What should I do if I receive threatening or harassing emails from the abuser?

What should I do if I receive threatening or harassing emails from the abuser?

You can print and save any threatening or harassing email messages the abuser sends you, as they may be used as evidence of his/her abuse in court or with the police.  To be able to prove that the abuser sent these messages, you may have to print out the messages with the “header,” which shows the account information of the sender of the email.  You may also want to think through whether the abuser’s emails include any language or expressions that the abuser typically uses in other writing or communication.  You may be able to testify about the similarities to help prove that the abuser sent the emails.

Additionally, depending on the content of the messages and how many s/he sends, s/he may be committing a crime, such as stalking or harassment.  You can report any threatening or harassing emails to the police.  For more information on online harassment, please see our Stalking/Cyberstalking page.  To read the definitions of any harassment or cyberstalking crimes in your state, you can go to our Crimes page and enter your state in the drop-down menu.

Threatening or harassing emails may also be a basis for a restraining order against the abuser.  To read about the types of restraining orders available in your state, select your state from the drop-down menu on our Restraining Orders page.