Our client, Bridget, enlisted the assistance of our Limerick Polygraph Examiner when her disabled daughter became the victim of cyber bullying.
A quarter of young adults suffered online hate incidents in the last year. The scale of this type of cyber bullying has sparked many campaigns for something to be done about internet trolling. A recent survey revealed a quarter of the 13-18 year olds believed they’d been singled out due to their sexuality, disabilities, gender, religion or race. Social media has provided a platform for people to commit these offences anonymously, making it more difficult to identify those responsible
Bridget’s daughter, Karen, hadn’t had the best start in life. She was born with spina-bifida which caused problems with her lower back. It had taken a while to become so noticeable but now at secondary school her back was so arched over it was impossible to miss. Karen was bright in nearly all of her subjects and was a straight A student. She didn’t let her disability hold her back and wanted to become a scientist. She’d had a number of people over the years bully her because of her appearance but it didn’t faze her, until it started online.
Karen had only been on Facebook for a few months when she started to get people posting on her wall saying she was ‘gross’ and ‘ugly’. This Karen could handle but when they started to say that she should do everyone a favour and kill herself, it started to get too much. The posts became more personal referring to her hospital appointment times and diagnosis. It had to be someone she knew or someone who was feeding the cyber bullies these details.
One day when Bridget was talking to her best friend Janine, she mentioned something that had been posted on Karen’s wall. It mentioned the hospital visit Karen had attended the day before. Karen couldn’t understand how anyone would know about the visit when she hadn’t told anyone about it. The only people who had known about it were Bridget, Karen, the staff at the hospital and Janine. The only reason Janine had been told about it was because Bridget was expecting an important parcel delivery and had asked Janine if she would come over to the house and wait for it while she was out.
The friendship between Bridget and Janine had its ups and downs. Janine was always jealous of the relationship Bridget and Karen had. Her own children weren’t interested in school and were constantly playing up. Some of the things they’d done prompted Bridget to ask whether Janine thought her children might be involved. This most recent of offensive posts had said, maybe the hospital should have recommended euthanasia instead of a back operation. Janine dismissed the idea that her kids would be so nasty. She said the best thing to do would be to ignore it.
Limerick polygraph examiner
Watching her daughter get more upset Bridget couldn’t shake the feeling that Janine knew more than she was letting on. Janine knew about the appointment and could have told her children.
Bridget emailed us in desperation asking for advice after a few more despicable posts. She wondered whether our Limerick polygraph examiner could look at the situation and in some way help.
Karen had started to withdraw into herself. She didn’t seem to be enjoying school and even though her mother had banned Facebook in the house, she couldn’t control what she was seeing on her phone every day. The situation was becoming unbearable, watching how upset her daughter was becoming. Once a bubbly and energetic child she was very now quiet and subdued. She’d stopped telling her mother what was going on with her Facebook but Bridget could tell things were getting bad. Our Limerick polygraph examiner advised, if Bridget could work out who she thought it was and convince them to have the test, it would almost certainly reveal the truth.
Cleaning Karen’s room one day she came across her diary. She’d done this many times before but never read it. Bridget appreciated Karen’s privacy and would never normally read it, but the recent change in her demeanour made her curious. Looking through the pages she was devastated. The trolls had been telling her she was worthless. She was a burden on her mother and she should just go ahead and put herself out of her and her mother’s misery. Bridget had read that children can, and have committed suicide over posts such as these and she had to do something. Her daughter hadn’t had the best start and even though she had a disease that couldn’t be cured, she had a bright and promising future.
Lie detector test in Limerick
Bridget didn’t think Janine would write these horrible things on her daughter’s wall but the little things she said made it appear she knew more than she was admitting. She would ask how Karen was on days Bridget knew the posts had been seen. She’d crossed referenced them with her diary. When Bridget had mentioned the euthanasia comments Janine was less horrified than a normal person would be.
She told Janine that she had sought the advice of our Limerick polygraph examiner who said lie detector tests could help the situation. Bridget asked if Janine would be prepared to take a test as she was considering getting everyone involved to take them. Janine was genuinely offended that her best friend of 10 years could accuse her of such a thing. However, she agreed to go on the basis that it would eliminate her from any investigation.
Polygraph examiner’s report
Our Limerick polygraph examiner completed the test professionally helping Janine relax in the pre-test interview prior to get the most accurate result. His report was ready within 48 hours having been peer reviewed by another examiner. It revealed that Janine hadn’t posted the threats and abuse but she did know who had.
Janine broke down when Bridget read the results to her. She confirmed she knew her daughter had been trolling Karen but hadn’t said anything. She didn’t want her daughter to get into more trouble than she was getting herself into already. Bridget reported her to the Garda and was alarmed to learn that there is no legislation covering cyber bullying in the Republic of Ireland. However, they were prepared to give Janine’s daughter a caution. Facebook banned all her profiles and so did Twitter and Instagram.
Cyber bullying is one of the growing concerns for most parents but this time, due to our Limerick polygraph examiner’s advice, at least one perpetrator has been stopped.
Are you or your children victims of cyber bullying? Do you think you know who it might be? Our Limerick polygraph examiner, or any of our examiners nationwide, could help. Call us on our confidential and free helpline 85 176 3360.