Minnesota law allows anybody the right to ask for a Harassment Restraining Order if someone is harassing them. Before a court grants you this protection, however, the judge may want to know what steps you took to resolve the issue before involving the court.
Here are five practical steps you can take if you are being harassed:
1. Ask the “Harasser” to Stop.
Some individuals don’t understand that their behavior is unwelcome unless the harassed person tells them directly. If no violence was involved and you’re not endangered in any way, you can ask the harasser to stop the unwanted behavior.
2. Contact Your Phone Company.
If the harasser is repeatedly texting you, calling you, or leaving you unwanted voicemails, your phone company may have a policy on how to respond to such a complaint. Most phone companies will, however, need you to obtain a police report before they act on your harassment complaint.
3. Involve the Human Resources Department.
If you are being harassed in the workplace, you need to report the incident to your supervisor or manager immediately. If the harasser is your boss, report the harassment to the human resources department. If your employer has no reliable HR department, madialaw.com recommends contacting an attorney experienced in workplace harassment in Minnesota.
4. Talk to Your Landlord or Call Housing Services.
If a fellow tenant is harassing you, talk to your landlord. If the harasser is your landlord, you can call Housing Services. If you are the landlord and a tenant is harassing you, call the Minnesota Multi Housing Association.
5. Call the Police.
You need to call the police any time another person’s behavior threatens your safety or security. Call the police ASAP and ask them to record your complaint. If the incident recurs, call the cops again. Inform the authorities about your previous report or reports. The reports will benefit your potential Harassment Restraining Order case.
How you respond to harassment depends on several factors. It may, for instance, rely on the identity of the harasser, how they are harassing you and the location. To be sure you are taking the right steps, it’s wise to talk to an attorney as soon as you feel you are being harassed.