Justice for cyberstalking victim

by Amy Bottrill

Justice for cyberstalking victim

by Amy Bottrill
Amy Bottrill
Case Owner
Since 2020, I along with a dozen other women have been the victim of ongoing cyberstalking and harassment. I want to legally stop my stalker, help other victims and take back control of my life.
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pledged of £30,000 stretch target from 287 pledges
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Amy Bottrill
Case Owner
Since 2020, I along with a dozen other women have been the victim of ongoing cyberstalking and harassment. I want to legally stop my stalker, help other victims and take back control of my life.
Pledge now

This case is raising funds for its stretch target. Your pledge will be collected within the next 24-48 hours (and it only takes two minutes to pledge!)

Who am I?

My name is Amy Bottrill, I live in the UK, and for the past 2 years I have been the victim of a relentless campaign of cyberstalking and harassment.

My stalker has created over 25 different email addresses, 30 social media accounts and used over 100 telephone numbers to harass me. The impact of this course of conduct has caused and continues to cause me immeasurable alarm and distress and has impacted every facet of my life including my physical and mental health.

About my stalker: 

My stalker is a serial predator who lives in California, USA. He has harassed over a dozen women, and I simply want to hold him to account and to put an end to his obsessive behaviour towards me and other vulnerable women.

His modus operandi includes strategically targeting his victims with the use of fake identities and then engaging with women and their wider networks on social media (often Twitter or Instagram). He then proceeds to obtain as much information about their professional and personal lives as possible before pushing boundaries to develop romantic relationships with his victims. Once a relationship is established, he uses coercion and manipulative tactics to solicit intimate photos - which he later uses to blackmail his victims.

My story: 

My story began around 2016, when my stalker first started to follow me on Twitter. However, it wasn’t until January 2020 that he first communicated with me privately under the alias of ‘James’. A combination of shared interests and several mutual friends meant that initially I had no reason to suspect that ‘James’ was anything other than a genuine online friend. During the isolation of lockdown, he became a source of emotional support, and over time our conversations became more intimate. We would frequently speak on the phone and text each other daily.

By following me online for several years, ‘James’ was able to use information about my personal life to make me feel understood, and subsequently coerce and manipulate me into a relationship. However, by June 2020, he was displaying signs of extremely controlling behaviour, and so accordingly, I decided to end our relationship.

In August 2020, after asking James not to contact me again, things rapidly got worse. I was bombarded with abusive and threatening messages and phone calls, as well as threats to publicly share intimate images and messages I had trusted him with. He also set up multiple social media accounts to impersonate me and later used these accounts to disclose private information such as where I lived and worked. His conduct escalated when he began to share private images of me on multiple websites and targeted my elderly mother as well as my work colleagues. Despite seeking support from specialist organisations and the police, the relentless unwanted contact continued, along with monitoring my online activity and interactions with friends.

The torment my stalker has put me through has been devastating. I work in social media and being active online is an essential part of my job. Unfortunately, because of his behaviour, I have been forced to significantly restrict my online profile in both my professional and private life. My ability to work and function has also compromised after I was diagnosed with anxiety and depression, and now undergo therapy and counselling. Although this has helped somewhat, the anticipation of his next attack is mentally, physically, and psychologically terrifying, and I constantly feel extremely unsafe. This experience has also significantly impacted my personal relationships and my ability to trust partners or even friends.

Why am I asking for your support? 

My stalker wants to control me through fear, but I can no longer tolerate his power over me or his other victims. I’ve decided that I must now do everything within my power to bring his course of conduct to an immediate end.

So far he has acted with impunity as he believes that he is above the law. I am determined to show him that this is not the case and with the support of my solicitors, Cohen Davis, an award-winning social media law firm, we are planning to commence a case of harassment, breach of privacy and misuse of private information in the High Court against him. The funds raised will go towards the cost of litigation and obtaining an injunction to prevent him from ever contacting me again.

Recently, VICE investigated the extent of my stalker’s abuse: spanning 15 years, with at least a dozen known victims. You can read more about our experiences here: https://www.vice.com/en/article/m7gq8a/james-bell-cyberstalking-harassment-catfishing

Since the publication of this article, the harassment and threats have continued.

How much am I trying to raise?

I am hoping to raise £5,000 with a stretch target of £30,000 to fund the legal costs in bringing the case of harassment against my stalker. I have already committed just over £2,000 to this case which will also go towards my solicitor’s fees. However, the funds I have raised to date will not cover the entire legal costs of my case, which is why I need your help.

Funds raised here will cover legal costs: they will not cover the cost of therapy, or earnings I have lost due to this harassment.

Why is this case so important? 

I want to live an ordinary life again: without fear or anxiety. Most importantly, I want to send a clear message to my stalker and others who choose to cyberbully and harass individuals. My goal is to hold my stalker to account so that he is legally prevented from preying on other vulnerable women.

Finally, I seek to encourage and empower victims of cyberstalking to act against their abusers. These cases are rarely investigated sufficiently or prosecuted, leaving victims with little support from law enforcement. I am determined to raise awareness of this common issue to drive urgent change.

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