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Friday, February 09, 2007

Predators TV Newsletter

http://www.predators.tv/newsletr/newsletter.asp

Newsletter

February 2007

Predators Survivor Hero

Our Predators Survivor Hero Award goes out this month to a special
woman, Jayne Hitchcock. In December 1996, Jayne found herself
impersonated online by two people, a husband and wife team, who were
angry that Jayne blew the whistle on their scam literary agency. This
agency was fleecing would-be writers out of hundreds of dollars,
sometimes thousands. Jayne did more research on this scam and then
filed complaints with the NY Attorney General's office. This angered
this couple and they retaliated by impersonating Jayne on hundreds of
newsgroups, posing as Jayne and calling people insulting names. This
escalated to posts claiming that she was into sado-masochistic sex and
available anytime of the day or night, then they listed her home phone
number and address. Jayne states, "When I started getting phone calls
looking for sex, I feared people would actually come to the house. I
had to learn from the ground up how to figure out who was
impersonating me, what my next legal steps were (finding a lawyer and
filing a civil suit), then getting laws passed to protect others from
online harassers and cyber stalkers." At that time the local police
did not know how to handle this type of situation.

Jayne says, "They began stalking me offline as well and my life was
true hell. It was hard - I was depressed, sad, paranoid and worried
about what they'd do next. I ended up seeing a psychotherapist for
nine months. It was the best thing I could have done."

Jayne worked hard to heal and learn all she could about cyber
stalking. When she was able to regain her strength, Jayne and another
victim of cyber stalking, started the organization, Working to Halt
Online Abuse at haltabuse.org. They also added a Kids/Teen Division at
haltabusektd.org in May of 2005. Today, Jayne says "It empowers me to
help other cyber stalking victims, as well as training law
enforcement, security personnel, and educators how to deal with cyber
stalking and cyber criminal cases, as well as talking to middle, high
school and college/university students and their parents about staying
safer online."

Eventually, the US Postal Inspection Service arrested the cyber
stalkers in 2000 for mail fraud (most writers sent checks or money
orders through the postal mail) and perjury. The husband ended up
getting eight months in jail (the maximum) and three years probation -
he was in his 50s by the time he served his time; his wife received
only three years of probation due to her ill health and age - she was
in her late 60s. She died soon after he got out of jail in April of 2003.

Jayne's most important tip for victims of cyber stalking: "Keep
everything, no matter how disgusting it is or how much it hurts you;
don't reply to the cyber stalker - that just gives them false power
over you and will escalate the situation; report them to their ISPs or
come to our organization for help. We don't charge a dime to help
victims. The most important thing is to remember it is NOT your fault
and you are NOT alone."

Jayne's most recent book, the 2nd edition of Net Crimes & Misdemeanors
(see netcrimes.net) came out in May 2006. Jayne is active in
continuing to pass cyber stalking legislation, online dating
legislation, and online legislation involving kids and teens such as
cyber bullying and predators. WHOA and WHOA-KTD are now non-profit, so
they are hoping to raise money to offer grants to victims who cannot
afford a lawyer or court fees. They are currently looking for a
celebrity spokesperson to represent WHOA and WHOA-KTD.

On a side note: We at Predators.tv would also like to offer our
condolences to Jayne and her family. Recently, Jayne lost both her
husband and his father within one day of each other. Our hearts and
prayers are with you and your family. Thank you for all you do and
continue to do to keep us safe! You are a true hero!

Are you a Predators Survivor Hero? Do you know someone that was a
victim of crime and has moved beyond his or her situation to make a
difference for others? If so, we want to hear from you about this true
survivor! Please send your suggestions to us via our
Contact Us page.

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