Archive

Posts Tagged ‘Erin Andrews’

Stalking Awareness Month ~ January 2011

January 2, 2011 1 comment

STALKING IS A CRIME!

Angela’s Nightmare…..

This nightmarish hell of an existence went on for 9 months.  Then he was caught leaving her apartment while she was at work one day.  He had taken a radio from her apartment. She pressed charges against him. However, he was released on bail.  Now the phone calls varied between begging and threatening for her to drop the charges.  But she refused.  Perhaps this is what pushed him to stab her 24 times the day before his court hearing. . . perhaps it was more.  The only thing I truly know is that I will never see her smile again.  She’ll never come bouncing in the room, spreading cheer.  She’ll never sit and reminisce with me again.  Her son will never know what a wonderful loving mother he had or what she sacrificed to try to give him a “normal” life.

Stalking is a repetitive pattern of unwanted, harassing or threatening behavior committed by one person against another.  Acts include: telephone harassment, being followed, receiving unwanted gifts, and other similar forms of intrusive behavior.  All states and the Federal Government have passed anti-stalking legislation.  Definitions may vary state-to-state but most define stalking as “the willful, malicious, and repeated following and harassing of another person that threatens his or her safety”.

Stalking is about obsession.  It may be motivated by an intense affection or an extreme dislike.  Stalking is very common.  One out of twelve females that YOU know and one out of forty-five men that  YOU know have been stalked.

Men commit most stalking and stalking has become one of the most dreaded crimes against women in recent years.  Many women know their stalker personally and as a result, are hesitant to believe the situation is potentially dangerous.  Being aware of these alarming signals can help you determine if you are being stalked and what you can do about it.

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]As a stalking victim, one of the most important things for you to remember is you neither wanted this, asked for it, nor do you deserve this.

There are basic steps that can be followed to help ensure your safety, but it does entail changing y our normal day to day routines and your way of life, as you once knew it.  You have no choice at this point.  The stalker won’t change so it’s up to you.  Is it fair?  Hell no, but it’s your safety and your life that we’re talking about, so you are the one who has to make the change.

 

First and foremost, have no contact with  your stalker.


As a stalking victim, you are frustrated, you are angry, you are in fear for your life.  How often have you wanted to scream into the phone after receiving a harassing call or confront the stalker and demand to be left alone?  You may want a friend or relative to tell the stalker to stop bothering you.  DON’T DO IT.  The stalker feeds on your attention and anyone close to you.  Your stalker doesn’t hear you screaming “leave me alone.”  If you do this, the stalker knows you’re once again paying attention to him/her, whether it’s direct contact with you or through a third party.  That’s what a stalker wants – attention, and that can be dangerous. Only the police should contact or confront the stalker.  Keep a Stalker and Incident Behavior Log for reference.

Take care and STAY SAFE!

AWN Radio Guest: Personal Safety Expert Anny Jacoby on Issues of Stalking & Violence

January 29, 2010 Comments off


AWN Radio on Saturday, January 30, 2010

Anny Jacoby, Personal Safety Expert offers a unique understanding of self defense, and in her workshops she teaches females important safety tips as well as self defense training. In these classes she also addresses awareness of abusive relationships, assault, and pro-active options.

Anny consulted with an professionals regarding females on the autism spectrum and their unique vulnerabilities as it pertains to these matters. Join us in welcoming Anny to the show as she shares with us important information about personal safety, and as this last day of January closes out the National Awareness Month on Stalking, Anny will also highlight some important tips which we should all understand.

Show times: 11:00 am PST, 12:00 pm MST, 1:00 pm CST, 2:00 pm EST

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

I am scared to death…he won’t stop stalking me!

January 27, 2010 2 comments

The more the public becomes aware of the effects and toll that stalking can do to a victim – perhaps the more we will realize that STALKING IS A CRIME and it is NEVER the victim’s fault.

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!

A Victim’s Assistant Speaks Out About A Stalker and Death…

January 26, 2010 Comments off

STALKING IS A CRIME!

Once you’ve been a victim, you know how life-destroying stalking can be.

