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How routine are her walks? In other words, is she out and about at the same time?

If so, they know when to look for her. This increases the chance of them being there to offer their harassment. If she's not willing to vary her walking area may want to vary her time. At least then, they won't know when to look for her.

Even though this bunch may not have crossed the line legally, what they're displaying is predatory behavior. Not having a set routine will help throw things off since they won't know when she'll be walking by.

That said, I'd strongly recommend also finding another path to walk, even just to alternate to from time to time. No, she shouldn't have to, but we don't necessarily live in a just world. It's important to understand that one has to be proactive about their safety, even though no one should have to do such a thing.

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17 hours ago, Mom2mthj said:

Any neighbor with a big dog that needs walking?  Like a German Shepard?

I was going to suggest this. 

Also, can she go out really early, like 6am? I doubt a group of boys would be up that early. 

As much as it stinks, I think she is setting herself up to be a target by continuing to go alone. It's not right and she should not have to fear walking in her neighborhood. But her safety should be a priority,. 

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I understand why your daughter is angry and feeling uncomfortable about walking.  What I would do in the situation would depend on a number of things:  how big the group is (three is different from 8 or 10),  how large of an area she covers during a walk and how far from home it is, the opportunity for walking alternative routes, how busy the area is--whether there are people driving down the streets, working in their yards, riding bicycles, or walking themselves.  

If the group is large enough and this is happening often enough, I would think someone else in the neighborhood is also seeing this type of behavior.  I would ask around.

I would focus on the things that she can do--carry a cell phone and call 911 if she is approached, practice what she would say, they would not know who she is calling; if she doesn't think things are to the point of calling 911 she could call you or a friend, this could deter the boys but also would be a way for someone else to hear what is occurring; concentrate on a few identifying things--how many boys, which direction did they come from, which direction did they go, is there one who seems to be the ring leader, what color bike, raised or lowered handle bars, thin or thick tires, was the rider wearing a helmet.  

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15 minutes ago, Dreamergal said:

I agree with both pieces of advice except the bolded. 

The OP approached the cops, they were not of much use. We document our bike rides all the time using a GOPRO. Everyone has the right to document their walk wearing a camera on their person which is what the OP's daughter will do. She has the right to do that. If friendlypeople wish and wave to her, no one will get in trouble. If thugs harass her that and scare her, that will be documented as evidence and turned to the cops. 

You have the right to video record people in a public place who do not have an expectation of privacy, and even to post that video. Recording audio is more complex, and me agreeing with you in theory does nothing to change that. She should verify her local laws so she does it correctly and the audio can potentially be of some use,and she doesn't put herself in the position of possibly getting into trouble. It would suck hard if she wound up paying civil damages to these yahoos because she didn't follow the law. 

 

9 minutes ago, Dreamergal said:

Do not worry about audio laws. You need audio for evidence otherwise it could become a she said, they said.

All those people who behaved badly were caught because of both audio and video.

If the audio is illegal, the police and courts cannot use it. 

Like I said, there are certain situations where it is okay to record and publish both video and audio. Many places have 'one party consent,' which means you can record audio as long as one person in the conversation gives consent. Most of the viral videos fall under this. If her dd wanted to make sure this applied, she would have to engage them. The other big one I already mentioned: It's often okay if the person is yelling in public, as opposed to having a private conversation, but it's trickier than video. If the person being recorded is clearly yelling and making a ruckus, it is often decided that they waived their right to expect privacy, but again, audio laws are just not as clear cut. 

It is very, very easy to check local laws on this, so there's no reason to record without doing so. All the wishing in the world isn't going to change the fact that audio laws are more complex than video laws. 

17 minutes ago, Innisfree said:

I will ask the police, but does this apply to recording the audio, or just to posting it online? I do not intend to post anything online; there's another mom who might well know the boys if I can get a picture, though, and audio would make what they're doing clear beyond a doubt in case I can contact their families or the police.

