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Teen Wonders If She's Wrong For Screenshotting 'Gross' Messages From Guys & Sending Them To Their Moms

Photo: Ant Rozetsky / Unsplash
girl texting in a restaurant

A woman posted to the AITA subreddit looking for advice on whether she's in the wrong for how she retaliated against men who were harassing her.

The 18-year-old college woman explained that she had been getting bullied and harassed by three guys in one of her classes who've been sending her "gross/harassing messages" and "NSFW pictures," choosing not to go into too much detail on what exactly the messages consisted of.

The teen decided to respond by sending the messages the men sent her to their mothers.

She admitted that perhaps she should've reported them to someone at her college, or just blocked their messages. Instead, she decided to screenshot every message they'd sent her, found their mothers through their Facebook pages, and sent the screenshots to them, making sure to include an explanation of who she was and how their sons had been bothering her.

"Their mothers were horrified and shocked by what I sent them explaining what was going on and all three are on my side," the woman wrote in her post.

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She clarified at the end of her post that the three guys had been bullying her in person as well, but after reporting it to her college's administration, they only received a warning, leading them to send her more messages and pictures "as if to prove I couldn't do anything. I figured reporting them again wouldn't work so did this," she wrote.

Some of the woman's friends praised her for sending the messages to the guy's mothers, saying they got what they deserved, but others criticized her for taking it too far, telling her she was out of line for involving their mothers, especially considering she doesn't know what their home life is like.

The woman followed school harassment policy protocol.

"The people saying you took it too far are the same ones who would defend those guys' behavior as 'just guys being guys.' What they were doing is organized sexual harassment, and it needs to be forwarded to school administration as well," one person commented, and according to the University of Chicago's Office of the Provost, their advice is on the right track.

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In fact, the next steps would be to report the perpetrators to the police, which as some pointed out, means the teen actually did her harassers a favor.

"Each of these guys could potentially be charged criminally; instead, you told their mothers," they wrote. "I applaud you for employing a method that will ensure they have some kind of punishment from their families. To be clear, it may not be any more effective overall than reporting to the police, but it's worth the shot."

Not reporting the behavior could lead it to escalate, putting her in danger.

"Boys are far too often excused from facing [the] consequences of their actions. If they were being respectful none of this would be an issue. They weren’t," one person said. "Perhaps they’ll think twice before they pull a similar stunt."

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Nia Tipton is a Chicago-based entertainment, news, and lifestyle writer whose work delves into modern-day issues and experiences.