A Victim’s Assistant speaks out about a double homicide/suicide-by-cop case.  It was related to a stalking case I worked last year. My stalking victim was stalked by her ex-husband, primarily through their 3-year-old daughter.   He had also done the same thing to his first wife and son (who is now 10). After the stalking conviction, he moved on to another woman. When she broke up with him in January and tried to end the relationship he began stalking her, too. Finally, he showed up at the hospital where she worked as a physical therapist on a night when he had unsupervised custody of the child (my client was with her new husband at an awards banquet 6 hours away). He had made a cassette tape of his plans the night before and carried them out in the hospital parking lot. He shot his ex-girlfriend in the face and killed her, then dragged her body to a grassy area.

Then he went to his vehicle, unbuckled his 3-year-old daughter by his 2nd wife (my stalking victim) and carried her to his ex-girlfriend’s body.  He placed the child on his knee and shot her in the face/head, killing her.  Then he shot his ex-girlfriend again two more times and stabbed her with a knife several times.  Then he kneeled between the two bodies and tried to kill himself, but the gun jammed.  By then the police had arrived, so he pointed the gun at them and forced them to shoot and kill him.

All of this happened in the hospital parking lot in front of several employees. On the tape he left behind, he mentioned his plans to also kill his son from his first marriage (luckily, he could not find his son in time so he carried on without him).

The man was a firefighter/EMT. He stalked his victims through his job.   He used the 911 system to obtain my victim’s new unlisted phone numbers every time she changed them. He used the emergency cell phone in the ambulance to harass my victim (and probably his ex-girlfriend too). He used his job to track license plates of vehicles in my victim’s driveway and would then call her and tell her who was/had been at her house.  He would follow her, harass her, leave hundreds of phone messages, and stake out her home for hours on end. He would page my victim constantly, and use his daughter as his excuse for calling my victim many times each day, even when he had her that day. When He was convicted of stalking, he received two years of supervised probation and ten counseling sessions.  Because he was a fireman, the judge also made his conviction eligible for expungement at the end of his probation, meaning the conviction would not exist on his record.  The judge justified this by saying he wanted the defendant to keep getting promotions and pay more support for the daughter.

Charles saw his probation officer just hours before his murdering spree. This man was a classic abusive partner / stalker and had a pattern of abuse / stalking at least three women before committing these murders. He left behind many torn lives and a legacy of grief.  His daughter would have turned four just four days after the murders.

Thoughts and prayers go out to all the victims in this case. I am truly sorry that this had to happen but I hope that by printing this story it brings to light some of the awful things that do happen.

If you are being stalked or are in fear of being stalked, please reach out and get the help you need, call 911 and/or your local agencies.  Remember, no one deserves to be physically, sexually or emotionally abused.

Take care and STAY SAFE!

Who Becomes a Stalker?

January 24, 2010 1 comment

STALKING IS A CRIME!

Once you’ve been a victim, you know how life-destroying stalking can be.

Who Becomes a Stalker?

Stalkers are usually isolated and lonely, coming from the “disadvantaged” of our society; however, a stalker can occupy any place in our entire social spectrum. Often, the stalking may be triggered by a significant trauma or loss in the life of the perpetrator, usually within at least seven years of the stalking behavior.   (For example, relationship dissolution or divorce, job termination, loss/potential loss of a child, or an ill parent.)  Most stalkers are not psychotic.  In a comparative study of psychotic versus non-
psychotic stalkers (Mullen et al. 1999), 63% of the sample was found to be suffering from a common psychiatric condition, such as major depression, personality disorder, or substance dependence–with personality disorder being the most common diagnosis.

Ex-intimates: Common stalkers are people who previously shared a romantic relationship with the victim, and former intimates are the most common type of stalking target.   This can be either from a long or short term relationship.

Family members: A stalker may target a member of their family, such as a parent or sibling.   This would most likely be a resentful or rejected stalker, and they would target a family member they feel had rejected,  humiliated, or abused them in the past.

