President-elect Donald Trump’s cyber bullying of ordinary citizens must come to an end. A teenager who was targeted by him on Twitter last year must now live with recurring threats of death and rape from his crazed followers.
A little over a year ago, Lauren Batchelder, then 18, asked Trump a question during a political event in New Hampshire, The Washington Post reported.
She said, “So, maybe I’m wrong, maybe you can prove me wrong, but I don’t think you’re a friend to women.”
Trump tried to defend himself, but Batchelder wasn’t satisfied with his answer.
She then asked him whether or not if he, as president, would give women like her equal pay and access to abortions. He retorted, “You’re going to make the same if you do as good of a job, and I happen to be pro-life, OK?”
Hours after the event, Trump called her “an arrogant young woman” on Twitter. The next morning she reportedly woke up to threatening emails, phone calls, and Facebook messages from livid Trump supporters and Internet trolls.
The arrogant young woman who questioned me in such a nasty fashion at No Labels yesterday was a Jeb staffer! HOW CAN HE BEAT RUSSIA & CHINA?— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 13, 2015
“I didn’t really know what anyone was going to do,” said Batchelder. “[Trump] was only going to tweet about it and that was it, but I didn’t really know what his supporters were going to do, and that to me was the scariest part.”
Internet trolls posted rape and death threats to her, as well as personal information, including her name and phone number. Even a photoshopped image of her face covered in semen appeared in her inbox.
Even though the incident took place in October 2015, Batchelder still endures backlash from some Trump fans. She said she received a threatening Facebook message several days before the election.
“Wishing I could f***ing punch you in the face. I’d then proceed to stomp your head on the curb and urinate in your bloodied mouth and I know where you live, so watch your f***ing back, punk,” it allegedly read.
“I love social media, but I also saw the terrible side of social media,” she said.
According to The Post, she hopes that Trump will stop picking on regular people and save the criticism for other public figures such as himself.
While Trump’s tweets have the potential to alter the course of the financial markets, he also has a tremendous amount of power over trolls and criminals, which must be taken into his consideration before sending out messages. Batchelder, who is just 19 years old, shouldn’t have to worry about her safety simply because she asked the president-elect questions during a campaign stop.
Banner photo credit: Reuters