They say revenge is a dish best served cold, and it doesn’t get much colder than this.

Bullying is a problem as old as time, and with the advent of new technologies it has persisted and adapted, spread from dreaded recesses and after-school encounters to round-the-clock online harassment. However, as Twitter user Amemo (@PurboMatha) recently suggested, these new tools can also work to help the victims (translation follows).

“If you are getting bullied and injured in your junior high school days, keeping solid evidence, you can still go to the police and press charges nine years later (statute of limitations is 10 years). After they’ve graduated and gotten jobs, you suddenly make them the subject of a criminal investigation. If you know their place of employment the effect is multiplied.”

In other words, if you’re getting abused in school and feel you have no recourse, simply take your time and gather evidence. Then, many years later, file a (by then well-constructed) complaint with your local police department. If you’re really lucky, the police will make a trip to the bully’s workplace, walk in while they’re giving a presentation, slap the cuffs on them, and give them a nice perp walk right through the accounting department.

Aside from enduring the initial period of bullying and learning a few ins and outs of the legal system it seems fairly straightforward to do. Others on Twitter loved the idea to the tune of over 55,000 likes. There were also many scrutinizers trying to find flaws in the revenge plot.

“That is outstanding!!!”

“It’s only effective if the police launch an investigation as soon as the report is filed. In cases where there there is not urgency or danger, they usually save it for new recruits to handle, so it can be postponed for up to a year before the investigation even gets going.”

“Although it’s possible, medical certificates become invalid as evidence three months later and your memory alone probably isn’t enough for the police to pursue it.”

“The premise is okay, but I wonder if getting a third-party witness that you were injured would be enough to launch and investigation. The conviction rate [in Japan] is said to be over 99 percent BUT, that’s because prosecutors won’t move unless they’re sure to win.”

“Don’t forget the firm evidence!”

“Bullies probably wouldn’t be able to land a decent job afterwards.”

The main problem many comments refer to is a lack of hard evidence that would lead to a conviction which in turn would probably not lead to an investigation at all. This is probably true for my generation of middle school students with our Hypercolor T-shirts, British Knights sneakers, and widespread lack of portable recording devices.

But thanks to smartphones and all of their video, audio, and text recording capabilities, solid evidence isn’t nearly as hard to acquire as it used to be. This is a fact not lost on Amemo, either.

“From 10 years ago mobile phones have been coming into possession by children. In the future we may see [years-later bullying complaints] gradually come out.”

Ideally, the bullying victim, nine years later, will have moved on with their life and have grown into a successful enough adult that they don’t feel the need to extract revenge. Then again, karma is indeed a bitch, so if a youngster feels inclined to terrorize another, they better be prepared to face the consequences even if it doesn’t catch up to them until a decade later.

At the very least, perhaps just knowing that there is some light at the end of the long, hard tunnel of bullying in the form of legal action is enough to help get victims through the darkness without taking any tragic actions.

Source: Twitter/@PurboMatha, Hachima Kiko
Top image: Pakutaso