Friends and Acquaintances: The victim may be stalked by an intimacy seeker or an incompetent suitor motivated by a desire to start a romantic relationship with the victim.  The victim may be stalked by a resentful stalker, typically a neighbor, who may be involved in a disagreement with the victim about something such as noise, the location of a tree, or pets.

Workplace Contacts: In their study of stalkers, Mullen (et al) found that 23% had a professional relationship with their victim, most often a medical practitioner.  Other stalkers may be supervisors, fellow employees, service providers, clients, or others who show up at the victim’s workplace. Stalking behaviors directed at the victim may include:  sexual harassment, physical and sexual assaults, robberies, or even homicide.  A violent workplace stalker usually has a history of poor job performance, a high rate of absenteeism, and a record of threats and confrontations with people they resent in the workplace.

 

 

Victims often do not tell their co-workers or supervisors about the person who is stalking them because they fear reprisals from the stalker or other employees, don’t think they will be believed, or feel embarrassed about the situation.

Doctors, nurses, psychologists, or other health care providers may become the targets of stalking by obsessed clients or patients.   (Or the other way around)  Teachers may become stalked by students.  (Or the other way around.)  Psychiatrists are at particular risk for being the targets of stalking because of their contact with people with psychiatric conditions.

Strangers: respond politely.  These are most commonly Intimacy Seekers and Incompetent Suitors, but may also be Predatory stalkers or Resentful stalkers.  These stalkers may hide their identity from their victims at first, and reveal it after stalking their victim for some time in order to get closer to them. Victims may be initially flattered when stalker approaches them and date with their stalker, after many requests.  This can have the unintentional effect of encouraging the
stalker, and making them believe that their love is reciprocated.

Gender: Stalkers are far more likely to be male, however, women can also become stalkers.   Women are more likely to  target someone they have known, usually a  professional contact.  Men are less likely to pursue other men, while females will often target other females.  The majority of female stalkers are intimacy seekers seeking to establish relationships, whereas men show a broader range of motivations, and are more often to be seeking to restore relationships.  Women are as likely to use violence as men, and there does not tend to be a difference between genders regarding the duration of  a stalking.  Thus, while the contexts and motives for stalking may differ between men and women, the intrusiveness of the behaviors and potential for harm does not.

Take care and STAY SAFE!

Via Sexual Harassment Support.

What Can You Do If You Are Being Stalked?

January 20, 2010 Comments off

STALKING IS A CRIME!

Once you’ve been a victim, you know how life-destroying stalking can be.

What Can You Do If You Are Bein g Stalked?

There are no easy answers to this question. First and foremost, you should always think about your safety. Here are some other things to consider:

