When Is a Threat a Threat?: A Forthcoming SCOTUS Ruling Could Have a Sweeping Impact on Gender-Based Violence

If you are being watched, leave now!


May 1, 2023

Legal Director Jennifer Becker was quoted in Ms. Magazine about the potential implications for the Counterman v. Colorado case and why the Supreme Court decision matters for survivors of stalking:

"Attorney Jennifer Becker, legal director at Legal Momentum, explained, “If we eliminate the objective standard we lose the ability to consider the contextual, individual experience of the survivor. Abusers will be more easily able to argue ignorance of the impact of their statements when really their threats are part of an overall pattern of abusive conduct aimed at exerting power and control over the survivor but accomplished in part by speech that, when isolated, might appear innocuous to others.”"


She also commented on the disappointing rhetoric exhibited by the Supreme Court justices making light of the severity of the threats Counterman made to C.W.:

"Becker of Legal Momentum added, “There was some disappointing questioning and commentary that made light of the sorts of threats Counterman made to C.W. and a minimization of stalking victimization, especially that carried out via technology and through threats. Joking and laughing about there being an oversensitivity to receiving threats and that our typical everyday familial interactions involve the sort of threats involved in stalking. We would expect that today, in the highest court in the land, there would be a greater understanding and respect for the realities of stalking and gender-based violence.” "