This is part 2, if you have not read part 1, do it before reading this. Part 1
The man on the phone wasn’t very understanding, or worried, but after insisting, and for some reasons being transferred to another person, they sent a cruiser to my house.
Two very tall white men arrived, filling me with anxiety and, somehow, shame that towered over me as I let them in. They asked me what had happened, and I explained. They stared at me with something in their eyes I still can hardly explain, or even understand. A lot of what seemed to be there, as they looked down at me, was a mix of confusion, annoyance (at me of course, for wasting their precious time, apparently), and the rest seemed to be a kind of look that was so filled condescension that my feelings of anxiety quickly turned into frustration and later that night, anger. They asked me if I knew the person, I replied that I didn’t. They asked me if I had done or said anything to the person that would have angered them, I replied that I hadn’t, and as they shared looks of disbelief I thought: “Is there anything that I could have said that would have given reason for rape and death threats?” I knew the answer to that, but I wasn’t sure if they did.
They asked to see the messages, and when they did, they had me explain where they were from, the website, the purpose of the website (which only seemed to confused them further), and even when they saw the messages I’d gotten on my own personal facebook, they stayed unfazed. They asked few questions and each of them only serve in making me feel angrier, and like I was wasting my time with people who didn’t seem to understand the situation I was in. My least favorite of the two men, the tallest one, had a look on his face that made me choose to look at the other man when replying to their questions in order to avoid more condescending looks.
“What do you want us to do?”
I knew that I was wasting my time, but to be asked by two police officers, paid to protect and serve people just like me, paid by my taxes, trained, and yet asked what it was that I wanted them to do as if it was my job to tell them what to do, my response was quick;
‘’Well, you can track their IP address, figure out where he is, and then do something?”
I would have never expected that a police officer in 2015 would actually ask me what an IP address was, and that I would have to explain it to them. I explained in my own words once and then a second time while attempting to ignore the fact that I was talking to two police officers, in charge of my current situation, in their mid 30s, in Canada, in 2015.
As I’m sure most of you have already assumed, nothing was done, I was told that it was most likely a joke, and even after I explained that many women, especially in the gaming industry (more confusion from them) had been forced to move out of their homes under the very real threat of rape, death, or other terrible things that women on the internet deserve for being women. I was told that if the threats continued for long enough, that I was to give them a call so they would know. It did, and I did call, but no cruiser was ever sent to my house again, nor have I ever received calls to ask me how my situation was going. It was obvious that I was alone into this, and as my address kept popping up here and there on various sites, I avoided them for a bit even though I wanted nothing less than to take it into my own hands and defend myself.
This whole thing left me feeling unsafe and threatened on the internet, a place where I have been playing video games or discovering movies and books, and people, since the day we first received a computer at our house. This feeling still pops up inside me sometime, and some days when I get a threat from an unknown person on the internet, I catch myself wondering “is this the same man?” “Is this him?” and even though it probably wasn’t and maybe never will again, a part of me sadly feels like in some way, it IS the same man.
Today, this incident is far away from me that I’m able to talk about it online without worrying too much about the repercussions that it often entails. My partner is the one, now, who is often filled with worries and anxieties in regards to my safety. And although it comes with good intentions, it only serves to make me hate this whole idea of accepting what women have to go through on a daily basis, and what men supposedly are. I will not hide my opinions of beliefs, I will not experience these instances of bullying and scare tactics, and I will not receive threats of rape or murder and just sit on my couch and feel sad and angry at the same time. I am a woman, and I am proud to be one, but I also am a woman that has love for the internet and for the gaming community, where I will take and keep my rightful place where a man likes it or not.
And so should you.
Note: Writing this on May 23 2016. Nothing was ever done to help me, reach out to me or offer me counsel or support. I have received many rape, death, doxing threats and have successfully been doxed as well between the time this happened and now that I am writing this, the police always was completely useless, the officers entirely incompetent and always demonstrated an utter lack of support or empathy towards me. Needless to say, I rarely think of actually calling the police when these things happen because they only seem to be there to waste my time and remain me of what it means to be a woman on the internet.