I am scared to death…he won’t stop stalking me!
I find that it helps to share with my readers real life experiences of stalking victims so just perhaps you will have a better understanding of the devastating effects that this crime as well as others has on victims. This victim’s experience is only one of millions.
A man has been stalking me for years. He left obscene lengthy screaming voice mails. Other times, he would lay his phone down by his tv and let the answering machine record it. He played Cheryl Crowe’s song “The First Cut is the Deepest” as a message on my cell phone voice mail. I worked at the high school where my daughter was also a student, and he threatened to come there and get us both.
I was able to get a restraining order against him in 2005, which was granted for one year. Then I moved away.
But he began stalking me on the Internet. He constantly emails me and no matter how many times I block him, he sends it through 3rd party. I just got a poem that he sent through Craig’s List. He has also sent emails to my daughter.
I am scared to death he will find out where I work and live now. To keep myself secret, I now have a PO box in someone else’s name and no land telephone line.
I have called every place I can to get help and nobody will help me because he has not threatened to harm me lately, even though he has in the past as witnessed by the previous restraining order. I have gone to every women’s group, locally, regionally, nationally. I don’t know what to do anymore. The judge here will not issue a restraining order unless there has been two acts of violence. (Well, if someone threatens you, to me THAT is intent, and it only takes one contact to kill somebody.) The paperwork even says harassment on the Internet is grounds but still, the judge won’t do anything.
I am scared to death and every time he contacts me, I start shaking and my heart races.
Many victims become frustrated with the legal system, but they must realize that the problem is NOT that no one will help – the problem is that many of the states stalking laws DO NOT allow the police or courts to do much to combat stalking. In other words – the legal system is not minimizing a victim’s fear but it is hard to make it illegal to terrify people since so many different things can scare many people. Many states require physical attacks or threat of harm before law enforcement can intervene. The legal system does the best that they can with the little leverage they are given to deal with stalking.
In NO WAY am I making excuses for our legal system from cops to lawyers to judges. They all know that there is a serious problem and IT’S NOT GOING AWAY. This is why so many Advocates are devoted to extending our experience, hands and voices to make a difference. We must join forces, working together to make changes. Yes, it’s a process and frustrating but we (Advocates and Victims) must remain on the same page working toward the ultimate goal – JUSTICE!
Ultimately, the victim must be in control of the crime, so-to-speak. Is it fair, HELL NO! but this is your life and you must be in control. Please read my previous blogs for safety tips and suggestions. Please check out how you can protect you with technology stalking via Project Safety Net, Wired Safety and WHOA .
Take care and STAY SAFE!