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How to write an anti-harassment letter

Updated April 17, 2017

An anti-harassment letter, also known as a cease and desist letter, is written in an attempt to formally request that a person or business end an unwanted behaviour. This could be in relation to a situation involving stalking, bullying or sexual harassment but can also include the conduct of debt collection agencies. Writing this type of letter is the first step taken before filing criminal charges.

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  1. Include the name and address of the person to whom you are sending the letter in the first section of your anti-harassment letter, formatting it as you would any other type of letter. This should be followed by the name and address of the person or business about whom you are writing the letter. For example, if you are writing to ABC Company about the conduct of one of its employees, that employee's name and address (if known) should appear directly below the company's information.

  2. Begin your letter by describing the offending behaviour(s) or action(s). Be very specific and include all pertinent information, including time, dates, places and witnesses. Be professional; your letter will be ineffective if you are anything less.

  3. State very clearly that you are requesting that the behaviour or action stop immediately. Again, be specific and maintain professionalism.

  4. In the last section of your letter, indicate that if the offending behaviour or action does not immediately stop, you are fully prepared to take further legal action. Do not use threatening language, but elaborate by stating calmly that you will pursue the matter in a particular court (if known) or that you will seek restitution, if applicable or necessary.

  5. Mail your letter with recorded delivery. This requires a signature and the return receipt means you will get a copy of the signature of the person who signed for the letter. If you do not send your letter recorded delivery, the recipient can claim that they never received it and you will have no proof that they, in fact, did receive it.

  6. Tip

    Maintain an even, businesslike tone in your letter. If the harassment is occurring at work, seek the intervention and assistance of your employer's human resources department or equivalent.


    Be prepared to follow through or you run the risk of having your credibility suffer as a result.

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About the Author

A senior editor of major reference publications, Sharon O'Brien Huey's work was first published in 1975. Her writing has appeared in "Subject Guide to BIP," "Literary MarketPlace," "American BookTrade Directory," "Who's Who In America," "The Official Railway Guide" and many other well-known reference publications. O'Brien Huey also held the position of Rights and Permissions Manager for "Highlights For Children."

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