It applies to recording it, period. If you let a friend hear it in order to help identify them, of course nothing is likely to come of it. But the police can't use illegally recorded audio, and the families could actually use it against you if they choose to be belligerent. Just check your local laws before doing anything. 

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20 minutes ago, katilac said:

You have the right to video record people in a public place who do not have an expectation of privacy, and even to post that video. Recording audio is more complex, and me agreeing with you in theory does nothing to change that. She should verify her local laws so she does it correctly and the audio can potentially be of some use,and she doesn't put herself in the position of possibly getting into trouble. It would suck hard if she wound up paying civil damages to these yahoos because she didn't follow the law. 

 

If the audio is illegal, the police and courts cannot use it. 

Like I said, there are certain situations where it is okay to record and publish both video and audio. Many places have 'one party consent,' which means you can record audio as long as one person in the conversation gives consent. Most of the viral videos fall under this. If her dd wanted to make sure this applied, she would have to engage them. The other big one I already mentioned: It's often okay if the person is yelling in public, as opposed to having a private conversation, but it's trickier than video. If the person being recorded is clearly yelling and making a ruckus, it is often decided that they waived their right to expect privacy, but again, audio laws are just not as clear cut. 

It is very, very easy to check local laws on this, so there's no reason to record without doing so. All the wishing in the world isn't going to change the fact that audio laws are more complex than video laws. 

It applies to recording it, period. If you let a friend hear it in order to help identify them, of course nothing is likely to come of it. But the police can't use illegally recorded audio, and the families could actually use it against you if they choose to be belligerent. Just check your local laws before doing anything. 

Harassment is defined as private conversation ? I don't get it. 

If the families are belligerent, shame them on social media is the way I would go. I am outraged that they can do that, but this is America where people will sue you at the drop of a hat even if they are in trouble so I agree with your advice but very much outraged. The cops are no help so how can evidence gathering not help ? 

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OP, I sympathize very much with your daughter and I am completely with her in anger about having to change her ways. You have two ways to handle it. Either DD changes her ways or you will have to do some evidence gathering without confronting. Do not confront will be my advice, no pepper spray, no snarky comment or comeback even when you want to, sneak evidence gather on video vs  a cell phone taking video as all the rude people get very outraged if you film them.

I do not want to scare you, but in my native country this is called eve teasing and it never gets better. It does not go away unless you go away from there or take action in a safe way. Girls have had acid thrown on them sometimes and it starts like this. Please be careful. 

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Okay, folks. She's not going out alone again. If she walks alone, I'll be nearby in the car with a camera. The body recorder should arrive Monday, but I'll consult the police before recording audio. I'll be talking to some neighbors as well. Thanks for all the suggestions.

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20 hours ago, Innisfree said:

One concern she has is that if she gets them in trouble, they'll be angry, and the situation will escalate. Any thoughts on that?

 

 A police officer once said to me people like this usually escalate anyway - or just one of them does as the others drive off or stand by. He also said  that many women specifically hesitate to act decisively because they fear escalation, however, many perpetrators know this and depend on this. 

Do they stop her in the same area or at different spots on her route?

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1 hour ago, Dreamergal said:

I agree with both pieces of advice except the bolded. 

The OP approached the cops, they were not of much use. We document our bike rides all the time using a GOPRO. Everyone has the right to document their walk wearing a camera on their person which is what the OP's daughter will do. She has the right to do that. If friendly people wish and wave to her, no one will get in trouble. If thugs harass her and scare her, that will be documented as evidence and turned to the cops. Then they will act. Thugs can cry about violations about law in jail ! The OP's daughter has the right to walk in her neighborhood unharassed and not scared. I would recommend a beat down if the OP and family will not get in trouble for that is what these thugs deserve. 😠

I feel very strongly about this as I grew up like that. I had to carry an empty file just to prevent being groped in the public bus and this after covering from neck to feet and only face and hands showing and a scarf pinned across the bosom. The next step is that, touching.  It is dehumanizing to live like that and scary. I don't give a flux about about any thug's rights. They can cry in jail, stupid laws need to change if it gives them right over a young girl's right to walk untroubled in her neighborhood.

