Are programs like YOU dangerous? Woman tells heartbreaking story of harassment (2023)

It was a "sweet date" to match any 1990s rom-com. In 2018, a charming and handsome bookstore manager spotted a beautiful boho student walking through the door. They bonded over books and a shared superiority complex, and sparks flew when they shook hands.

But less than 10 hours of television later, the girl was dead, and the phenomenon that isOfhe was born.

Based on the novels by Caroline Kepnes, the psychological thriller returnsNetflixin its fourth season on February 9. When Season 3 aired in October 2021, it became the most-watched series in the streaming platform's history, with over 2.254 billion minutes watched in the first week alone.

But despite its popularityOfwas a source of controversy from the moment it first aired on Lifetime. While it received rave reviews from critics, it was also heavy.criticized for romanticizing the persecution.

Are programs like YOU dangerous? Woman tells heartbreaking story of harassment (1)

Amy Bonomi, founder of Social Justice Associates, a strategy development and culture building firm, saidnews week: "Shows howOfnormalize problematic relationship dynamics and abuse.

"When such behaviors are seen as romantic, they signal problematic control dynamics that instill fear, threat, imprisonment, and disempowerment in target individuals."

Jeanette Opheim, a real-life victim of stalking who suffered years of harassment and abuse, sharednews weekher harrowing story and said she dreaded shows likeOfit could encourage potential persecutors to "justify their actions".

the problem withOf

According to Stalking Awareness, approximately 13.5 million Americans are stalked annually – including 1 in 3 women and 1 in 6 men. He defines stalking as "a pattern of behavior directed toward a specific person that would cause a reasonable person to fear for that person's safety or the safety of others, or to experience significant emotional distress."

The debate over whether TV shows, movies andVideo games encourage violenceit is long term. A landmark report published by the National Institute of Mental Health in 1982 found that watching violent television programs made children less empathetic, more likely to engage in aggressive and harmful behavior, and more afraid of the world around them.

A more recent study published in 2019American Business Journaldiscovered that the opposite is also true - healthy,Educational TV shows can make kids smarter.

But adults with their fully formed brains must be immune to the effects of TV, right? You might think so, but a quick look at social media suggests otherwise.

(Video) Dangerous young man fell in love with a Nurse | If you wish upon me -hate to love story KOREAN DRAMA

A significant part of the time inOfforum aboutRedditparticularly devoted to targeting Joe's victimsGuinevere BeckElizabeth Lail, Joe's object of affection in Season 1.

Are programs like YOU dangerous? Woman tells heartbreaking story of harassment (2)

Most of the criticism focuses on Beck being "plain" or "nasty" - or simply not good enough for "anti-hero" Joe - and thus somehow deserving of ending up in a body bag.

"While perhaps unintentional, these attitudes blame victims of abuse for doing (or not doing) something to prevent abuse directed at them," Bonomi said.

Videos with disturbing Joe quotes and captions like "I wish he would follow me" are everywhere.Tag thanks.

Lead actor Penn Badgley called on fans to idolize the character. The decision to fill the oldgossipGirlStar raised eyebrows in 2018 over concerns that Badgley's good looks made Joe an object of lust rather than disgust.

In a 2021 interview with Netflix, Badgley, 36, said: "Joe is one of the worst people ever. Don't strive to be like him, don't defend him. Never. Never defend him. He doesn't need that ."

Are programs like YOU dangerous? Woman tells heartbreaking story of harassment (3)

However, Badgley also told viewers as muchfind Joe attractive and embarrass Beckis the "point". In 2019 he saidnews weekOOfit is “a direct response to discerning the current internet climate”.

From a creative standpoint, this makes sense - it's a myth that stalkers are strangers in trench coats or unattractive people who can't get a date. The non-profit National Coalition Against Domestic Violence reports that 3 out of 4 victims of stalking knew the perpetrator beforehand, often in a romantic context. It is important to point out that stalkers often do not fit the stereotype that is commonly associated with them.

