Domestic Violence Day 14: Stalking

For October’s Domestic Violence Awareness Month, I am continuing a series on the various abuses. Now, I will proceed with the next abuse: Stalking

To begin, I will provide a simple definition of stalking…

Stalking is an unwanted or obsessive attention by an individual or group toward another person. It is a form of harassment. It is also a form of intimidation. It involves the willful and repeated monitoring, watching, or following of a  victim in person or electronically through cyberspace with internet or phone capabilities.

According to the National Center for Victims of Crime,  “Virtually any unwanted contact between two people  which directly or indirectly communicates a threat or places the victim in fear can be considered stalking”.

Stalking, unlike other single illegal activities, is a series of actions that occur over a period of time. Though some of the actions that can contribute to stalking can be legal, such as  phone calls, emailing, instant messaging or sending gifts to someone, these actions become illegal when they become a form of harassment. An example is sending a text repeatedly to an unwilling recipient. 

Stalking has adverse effects for it’s victims. It causes fear for their safety and fear for the safety of their family and loved ones. It also causes substantial anxiety  and emotional distress. Many people do not understand how a simple phone call or even just seeing a certain phone number can cause fear in a person. However, many victims of abuse who have gotten away from their abusers live in constant fear from the threats that they have received. People can be stalked even by strangers as well as any unwanted person previously in their life. Either way, it causes a heightened level of fear and sense of impending danger that is not even explainable to those who have never experienced it.  Laws are in place making stalking illegal, but it may be difficult to prove as many stalkers avoid leaving evidence that they are lurking in the background and waiting.

References:   http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stalking

Photos by japandailypress.com  and  justlold.com

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28 thoughts on “Domestic Violence Day 14: Stalking

  1. I know what it’s like to be cyberstalked. For years on another site, a mentally ill person with multiple avatars sought to discredit Pastor G and me as ordained spiritual leaders and skilled, trained Christian counselors. Finally, I caught the person doing something against the site’s terms of service and contacted the site moderators for them to take appropriate action. They did, but the person reappeared with yet another avatar. In many ways, the internet is both a curse and a blessing.

    • You are so right again. Any abuse of anything can turn a blessing into a curse. Stalking and cyber-stalking are difficult to deal with and fear provoking. I hope that the problem with that cyber-stalker is now finished. It is terrifying what some can do with hacking, etc. Many blessings to you!!

    • Thanks Kimberly. Most of them are just general information from various sites but I thought it was important to put them out there even if I don’t speak to them personally. So many abuses and so many broken people… Thanks for your support Kim!

  2. I am currently being stalked by an ex-boyfriend and he consistently sends me letters and cards when I have asked him not to contact me. I put return to sender on one of the cards and put it back in the mailbox. The next few cards he sent me he stated in the cards that he had not received any of the cards returned to him so he assumed I was reading them. I do not know what more I can do. Do I need to drive to the post office with one of his cards and put it in their hands and make them return it to sender or do I just assume that he is lying and that he did receive that card? I broke up with him over a year ago and he really needs to move on as I do also.

    • Hi Gracie Lynne. I am so sorry that this is happening to you. It sounds like he had to have gotten it for him to comment about it. I would go to your local police department to speak to someone. There are laws against stalking and harassing people and I would get their advice as to how to proceed. I would definitely make copies of the cards/ envelopes with RETURN TO SENDER written across it before sending anymore back. They may want to “bait” him or they may have enough to go warn him. Either way, I would talk to a detective or police officer who can guide you on your next step. It sounds after a year, it is time to get them involved in some kind of way.

  3. I was once stalked in real life, not cyber and it was horrifying. I was working as a volunteer at an animal shelter and one of the workers, a man, who had access to the computer found my address and phone number. The campaign he waged after that was shocking, terrifying and the scariest thing I have ever gone through.

    The police, though they did end up helping me were not helpful to begin with at all. They spent a good portion of their time trying to make me admit this guy was my boyfriend, when in fact I barely knew the man. I pray that no one ever has to experience that kind of terror…God bless you sister.

    • Thanks for sharing. Yes, it is terrifying to feel and know that someone is watching you and following you. God gave me repeated dreams of my ex standing on my patio with a gun pointed at me after a death threat. I would wake up with things new or moved under my carport and just knew that he was stalking me but he was an ex cop and I felt like I had no one to call. I know that God was protecting me but I lived in constant fear.

  4. I’m glad I’ve found this blog– and I am looking for others like it. I was in an abusive relationship for 11 months (short when compared to many other’s experiences, but it was pure hell) and have spent the two following years dealing with stalking and harassment. I’ve run the gamut on what I can do from a law enforcement and legal standpoint yet it’s still so difficult to just LIVE sometimes. It is nice to find people who can relate to what it’s like to live with such fear.

    • Hi Aussa Lorens!! I am so sorry that you have lived with stalking. I know the fear. I lived with fear following a death threat and was actually diagnosed with PTSD so I totally understand. Little things like my newspaper showing up under my carport and food being left there while we were all sleeping. I had panic attacks but there was no one that I could turn to because he was an ex cop and they were all his friends… That fear did not improve for me until I moved away. I will pray for you and for God to protect you and orchestrate your steps… Blessings to you!!

  5. I believe my ex is/was having people stalk/spy on me. He knows everything that is said in my house or around my phone. He is using all of this to take my children away so he doesn’t have to pay me any child support. This is great information, what I wonder if anyone has an answer to is: what can you do? The police don’t help. Everyone I had told that I was crazy. Regular, everyday people don’t understand technology so they don’t think any of the cyber stuff is possible. The more I told people, the worse it got for me, because he was trying to make me look crazy. Now, I don’t tell anyone and I am not scared. I am willing to loose it all and have prepared myself spiritually in case it comes to that. If there is a hell, he’s definitely going. I can’t believe I slept with that man for years. It makes me want to take a shower. I don’t care what he has people do to me at this point. I have raised myself above his shenanigans. I refuse to let him ruin my happiness. I bet he is just so annoyed that he can’t get me down! ha ha

    • Hi Peachy.. I understand what you are saying. My ex had many thinking that I was crazy because of his deception and manipulation. Unfortunately, there are many ways to get information. There are devices that will pick up voices at a distance as well as many other bugging devices. It sounds like he may have been bugging you or have a private investigator who will do the recording for him. However, there are laws against recording conversations unless a person in the conversation is doing the recording. I recorded my conversations with my ex which was legal in case I needed it. If you have an attorney, they should be able to answer your questions. I had a counselor that I spoke to who was an advocate for me and knew that I was not crazy. You may want to check with your local women’s shelter also for advice. Now, I can tell you that God knows all and nothing is hidden from Him. He loves the broken-hearted which includes all abuse victims. Cry out to Him for help and I will be praying also for you and your children. He is the only One who can heal all of our wounds and protect us 24/7…

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