  • Report the stalking to your local law enforcement agency. While officers may not have enough evidence to arrest the stalker, it is important to develop this “official” record of the stalking behavior. If a law enforcement report is made, the information may become public.
  • Some stalkers believe there are hidden messages within conversations they have with their victims that encourage them to continue the stalking. Some experts suggest that if your stalker is a former intimate partner or someone who believes you want to be in a relationship, you must be clear and firm early on about wanting to end the relationship. The longer the relationship goes on, the harder it is for the stalker to get the message that you are not interested.
  • If the stalking has continued for a long time, some believe it is best for the victim to cease all communication with the stalker. Instead, let the “system” communicate with him through a law enforcement officer, probation officer, or through a protection order.
  • A protection from stalking order may or may not be effective in ending the stalking. These orders may be most effective if issued when the stalking behavior first begins. They also appear to be most effective in communities where violations of the order are taken very seriously by law enforcement, prosecutors, and judges. If these situations do not apply to you, you may want to consider whether a protection order will help or hurt your situation. Call your local domestic violence/sexual assault programs in your state/county for further information and for a brochure explaining how to get a protection from stalking order.
  • In some situations, further contact between the victim and the stalker, tends to encourage the stalker. Therefore, if you can, try to avoid the following:
    – mediation
    – joint therapy
    – shared custody
    – face-to-face child exchanges
    – protection orders (which will require a face-to-face hearing)
  • Keep a log of all stalking behaviors, including the following (see Incident Log below):
    – date of incident
    – times and places the incidents occurred
    – description of stalking behavior
    – witnesses to the incident
  • If you believe you may be in imminent danger, develop a safety plan, taking into consideration the following:
    – critical phone numbers, such as law enforcement, friends, domestic violence or sexual assault programs
    – critical phone numbers and contact information for other important people or services you may need after reaching a safe location, such as neighbors, attorneys, prosecutors, medical care, child care, or pet care
    – keep a reserve of necessities in case you have to leave your home quickly, such as a suitcase in the trunk of your car or at a friend’s house; include money, medication, toys or items important to the children
    – consider having important documents such as passports, immigration documents, birth certificates, and social security numbers readily accessible
    – alert people who may be part of your safety plan, such as law enforcement, employers, family, friends, neighbors, or security personnel
  • Consider whether any of the following measures would help decrease or prevent some of the dangers connected to stalking:
    – installing solid core doors with dead bolts
    – changing locks, securing all spare keys
    – installing outside lighting
    – trimming bushes and vegetation around your residence
    – identifying locations that may be safe for you, such as police stations, residences of family/friends, local churches, or other public places
    – getting an unlisted number or, if you have financial means, using a “dummy” answering machine connected to your published phone line. The private or unlisted number can be reserved for close friends or family and the stalker may not realize you have another line
    – varying travel routes and other routines
    – limiting time walking or jogging alone
    – informing a trusted neighbor about the situation and, if possible, giving them a description or a photo of the stalker, asking them to call law enforcement if they see anything unusual
  • Sexual assault and domestic violence programs may be able to provide you with additional help and information. The Stalking Resource Center can also provide you with information on stalking.

If you are in danger, call 911.


INCIDENT LOG

Use this log to keep a record of stalking incidents.

Date:_____________________________
Time:_____________________________
Place:____________________________________________________________________________________________
Witnesses:________________________________________________________________________________________
Description:_______________________________________________________________________________________
_________________________________________________________________________________________________
_________________________________________________________________________________________________

Important Phone Numbers

Crisis Hotline
Law Enforcement
Prosecutor
Prosecutor Address
Case #
Friend
Neighbor
Day Care
Emergency Healthcare

Take care and STAY SAFE!

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

Types of Stalkers

January 19, 2010 Comments off
Types of Stalkers and Stalking Patterns

STALKING IS A CRIME!

Via Sexual Harassment Support.

(Note:  The following 6 categories have been defined by P. E. Mullen.  However, even Mullen asserts that these are not entirely mutually exclusive groupings, and the placement of an individual is a matter of judgment.  Like sexual harassers, stalkers may fit more than one profile, or begin with one approach and move to another. )

Rejected Stalker

The most common, persistent and intrusive of all stalkers, the rejected stalker is obsessed with someone who is a former romantic partner or friend, and  who has ended their relationship with the stalker, or indicates that he or she intends to end the relationship.  Depending on the responses of the victim, the stalkers goals will vary, and the rejected stalker usually struggles with the complex desire for both reconciliation and revenge.   As Mullen writes,  “A sense of loss could be combined with frustration, anger, jealousy, vindictiveness, and sadness in ever-changing proportions.”  This stalker may be very narcissistic, and may feel humiliated by the rejection.  In most cases, they will have poor social skills and  a poor social network.  They are also the most likely to try to harm the victim in some way, and may employ intimidation and assault in their pursuit.  They may become jealous if their victim enters or continues a romantic relationship with another person.  A history of violence in the relationship with the partner is not uncommon.

Resentful Stalker

This stalker is looking for revenge against someone who has upset them–it could be someone known to the stalker or a complete stranger.  The behaviors are meant to frighten and distress the victim.   The stalker views the target as being similar to those who have oppressed and humiliated them in the past, and they may view themselves as someone striking back against an oppressor.   Or, the victim could be a professional believed to have cheated or abused the stalker in some way.  Often irrationally paranoid, this kind of stalker can be the most obsessive and enduring.  While the least likely to use physical force, the resentful stalker is the most likely to verbally threaten the victim.  They may use personal threats, complaints to law enforcement and local government, property damage, theft or killing of pet, letters or notes on the victim’s car or house, breaking into the victim’s house or apartment, or watching the victim’s movements.