Still, Bonomi addressed the problematic actions of compelling characters - like Christian Grayfifty Shades of grey(Jamie Dornan) e Edward Cullen (Robert Pattinson).twilight- are generally portrayed as romantic rather than dangerous, which is troubling.

Indeed, Netflix's description ofOfThere is not even a mention of persecution. It characterizes Joe as a "dangerously charming and intensely obsessive young man" who "goes to extreme lengths to fit himself into the lives of those with whom he is fascinated".

(Video) Selena Gomez - Same Old Love

This gray area runs through like a red threadYorand allows fans to paint Joe as passionate rather than confused. Omost of his victims of persecutionexpress their horror at his behavior, but Joe always gets away with it and switches to a different woman (or two) every season.

But how to romanticize this stalker/killer character?Of, real victims feel?

"One person actually said to me, 'Your story reminds me of the showOf'I love this show...'

Jeanette Opheim knows all too well the horror of being followed. The 31-year-old author was a senior in high school when her nightmare began. What started as uncomfortable text messages and unrequited declarations of love soon turned into non-stop phone calls and unwanted gifts, followed by verbal and physical threats.

Though it's difficult, Opheim tells his story in hopes of helping others.

Like Beck, when Opheim first met her would-be stalker, she thought he was harmless. She was paired with John (not his real name) for a wilderness survival class because she was one of the few students who didn't bully him.

Initially, Opheim and John hit it off, but during a year-end assignment camp, "something changed". Opheim and John were spending a weekend in the woods with two other students, and although the man behaved normally during the trip, he bombarded them with warm messages on the way home.

The lyrics sparked a campaign of harassment and abuse that would last for seven years. Throughout the school year, John declared his love for Opheim several times.

Are programs like YOU dangerous? Woman tells heartbreaking story of harassment (4)

At first she gently said she wasn't interested, but John continued to follow her on the phone and on social media. Opheim blocked her number, so John made his friends call her non-stop.

"They'd say, 'Why don't you like him?' or 'Why are you horrible to him?'” she recalled.

At first, Opheim took the calls out of guilt. She hoped that eventually John would lose interest and move on, but the calls wouldn't stop.

She asked the teacher for help, who supported her. However, as Opheim had no words to describe what she was going through, her teacher downplayed the situation.

(Video) Call The Police Right Now! (You And Your Son Are In Danger)

"What I do know is that I didn't understand what happened until the end of the game," she said. "I think it's important for other victims of stalking to know [the signs] because they can ask for help sooner."

Shortly after, John shows up to class and presents Opheim with a bouquet of flowers in front of everyone. She closed it, but the situation continued to deteriorate.

John followed Opheim around campus and "accidentally" ran into her at random times and places. He befriended her social group to try to get into her life and started showing up at her workplace, which freaked her out.

"He was outside the building one night as I was closing and he waited for me. It was so scary I had to call a friend to pick me up. When he saw my friend coming he left."

Are programs like YOU dangerous? Woman tells heartbreaking story of harassment (5)

Opheim credited her friends for protecting her. At first, she was too embarrassed to ask for help.

"I wish I had used them sooner," she said. “The more people you tell about it, the thicker your safety net becomes.

One day, John called Opheim and threatened to kill himself, which sent her into a panic.

“He said he was on top of the stands at our university's stadium. He would back out if I didn't agree to be his friend."

The threat was a lie, but Opheim didn't know that at the time. Then John published a postFacebookasking for help in publicly humiliating Opheim by "grabbing her and stripping her naked" on campus grounds.

Fortunately, a friend saw the post before he could find volunteers. Opheim decided to call the university police.

"I remember saying to them, 'I don't want him to kill himself,' but the officer said, 'Well, we'd rather have a suicide than a murder-suicide.' That's when I realized it was serious."

