Target: Boston, Massachusetts Police Department Commissioner William B. Evans
Goal: Launch serious investigation into the rape and death threats issued against feminist writer’s five-year-old daughter.
A prominent feminist writer received threats against her five-year-old daughter, including a rape and death threat, driving her to leave her social media accounts. Jessica Valenti, a well-known writer both online and of print media, posted on her Twitter account recently: “This morning I woke up to a rape and death threat directed at my 5 year old daughter. That this is part of my work life is unacceptable.”
Women writing online about certain subjects continue to face onslaughts of harassment and threats that they’re told they simply have to put up with despite the fact that men writing on the same subjects don’t have to endure the same type and volume of harassment. Threats are supposed to be illegal, yet authorities have continuously failed to act no matter how bad they become. Multiple women have left their careers or been driven offline entirely because of this kind of harassment, but nothing is done because the problem isn’t taken seriously.
Threats against five-year-old children are a new low for these so-called “trolls.” Any parent would be driven offline in order to protect their children. This is unacceptable when much of that parent’s livelihood comes from online writing and interaction. Sign our petition to demand that police take this problem seriously and launch a formal investigation into these threats and seek to severely punish anyone found guilty of this crime.
Dear Commissioner Evans,
A prominent feminist writer was recently forced to abandon her online presence after she received terrifying and disgusting threats against her five-year-old daughter. Someone threatened to rape and murder this child just because Jessica Valenti is a woman who dares to write about women’s issues. No one should have to put up with this, yet many women do on a daily basis because authorities fail to do anything about it.
Valenti makes much of her income from writing online. She must therefore maintain an online presence in order to provide for her family. Threats that make someone so afraid for her own child that she leaves behind her entire career should not be tolerated by our justice system. Threats like this are supposed to be illegal–why hasn’t anything been done?
People continue to make horrible threats and harass people online, driving women and other marginalized people off of a completely essential platform, because they know they can get away with it. Please make an effort to teach them that they’re wrong. We demand that the Boston Police Department launches an investigation into the crime of these threats and bring the perpetrator to justice
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Roanoke College