National Stalking Awarenes Month 2013 is here


January is Stalking Awareness Month 2013

January is Stalking Awareness Month 2013

Each month is dedicated to some cause now. For me October is National Domestic Violence Awareness Month, April is dedicated to National Assault Awareness Month, but this month it is National Stalking Awareness Month which impacts 1 in 6 women and 1-in 19 men.

That’s a lot of people here in the US!

Think about how many people you know friends, family, in the work place. At some point of them, maybe even you have been or will be effected by someone stalking them. Those are frightening figures.

A stalker is terrifying, you lose all sense of freedom when you are wondering if they are watching you and when.. Are they watching you when you have dinner with friends? Calling you constantly?Does your inbox constantly get bombarded with messages from them? Or Twitter, Facebook… Any social media? Are they watching you while you go about your daily life in your own safe home?

It usually starts with the phone calls. The endless calls, when the phone rings and you recognize the phone number.

How to recognize a stalker:

  • You go to your local stores and they ‘accidentally’ run into you and try to start conversation.
  • You are driving and you look in the rear mirror, only to see that they are two cars behind you.
  • It is late at night, you look out of your window and their car is down the road parked, engine and lights off, in total darkness.
  • They call at your house wanting to talk to you, to reconcile the relationship.
  • You find messages, emails, letters, gifts and small packages left for you.
  • They start to threaten you and your loved ones.

It makes you feel vulnerable, stressed, fearful and threatened. Your privacy is gone and you have a stalker.

Stalkers have different psyches. It can be the jilted lover, husband or wife. It can be a co-worker, an admirer or friend, a social media ‘friend’. They come from all occupations and lifestyles.

What to do if you have a stalker:

  • Make sure safety is paramount in your home, check the locks on all doors and window locks work etc. and the phone cable outside is out of reach.
  • Rally your friends, family and co-workers for help and support.
  • Keep a journal of all the events
  • Get an additional phone number and keep it private. You must keep the old number and let it go to voice-mail, do not answer it or engage in conversation at all.
  • If it is an ex-lover, calmly and politely tell them you are not interested. Do not get angry or shout this can acerbate the situation.
  • Inform the police. Every state has Stalking Laws; I know the UK calls them Harassment Laws, this I know as the police told me I would be one of the first to use it when it passed in June 1997. (It worked too; my stalker was found guilty and now has a criminal record)
  • Find a network or group in your area to help you.
  • One of the first options you will be given is an Order of Protection, or a Restraining Order. This can work, but it can also push them over the edge to be violent or make them more determined.
  • Always before starting a relationship, trust your instincts, if they say run, then run. Never communicate, talk or respond to a stalker. They can become violent and murderous.

I list all the above to help people understand what it means. The word ‘Stalker’ is banded around as a flippant joke, but when it happens to you, it is debilitating and frightening, even those of us who know we are strong and tough!

man in streetWhen it happened to me, I took all the advice I could and when it didn’t stop, I was strongly advised by the police that I sell my home and move away, far away…350 miles difference in fact (Which in the UK is regarded as far!). When a police officer tells you he believes your stalker has murderous intent, you tend to make plans to move quickly! It didn’t stop until after the court case. I still received phone calls at my new place of work, but when the Magistrates Court declared him guilty and threatened him with imprisonment. It stopped.

 

If you have a stalker please don’t think you can handle it all by yourself. Get help! There are people out there dedicated to helping you. You do not have to go through it on your own, terrified. Know you are not alone!

As the National Stalking Organization says:

Stalking: Know it, Name it, stop it!

www.rainn.org

www.safehorizon.org

www.ncvc.org

www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2012/12/31/presidential-proclamation-national-stalking-awareness-month-2013

14 comments on “National Stalking Awarenes Month 2013 is here

  1. The stalker doesn’t have to be an ex-lover or friend. I was stalked by my aunt’s neighbor when I inherited her house. He apparently had a thing for my aunt. The attorney for the estate undertook the stalking issue along with other estate issues. I sold the lovely house at the beach for less than it was worth and moved to an island.

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    • So true! It could be anyone, I’m sorry you had to sell your aunt;s house and move. Moving was my only solution too and I had to sell my house for less than it was worth as well but I’m happy I did because I’m sure like you I couldn’t take the risk of staying.
      I hope you are well and happy now with no regrets

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  3. Claire, this is such good information. As I have been told many times recently – always look in the rear view mirror when pulling out of a parking space or leaving a public parking lot. As a beginning driver, my parents told me to never leave a building without my car keys in hand and be ready to get into my car and lock the doors. I passed all this on to my daughter when she was stalked with an ex’s new girlfriend.

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    • Absolutely! It’s become a habit now to walk with the key through my fingers with my thumb on the back of it… Sounds crazy but if someone is going to attack at least I can try a good swipe at them. But then I’ve been told I don’t fight fair… even play fighting. My past kicks in and if you’re a guy it becomes a knee to the groin and a punch to face. My poor husband found that out one day. I kept telling him to stop as I go into a strange place of survival in my mind. Poor guy ended up on the floor with me apologizing saying “I’m so sorry! I warned you to stop playing around!” He says I kneed him on purpose, I say it was an accident… the juries still out on that one.lol ;-D

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