(Video) [New] Fatal Attraction 2024❣️S14E28 ~ The Devil Within❣️Fatal Attraction Full HD❎TV One 2023

At that time, she decided not to apply for a restraining order. Her last semester was coming to an end and she knew she would soon be moving to another state. However, John began cyber stalking her.

He followed her on social media for the next six years and created several fake accounts, but due to online harassment, the police did little to help.

Opheim tries not to let the experience dominate her life, but she is cautious, especially when she is in public.

"I'm very careful. I never post where I am, I block suspicious accounts or new followers on social media," she said.

"Whenever I see someone who looks a little like them, I always check them out. I never know where they might be."

Understandably, Opheim has no desire to watchOf,However, she appreciates that people who haven't experienced persecution might see the show differently.

"I don't blame people for infusing that into sexualityOfrepresents,” she said.

"What I don't think is right is that a potential stalker could watch this and use it to justify their actions and think it's something to be aimed at.

"One person actually said to me, 'Your story reminds me of the showOf'I love this show.' A lot of times people just don't understand."

Instead of canceling shows likeOf, she believes adding hotlines and features at the end of episodes would be beneficial so that viewers who see themselves in Beck and Joe's other victims know who to contact for support.

news weekreached out to Netflix for comment.

keep reading

  • My ex's stalker is walking my daughter down the aisle - what should I do?
  • Woman claims to have filmed stalker lurking outside her bedroom window
  • Our Fatal Attraction to Serial Killers Like "SHE" Joe Goldberg Explains
(Video) Egypt Travel Nightmare!! Why I’ll Never Go Back!!


Do toxic people know they are toxic? ›

People with toxic traits know they have them

It's natural to assume someone's bad behavior is a conscious choice. But many people with toxic traits don't realize that their behavior impacts others. You may have toxic traits that you don't know about.

How do you know when to stay away from someone? ›

15 Signs you should stay away from someone
  1. You never enjoy your time together.
  2. They've shown signs of dangerous behavior.
  3. Their friends creep you out.
  4. You feel bad about yourself when you're together.
  5. They are controlling.
  6. You complain about them to your friends.
  7. They don't respect boundaries.
  8. You stay up thinking, 'What If? '
Nov 16, 2021

When should you let go of a relationship? ›

Signs This Is True in Your Relationship

You don't feel comfortable being who you are; you feel like your partner is judging you. Your partner mistreats you in some way. You feel bad about yourself and your interests, and you may even try to change who you are and what you like.

How do you protect yourself from toxic people? ›

Read on for tips on how to respond to this type of behavior.
  1. Avoid playing into their reality. ...
  2. Don't get drawn in. ...
  3. Pay attention to how they make you feel. ...
  4. Talk to them about their behavior. ...
  5. Put yourself first. ...
  6. Offer compassion, but don't try to fix them. ...
  7. Say no (and walk away) ...
  8. Remember, you aren't at fault.
Nov 20, 2019

What is the personality of a toxic person? ›

A toxic person is anyone whose behavior adds negativity and upset to your life. Many times, people who are toxic are dealing with their own stresses and traumas. To do this, they act in ways that don't present them in the best light and usually upset others along the way.

Why do toxic people act the way they do? ›

People who display toxic behaviors might be doing it to try to bring others down. This may be done to make them feel better about themselves, to get more attention, or other reasons. They may judge your looks, actions, and decisions, regardless of how much it hurts you.

How do I stop someone from taking advantage of me? ›

Here are 7 life-changing decisions such a person (if that's you) needs to make:
  1. Step 1: Assess your situation. ...
  2. Step 2: Stop the drama playing in your head. ...
  3. Step 3: Learn to have good boundaries. ...
  4. Step 4: Stop with the guilt already. ...
  5. Step 5: Don't submit to manipulators. ...
  6. Step 6: Get an inner circle you can depend on.