 

To some degree I agree with you in essence—to go ahead and use body cam to record what is happening while a parent follows at a distance. 

However, after that point, I would consider what to do with the video very carefully.  

As described in this thread, there is no jailable offense, so the idea that thugs can cry in jail is irrelevant.  Maybe police would go talk to the boys, or their parents if they are minors, but whether that will make things better is unclear. And depending on how the video looks, maybe the police will talk to the boys maybe not.

The situation could escalate and become worse no matter what, so I do think footage proof would be extremely helpful to have.

But I don’t know about posting it online or other options thereafter.  It depends on who the boys are, who their parents are and exactly what is going on. 

 

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1 hour ago, Innisfree said:

I will ask the police, but does this apply to recording the audio, or just to posting it online? I do not intend to post anything online; there's another mom who might well know the boys if I can get a picture, though, and audio would make what they're doing clear beyond a doubt in case I can contact their families or the police.

 

In my current state it is legal to audio record without the knowledge of other person(s). But that is not true everywhere .  You need to know your state and local law on that.

I would probably go ahead and record in these circumstances anyway, and get help from the  mom who might know who the boys are, and maybe could tell you more about them.  But I would be wary of posting it online.  

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23 hours ago, Innisfree said:

I will ask the police, but does this apply to recording the audio, or just to posting it online? I do not intend to post anything online; there's another mom who might well know the boys if I can get a picture, though, and audio would make what they're doing clear beyond a doubt in case I can contact their families or the police.

 

The laws apply to what is admissible in court.

For purposes of figuring out who is harassing your daughter, take the videos and the photos. Use them to identify the boys. Use them to motivate their parents to restrain that behavior. Use them to motivate the police to believe your daughter and to act protectively, even if it's just a stern talk with the offenders.

Your daughter IS at risk, and her safety comes first.

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1 hour ago, Harriet Vane said:

The laws apply to what is admissible in court.

For purposes of figuring out who is harassing your daughter, take the videos and the photos. Use them to identify the boys. Use them to motivate their parents to restrain that behavior. Use them to motivate the police to believe your daughter and to act protectively, even if it's just a stern talk with the offenders.

Your daughter IS at risk, and her safety comes first.

It applies to more than what is admissible in court. If it's illegal, it's, well, illegal. That doesn't just mean you can't use it in court, it means you broke the law and are subject to the consequences. In my state, that would be "fines, imprisonment, and/or civil damages." 

If I were the OP, I'd start with the simple and completely legal stuff - ask around to find out who they are, using publicly recorded video as needed. 

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2 hours ago, katilac said:

It applies to more than what is admissible in court. If it's illegal, it's, well, illegal. That doesn't just mean you can't use it in court, it means you broke the law and are subject to the consequences. In my state, that would be "fines, imprisonment, and/or civil damages." 

If I were the OP, I'd start with the simple and completely legal stuff - ask around to find out who they are, using publicly recorded video as needed. 

 

This doesn't make sense to me, simply because everyone posts pictures and videos. People of Walmart? Facebook? Instagram? And so on.

A couple years ago, some homeowners in my neighborhood got really fed up when kids on the soccer field urinated repeatedly in the stand of evergreens that separate the yard from the soccer field. Those homeowners confronted league officials, who contacted parents. Admittedly I do not know if this was photo or video, but there were definitely images of some sort. They felt they had no recourse because the league had brushed off their concerns and complaints repeatedly. When league officials were shown the images, they sent a sternly worded warning to all the teams. It was a big deal here.

I am aware of one case in which a young diva took photos of an older woman changing in the locker room at a gym, and the diva posted those photos online with derogatory comments about the woman's less-than-athletic physique. The older woman sued. In that case, the judge ruled for the older woman because there is "an expectation of privacy" in bathrooms and in changing rooms.

