the outcome of my phone call and received her out of office, which is understandable over the holiday period.
- Contacted Netsafe NZ (NetSafe is an independent non-profit organisation. Whose purpose is to promote confident, safe, and responsible use of online technologies.)
I sent Netsafe a link to my blog post and they responded to say that I had done as much as I could.
- Spoke to media
Two Kansas based journalists reached out to me and I have given them my permission to go research the situation (it’s not as if they needed my permission but I’m ok with them having a look into things)
- And finally read that the young man who harassed me is still playing Basketball
And as for what is left on my to do list? It’s at this point I realise that when you are the victim of harassment all of the hard work, all of the chasing and the following instructions, and re-following instructions and getting new instructions because the first two sets of instructions were incorrect, is solely your responsibility and inconvenience is a victim’s lot. I have to make a choice whether to pursue this further by:
- Contacting the Kansas City FBI (I have been given a contact there since I wrote my last post, but I wanted to allow time for due process)
- Submit my written complaint to the NZ Police (as that is what Lawrence Police advised me to do, however my local agency NetsafeNZ did not advise me to do this)
- Drop it (Make a decision that I don’t use any more energy pursuing the above and simply allow this post to serve as a reminder to both Kalim and Veritas Christian School – this is a permanent reminder and record of the event and will last far longer than any individual’s memory.)
Part of me feels that the learning from this experience is that the responsibility lies with the local people, the people in Kalim’s life to respond to and ensure the safety of Kalim and any person around him.
It is their responsibility when his online harassment of women turns into something more threatening and something they will have to take seriously.
It is their responsibility when he travels down a road that they don’t or can’t believe that he will.
Because a man who doesn’t respect women at 19 years old has been taught that disrespect by those closest to him and his downfall will also be their own downfall.
And part of me thinks that this is not good enough. This inaction is not good enough. What happens when the victims of sexual harassment are his teenage and more vulnerable peers? What happens in the not so distant future when he applies his own learnings – that there are NO consequences to harassing women – as a college basketballer?
What happens when he learns from this experience that spreading the blame (I had some great comments on my blog about how it wasn’t ONLY Kalim harassing women who then went and deleted their comments – PS they are still in my admin dashboard with your IP address and email) is the way to get out of a situation like this in future?
And that really is the biggest concern of mine.
Veritas Christian School has effectively shown Kalim and every single one of their students how not to get caught. How to dilute the blame. How to blame being hacked, blame someone else, and Veritas seem relieved to accept those excuses so they can get him back on the basketball court, their ignorance of technology allows them to be negligent in their care of their students, and the message they send to the women and the girls of Veritas is that their safety is less important than basketball.
My gut feeling as of right now is that I refuse to draw a line and be done with this. I refuse to have my own learning be that experiencing harassment on the internet is just part and parcel of having a vagina.
I refuse to have my own learning be that I simply box up this little experience as one of many, as part of being a woman and move on.
I mean I put photos of myself on the internet, I’m basically asking for it right? (THE ANSWER IS NO I’M NOT BY THE WAY)
As an aside, is Lawrence the town time forgot? Not only was Kalim confident enough to contact women on his personal Facebook account (which is how we figured out who he was) which can be put down to naïveté (or arrogance I guess), but the local Police website doesn’t work, they can’t call international phone numbers, the school thinks it’s ok to pass on the contact information of victims to perpetrators, seriously. They probably all use Internet Explorer.
TL;DR – Lawrence is the town time forgot and you should head there on your next woman-harassing vacation.