What kind of friends should we stay away from? ›

Florence Isaacs, author of Toxic Friends/True Friends, explains to WebMD that a toxic friendship is unsupportive, draining, unrewarding, stifling, unsatisfying, and often unequal. Isaacs goes on to say that toxic friends stress you out, use you, are unreliable, are overly demanding, and don't give anything back.

How do you not miss someone when they're away? ›

General tips for any situation
  1. Take care of yourself. Tending to emotional wounds is just as important as treating physical ones. ...
  2. Make time to sit with your feelings. ...
  3. Interact with others. ...
  4. Immerse yourself in something you enjoy.
Oct 27, 2020

How do you know you have let go of someone you love? ›

Signs you need to let go of someone
  1. You're always wondering what could have been.
  2. You think of the person constantly, or at time when you'd rather not.
  3. You spend a lot of time reliving memories or looking them up on social media.
  4. You bring them up often when talking to friends.

How do you let go of someone who hurt you? ›

Tips for letting go
  1. Create a positive mantra to counter the painful thoughts. ...
  2. Create physical distance. ...
  3. Do your own work. ...
  4. Practice mindfulness. ...
  5. Be gentle with yourself. ...
  6. Allow the negative emotions to flow. ...
  7. Accept that the other person may not apologize. ...
  8. Engage in self-care.

How do you know if a relationship is not worth saving? ›

  • 8 Signs Your Relationship Isn't Working (And Whether You Should Break Up or Fix It) ...
  • You're always fighting. ...
  • There's no intimacy. ...
  • Trust has taken a hit. ...
  • Jealousy is getting the better of you. ...
  • You don't spend much time together. ...
  • Your emotional needs aren't being met. ...
  • You're considering cheating (or you already have).
Aug 22, 2019

What are the types of toxic people? ›

7 Types of Toxic People and How to Spot Them
  • The Conversational Narcissist.
  • The Strait Jacket.
  • The Emotional Moocher.
  • The Drama Magnet.
  • The JJ.
  • The Fibber.
  • The Tank.

What is the most toxic character trait? ›

Controlling. One of the most dangerous traits of a toxic person is controlling behavior. They may try to restrict you from contacting your friends or family, or limit resources like transportation or access to money to restrict your ability to interact with the world around you.

What is considered a toxic woman? ›

Toxic femininity refers to the adherence to the gender binary in order to receive conditional value in patriarchal societies. It is a concept that restricts women to being cooperative, passive, sexually submissive, gentle, and deriving their value from physical beauty while being pleasing to men.

What are things that toxic people say? ›

10 Things That Toxic People Might Say.
  • “You're being overly emotional.” ...
  • “I was kidding. ...
  • “I didn't say that.” ...
  • “You're crazy. ...
  • “I can't do anything right.” ...
  • “Stop bringing the past up and move on.” ...
  • “I'm going to sleep.” ...
  • “You're being possessive.
Jan 20, 2021

How do you know if you're the toxic one? ›

You tend to manipulate things

Manipulation ranges from gaslighting and lying to hiding information from your partner. If you're doing any of these things, you're clearly manipulating your partner and are the toxic one in the relationship. Ultimately, it will only erode your partner's love and respect for you.

What is it called when someone turns something around on you? ›

They turn the story around to make it seem like you are at fault, deflecting attention and blame away from them to make you feel guilty. This type of emotional manipulation is called gaslighting.

What to do when someone is using you? ›

If you start to feel as though someone might be using you, doing your best to acknowledge that and thinking about what you may want to do can be a good idea. "You can try to talk to them openly and honestly about how you're feeling, and actively listen to what they have to say," McBain said.

Why do people take you for granted? ›

They may take you for granted because they think you will always be there for them, or they may simply not care. It can be frustrating and infuriating when you feel like you're always the one giving and never receiving. It's important to remember that you deserve respect just as much as anyone else.

How do you know you're being taken advantage of? ›

The person imposes on you without consideration for your availability or preferences. For instance, they may move in with you unexpectedly or want to borrow your car at a moment's notice. The person expects you to take care of their needs.

