You’ve already said “no” multiple times.
No, you won’t go out again. No, you’re not interested in spending the night. No, you won’t meet him at a coffee shop. No, and now he’s threatening you, filing false reports, spreading lies, and harassing your family. It happened to Carrie Goldberg, too, and in “Nobody’s Victim” (with Jeannine Amber), she explains what she did about it.
“The internet can be a nasty place.”
Between social media, 4chan, and the spread of fake news, it’s hard to recall a time when the internet was meant to be a safe, beneficial thing. But it was, says Goldberg, before the passing of Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act of 1996, legislation meant to preserve what was good about the internet. Instead, the act colossally backfired, opening the door for porn, hate speech, misogyny, and online threats.
These are things Goldberg knows in her work as a victims’ rights lawyer.
It was a job she didn’t initially set out to do.
Before law school, she worked as a caseworker for elderly Holocaust survivors, a job that taught her to multitask but not how to set boundaries. She was single then, dating, and meeting men that didn’t click with her, until she met one who drugged her and violated her in a terrifying way.
She didn’t bother to call the police.
No, she went to Ireland, thinking suicide as a possibility but there, she had an epiphany that sent her down her current path. And yet, unimaginably, she was later stalked a second time by another ex-boyfriend.
Her own experiences in mind, Goldberg writes about stalkers who mean to ruin the lives of women they supposedly love. She tells of suing schools and cities on behalf of teen girls who are “victimized” by sexting and “revenge porn.” She explains how “troll armies” are made, and why “there is almost no telling what might set them off.” And she writes compassionately about her clients: almost all women because, statistically, most stalkers are men.
To them, she says, “We are an army of warriors and we won’t back down.”
Looking for a scary-thriller kinda book this fall? Forget about a novel; what’s inside “Nobody’s Victim” is about as frightening and horrifying as it gets.
Indeed, this book will make you want to shun your computer and all that’s on it, until you realize the truth: the internet is only part of the picture, pinpointing a harasser is difficult, prosecuting him is even harder, and legalities exist that are filled with loopholes to help corporations instead of customers. Still, author Carrie Goldberg tells of women who’ve persevered and triumphed against “psychos and stalkers,” giving you reason to hoo-rah with a caveat: Goldberg offers those stories as between-the-lines advice here, rather than a solid how-to, leaving a sense of anguish lingering over the end of this book.
And yet, if you are one of the people Goldberg says is most vulnerable to harassment or threats, this book’s empowering and comforting.
Should you miss “Nobody’s Victim”?