Kidnap and ransom plots are intriguing in movie thrillers but totally terrifying in real life.
A woman named Denise Huskins not only had to suffer at the hands of her kidnapper, but she was victimized again when police didn't believe her story. Her boyfriend, Aaron Quinn, was drugged and blindfolded as Huskins was taken, sexually assaulted, and held for $17,000 ransom by a man named Matthew Muller.
Why didn't the police believe Huskins? The Vallejo, California, police department said she didn't "act like a kidnapping victim" and that she sent them on a "wild goose chase." They went so far as to compare her to the woman who orchestrates a kidnapping hoax in the movie "Gone Girl."
Fortunately, FBI agents were on the case and Muller was eventually charged and convicted for his crimes. Huskins was vindicated.
Unfortunately, the damage to her reputation was already done. Huskins has suffered cyberbullying and abuse online, and she took to Facebook to post one of these messages from a stranger.
The man insists she faked her own kidnapping, says she's going to hell, and calls her a slut, a liar, and a whore.
Huskins responded to the online abuse saying she wants to raise awareness that this cyberbullying happens to her and others.
She wrote, "Unfortunately, this is just one example of countless messages like this that I have received. And like the ones before this, unfortunately this guy won. After reading this I went into one of my many PTSD episodes of terror. My jaw and back are sore from the deep powerful shaking and reflexive tension that my whole body goes into. My eyes are sore and red from uncontrollable tears."
She now takes medication to cope with her trauma.
She pleaded with others to recognize that words matter and that as we head into a new year we should all consider the things we say. She continued, "All I did was survive and I was criminalized for it. We are trying to do the right thing and let the system do its job. But here we are, starting our new year hoping for a more positive future, but confronted with hate and ignorance."