What qualities should a friend not have? ›

But you should also watch out for these other toxic traits:
  • They constantly “one-up” you. They always make their issues seem more significant than yours. ...
  • They're a bad influence. They encourage you to participate in risky behavior or activities that make you uncomfortable. ...
  • They bully and belittle you.
May 16, 2022

What are signs of toxic friends? ›

Toxic friendship signs
  • They disrespect your boundaries. ...
  • They always need something from you. ...
  • They don't take accountability. ...
  • They may weaponize their struggles. ...
  • They make you feel guilty for spending time with other people. ...
  • They dismiss your values. ...
  • They ignore your efforts to be a good friend to them.
Oct 12, 2022

What to do if your friend betrays you? ›

Talk with your friend and clear up any misinterpretations. If your friend is willing to listen attentively, respond with compassion, and reflect on their part in the situation; that can be a good sign of recovery. When going through a friend's betrayal, it's important to be aware of all your feelings.

What happens when you miss someone too much? ›

Missing someone often feels like a physical ache in your chest. You might feel sad or even angry. When you are missing them, it might seem like you're not able to concentrate on anything else. You might find yourself thinking about the person all the time, and you might want to talk to them or see them again.

How do you remove someone from your mind and heart? ›

The 12 strategies below can help you refresh your focus.
  1. Figure out why. ...
  2. Focus on the facts. ...
  3. Accept instead of reject. ...
  4. Write it down. ...
  5. Find a positive distraction. ...
  6. Work on self-discovery. ...
  7. Prioritize meeting your own needs. ...
  8. Keep a healthy distance.
Apr 27, 2020

At what point do you let go of someone? ›

Simply stated, if the relationship is causing more hardship than anything else, what's the point? "When you fight more often than not, it's time to consider leaving. And if even at its best the relationship was never really good, you'll likely be happier if you leave the relationship," Leeds tells mbg.

How do you let go of someone you miss? ›

If you miss someone, you should find positive distractions that will help take your mind off of things. Join a club, find a new hobby, enjoy an old one, or spend more time with family and friends - these are all excellent coping strategies. One good thing to do is to join a gym or exercise group.

Can you let go of someone you truly love? ›

Letting go of a relationship can be painful, but it's important to understand that whatever short-term stress or anguish you're feeling will be worth it in the long run. Cohen adds, “We must accept the person we are in this moment and the way other people are, too.

How do you trust someone again after they hurt you? ›

How to rebuild trust in a relationship
  1. Have a willingness to work on the relationship. ...
  2. Openly apologize. ...
  3. Reflect on the experience. ...
  4. Create new memories. ...
  5. Remember that people can be trusted. ...
  6. Ask for what you need. ...
  7. Be willing to be vulnerable. ...
  8. Reignite the connection.
Jan 4, 2020

What should not be forgiven in a relationship? ›

Controlling Tendencies. If your partner is trying to control your thoughts and actions, likes and dislikes, and your circle of friends, among other things, it could be unforgivable, as it shows a lack of respect and a scary, over-bearing nature.

Should you let someone know if they hurt you? ›

It's okay to hurt and it's okay to tell someone they hurt you. You want to honor your feelings knowing it's natural and normal to feel hurt and angry too! Remember to respect yourself!

What destroys a good relationship? ›

Another big mistake couples tend to make is to take their relationship for granted, to take their love for granted. By doing so, they carelessly begin to erode the quality of connection with harsh words, working too much, or devoting too much time to a hobby. Love is a choice—every single day!

What are red flags in a relationship? ›

Red flags in a relationship include excessive jealousy and frequent lying. You should also be wary of a partner who frequently criticizes you or puts you down. Another major red flag is an unwillingness to compromise — relationships shouldn't be one-sided.