Other than that, I think it's fine to take photos or video publicly? Especially if my daughter were being harassed.

If you've got links for the law, I'm genuinely interested.

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19 minutes ago, Harriet Vane said:

 

This doesn't make sense to me, simply because everyone posts pictures and videos. People of Walmart? Facebook? Instagram? And so on.

, I think it's fine to take photos or video publicly? Especially if my daughter were being harassed.

 

I agree it does not make sense because pretty much everyone in my neighborhood has cameras in the front and backyards. If someone were to stand and talk in front of a house can they sue the home owner ? 

It's highly impossible to go anywhere without being filmed by a camera so why would a body cam that the OP's daughter is proposing to wear to get documentation of those harassing her will be a legal problem that gives rights to her harassers vs her is beyond me. I get not using cell phones to record simply because it would be unsafe for the daughter to confront thugs. But an unobtrusive body camera which she wears on her person when she walks will get her in trouble ? I do not get that. People use go pro all the time. We record all sorts of things when we use ours. I have a habit of doing unobtrusive recordings because I share that with people to document trips we are on or just sights of America which many people would like to see and never get an opportunity to do so. I do not use a cell phone because most people recoil visibly when they see one. But if you wear one on you, it records. I see so many people who travel, run, cycle do that as in wear cameras vs use cell phones simply because it gives them a hands free experience and it is more comfortable. I don't get how that is illegal. If so, they must pretty much arrest all users of instagrams who are not selfie takers.

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2 hours ago, Harriet Vane said:

 

This doesn't make sense to me, simply because everyone posts pictures and videos. People of Walmart? Facebook? Instagram? And so on.

A couple years ago, some homeowners in my neighborhood got really fed up when kids on the soccer field urinated repeatedly in the stand of evergreens that separate the yard from the soccer field. Those homeowners confronted league officials, who contacted parents. Admittedly I do not know if this was photo or video, but there were definitely images of some sort. They felt they had no recourse because the league had brushed off their concerns and complaints repeatedly. When league officials were shown the images, they sent a sternly worded warning to all the teams. It was a big deal here.

I am aware of one case in which a young diva took photos of an older woman changing in the locker room at a gym, and the diva posted those photos online with derogatory comments about the woman's less-than-athletic physique. The older woman sued. In that case, the judge ruled for the older woman because there is "an expectation of privacy" in bathrooms and in changing rooms.

Other than that, I think it's fine to take photos or video publicly? Especially if my daughter were being harassed.

If you've got links for the law, I'm genuinely interested.

It's audio vs video, not photo vs video. So, yes, taking public photos and public videos is fine. 

That case would be a standard example of "expectation of privacy" that you don't have when in Walmart, on the street, and so on. 

The law varies by state, just google "MY STATE is it legal to audio record without permission" or leave out your state if you want more general info. 

2 hours ago, Dreamergal said:

I agree it does not make sense because pretty much everyone in my neighborhood has cameras in the front and backyards. If someone were to stand and talk in front of a house can they sue the home owner ? 

There are indeed concerns about the legality of Ring and other devices that record audio in some areas: 

https://masslandlords.net/beware-of-cameras-that-record-audio/

This is new tech and laws may address it more explicitly in the future. The law regarding audio is simply not as clear cut as that addressing video. If anybody wants to pay their money and take their chances, of course they can. 

 

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This may or may not apply, but could be a place to start:

The 16 states that require two-party consent are California, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Hawaii, Illinois, Kansas, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Montana, Nevada, New Hampshire, Pennsylvania, Utah, and Washington.
 

Breakdown of Audio and Video Recording Laws - Wiley Online ...

 

 

Even if in one of those states, I would want to record it for myself and my child’s safety.  But I would be careful about what I did with the recording anywhere and especially if in a state with 2 party consent laws

 

the list may or may not be up to date btw

 

also be wary of what people from elsewhere say is the law.   People tend to know what applies where they are (both law and common practice) and not realize it may be quite different somewhere else

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