FindCarrie - AGH - Missing & Murdered Person Blog

Information on missing and murdered people and the issues surrounding their cases. ***No material on this site is to be redistributed or rewritten - Copyright Find Carrie Culberson***

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

When Helpfullness Turns To Harassment With Victim's Families


Imagine yourself as a normal everyday Joe or Jane who came home from work one day and your life has been turned upside down. Somebody you love has been taken from your life and you have NO idea what has happened to them, and it appears that you are going to have to start a campaign to find them. Let’s say that you’ve never ever been on TV, never even called into the radio station to request a song, but now you have to do something, so you started out doing the best you can do. Nobody can ask you to do any better, after all, this is what any relative would do for somebody they love.

All the sudden, after being on TV, you begin receiving emails, phone calls, packages, among other things from an individual that you don’t know. They start out as friendly and helpful, but as you are eventually unable to answer over 50 emails per day for example, they begin take a turn towards something not so pleasant. It becomes very overwhelming for you because you are already in the middle of a crisis, because let’s remember your loved one is GONE and you are fighting to find them.

Personal Thoughts on the Above Scenario

Often times when some people see a television show on Court TV or AETV for example of a family who has suffered a loss, they want to reach out to the family to offer assistance and understanding to help them with their loss.
Any person who is having a difficult time could surely be appreciative of someone’s assistance, UNTIL it begins to overstep certain boundaries that should never ever be crossed.

There is a fine line that must never ever be crossed when helping someone or when we decide to become an advocate. Basically, it’s what I call a code of ethics. We must never ever tread into someone’s territory without being permission and trust must be earned. Trust is not earned with families suffering overnight, it will take time, probably not for months, or until they learn from your work from references. Let’s remember these people are hurting and do not need more drama added to the hell they are currently witnessing.
We are here to help and understand that there are certain parts of the case and heartbreak that we are not to be part of. After all, we are NOT a family member and we have no right to intrude into someone’s personal space by calling, emailing, showing up, or doing things that exhibit mental instability.

At no time should a family who is already suffering a loss have to go to their local authorities and file charges against a person has interjected themselves into their case and have taken the turn from friendly to threatening. It is enough to lose a loved one, and enough to be taken out of normal every day life, having to go onto TV shows for assistance, but then to pick up unwanted viewers who do not have the best intentions.

As with every family who longs for that one minute on National TV, I always tell them, please be aware of what can happen once you go onto TV with your case. While there are so many positive aspects of that, there can be a dark side. There are so many people who have nothing better to do than sit at home and watch TV all day long and actually think they are part of your situation and do anything to get into your life – and not for positive reasons. I suppose this is a risk that the family has to take to find out what happened to somebody the love. It’s not fair but what else can you do?

There are laws in each state that protect against online stalking, telephone harassment, those who have mental disabilities who harass innocent people. No family, victim’s advocate, or organization should have to deal with this type of situation.

Life is all about choices and actions. If you are witnessing this type of unwanted behavior, it is best to nip it in the early stages. Sometimes when dealing with a full on stalker, you must contact your law enforcement to file a report. If your local law enforcement refuses to take the matter seriously, call your news media. Always keep copies of the harassment in all forms, and stand up for your rights. Those who choose to victimize families and organizations of the missing and murdered are the same as the murderers. With the assistance of those working to stop these types of people, they will be taken off our streets and put behind bars where they belong. They are not helping they are hurting others.

I hate to see another family or person be hurt by another individual who finds it necessary to overstep the boundary of helpfulness to harassment. How can we know the next person who will wake up tomorrow and their life will be changed forever and then they’ll have to witness not only their personal loss, but then have to witness something of this nature. We’ll all work to stop this from happening. Just as we’ll work to find each and every missing and murdered person justice.


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