What do toxic people want? ›

Toxic people often make you want to fix them and their problems. They want you to feel sorry for them, and responsible for what happens to them. Yet their problems are never really solved, for once you've helped them with one crisis, there's inevitably another one.

What are seven toxic habits? ›

There are seven toxic habits that you should quit today. Stop comparing yourself to others, letting your past impact your present and future, not taking your own advice, expecting the worst, not taking chances, not sharpening your saw, and being too hard on yourself.

Why do I attract toxic people? ›

You're a fixer.

You think of yourself as a great problem-solver, but that often means overstepping boundaries and causing havoc in your relationships. Toxic people find you attractive because, much as they do with the pleaser, they take advantage of your good nature and desire to help.

Do toxic people have self awareness? ›

They lack empathy.

Regardless of how much you understand a toxic person's behavior for what it is there is no denying they are difficult to be around. Not only do toxic people typically lack self or social-awareness, they simply don't care. If they can make another person as miserable as them, it gives them joy.

Are toxic behaviors learned? ›

There are many toxic behaviors that a person can learn or develop when growing up in an abusive environment. And some of these behaviors may have been necessary for survival.

What is the most toxic trait? ›

Controlling. One of the most dangerous traits of a toxic person is controlling behavior. They may try to restrict you from contacting your friends or family, or limit resources like transportation or access to money to restrict your ability to interact with the world around you.

What kind of people lack self-awareness? ›

They lack sympathy or empathy. A person without self-awareness will struggle to put themselves in the shoes of other people. “Because they're unaware of their emotions, they're often not able to see how their behaviors might be contributing to a situation at hand,” says Dr. Finn.

How do you communicate with a toxic person? ›

6 Steps to Communicating with Toxic People Effectively
Jul 24, 2019

Do toxic people change you? ›

If you've addressed toxic behavior with the person exhibiting it and they have taken it to heart, it's possible for toxic people to change. “Toxic people can absolutely change,” Kennedy says, “however they must see their part in the problem before they are likely to find the motivation to do so.”

What to do when you realize you're toxic? ›

  • Admit there's a problem (you) As is the case with most problems, the first step is acknowledging that your behavior is harmful to one or more people in your life. ...
  • Start noticing patterns in behavior. ...
  • Pay attention to your relationships. ...
  • Stop blaming others. ...
  • Take a step back.
Aug 2, 2018

What are signs of contempt in a relationship? ›

Treating others with disrespect and mocking them with sarcasm and condescension are forms of contempt. So are hostile humor, name-calling, mimicking, and body language such as eye-rolling and sneering.

What does toxicity in a relationship look like? ›

Toxic relationships are characterized by a lack of trust, controlling behaviors, and frequent lying. Often one partner is prioritized instead of coming together as a team. While toxic relationships can, at times, be healed, both partners must be willing to adapt and work on the relationship.


1. Breaking Free: Domestic violence leads to homelessness
(KPRC 2 Click2Houston)
2. 7 Traits of a Dark Empath - The Most Dangerous Personality Type
3. Grooming & Sexual Abuse
(Fight Child Abuse)
4. Jayy Honors Her Parents Who Were Murdered In Front of Her Eyes! 😭
(Talent Recap)
5. Morgan Wallen - Cover Me Up (Short Film)
(Morgan Wallen)
6. 7 Signs You’re Dealing With an Evil Person
Top Articles
Latest Posts
Article information

Author: Eusebia Nader

Last Updated: 02/22/2023

Views: 5890

Rating: 5 / 5 (60 voted)

Reviews: 83% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Eusebia Nader

Birthday: 1994-11-11

Address: Apt. 721 977 Ebert Meadows, Jereville, GA 73618-6603

Phone: +2316203969400

Job: International Farming Consultant

Hobby: Reading, Photography, Shooting, Singing, Magic, Kayaking, Mushroom hunting

Introduction: My name is Eusebia Nader, I am a encouraging, brainy, lively, nice, famous, healthy, clever person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.