Predatory Stalker

The least common of all the stalkers, this is the classic sexual predator whose plan is to physically or sexually attack the victim.  They are motivated purely by the desire for sexual gratification and power over
their victim. This type of stalker is sexually deviant, has poor social skills, and usually has lower than normal intelligence.  They usually will not have any direct contact with the victim while they are stalking them.  This stalker may engage in such behaviors as surveillance of the victim, obscene phone calls, fetishism, voyeurism, sexual masochism and sadism, exhibitionism. The victim can be either someone the stalker knows, or a complete stranger.

Intimacy Seeker

The intimacy seeker seeks to establish an intimate, loving relationship with their victim.  To them, the victim is a long sought-after soul mate, and they were meant to be together.   Also, they may have the delusion that the victim is in love with them–usually called erotomania.  They may interpret any kind of response from the victim as encouragement, even negative responses.  This stalker may write letters, send gifts, or  call their victim. They may believe the victim owes them love because of all they have
invested in stalking them, and is very resistant to changing their beliefs. The intimacy seeker has an inflated sense of entitlement, and if they recognize they are being rejected, this stalker may become threatening, or may try to harm the victim in some way, sometimes using violence. (In this way, they may become a rejected stalker, see above.)  This stalker may become jealous if their victim enters or continues a romantic relationship with another person.  After the rejected stalker, the intimacy seeker is the most persistent type of stalker.  They are usually unresponsive to legal sanctions, viewing them as challenges to overcome that demonstrate their love for the victim.

Incompetent Suitor

The Incompetent Suitor desires a romantic or intimate relationship with the victim but is impaired in their social and courting skills.  This stalker may be very narcissistic, and cut off from victim’s feelings (lack of empathy).  The incompetent believes  that anyone should be attracted to them.   Typically, this stalker will repeatedly ask for dates, or call on the phone, even after being rejected.  They may attempt physical contact by trying hold the victim’s hand or kiss the victim, however, the will not become physically violent or threatening.  The incompetent suitor is less persistent than others, and is likely to have stalked numerous others in the past, and will probably do so in the future.   They will quickly stop stalking if threatened with legal action or after receiving counseling.

Erotomaniac and Morbidly Infatuated

This stalker believes that the victim is in love with them.  They believe this even though the victim has done nothing to suggest it is true, and may have made statements to the contrary.  The erotomaniac reinterprets what their victim says and does to support the delusion, and is convinced  that the imagined romance will eventually become a permanent union.  This stalker may suffer from acute paranoia, and typically chooses a victim of higher social status.  They will repeatedly try to approach and communicate
with their supposed lover, and is typically unresponsive to threats of legal action of any kind.   Without psychological treatment, this stalker is likely to continue with their activities.

Cyberstalking and Cyberstalkers

Cyberstalking is an extension of the physical act of stalking; however, the behavior occurs using electronic mediums, such as the Internet and computer sypware.   Someone who is physically stalking an individual may employ cyberstalking as another means to pursue, harass, or force contact. Or, cyberstalking may be the sole means of surveillance and pursuit of the victim.  The stalker may join forums they know their target frequents, and pose as someone else in an attempt to contact their target,
or they may contact other members to get information about the target or defame their character.   They may use spyware to access their target’s computer and the personal information contained within.  Given the vast distances that the Internet spans, a “pure” cyberstalker will never move beyond electronic mediums and into physical stalking.  Still, this does not mean that the behavior is any less distressing, frightening, or damaging, and a cyberstalker’s motives can fit any of the categories described above.
Moreover, given the ability of individuals to ‘mask’ their identity when using the Internet, linking the harassment to one particular individual can be difficult. Programs that mask  IP (Internet Protocol) addresses, and anonymous remailers are merely two examples that hinder the identification of the stalker and their (digital) location.

Take care and STAY SAFE!

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]