Let’s Talk About Stalking!

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Stalking is a very scary thing and it can disrupt and even change lives. It does not take a very long time for things to get dangerous and spiral out of control!

What is Stalking?
Stalking:
noun 1.  the act or an instance of stalking, or harassing another in an aggressive, often threatening and illegal manner:

adjective 2.  of or relating to the act of pursuing or harassing:

1 out of every 12 women, and 1 out of ever 45 men have been stalked during their life time according to some research sites.

What We Know About Stalkers

  • 83 percent of female victims are stalked by men; 44  percent of male victims are stalked by men.
  • 9 percent of female victims are stalked by women;  47 percent of male victims are stalked by women.
  • 46 percent of offenders pursue their victims at least once a week.
  • 78 percent of offenders use more than one means of  approach, such as: following or spying on the victims; placing unwanted phone  calls or sending unwanted letters or items; vandalism; killing or threatening  pets.
  • Intimate partner stalkers are more likely than other types of stalkers to physically approach the victim and to use a weapon; they  are also more likely to reoffend.
  • Stalkers often use technology, such as e-mail, instant messaging, cameras, listening devices, and global positioning systems (GPS).
  • Recidivism occurs in approximately  60 percent of cases.

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A Celebrity Story
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Rebecca Schaeffer was a Model and Actress in Hollywood, CA. She had a stalked for 3 years by a 19 y/o obsessed fan, Robert John Bardo, who ended up killing her by shooting her in the head on July 18, 1989. Bardo was the youngest of seven siblings, son of a former Air Force officer. Bardo grew up in Tucson, Arizona (my hometown), and was supposedly the object of much physical and mental abuse. It was not his first time displaying stalking behavior either. He was reported by a teacher  to have traveled to Maine at age 13 to find Samantha Smith,  the child that became famous for sending a letter to Mikhail Gorbachev. He was given a life sentence without the possibility of parole for the murder of Rebecca Schaeffer.

In 2007 Bardo was stabbed in Prison where he was serving his time for the murder of the late actress. He was attacked by another inmate while in the prison yard on the way to breakfast. The inmate that was responsible was reported to be a man serving an 82-years-to-life sentence for second-degree murder. It was reported that Bardo received 11 puncture and stab wounds. He was treated and returned back to his home in prison.
(Funny tidbit is that he is housed at Mule Creek State Prison in California which is the same prison that the Cult Leader Charles Manson is living the rest of his natural life at.) As of 2013, Bardo is now serving his time at the Ironwood State Prison in Blythe, CA.

Rebecca was only 21 y/o at the time of her death. Schaeffer’s death helped prompt the 1990 passage of America’s first anti-stalking laws, in California.   By 1993, all states , as well as Canada, put anti-stalking laws into effect.

Stalking is not just a problem for Celebrities. Anyone can be a Stalker and any one can be stalked. According to the Sexual Assault Prevention and Awareness Program at Michigan State, there are some general categories that stalkers fit into. Even though there are general categories, it does not mean that every stalker will fit neatly into a category. Stalkers can have any characteristics, come from any type of background, and be a mixture of the categories’ listed.

1: Rejected Stalker
The rejected stalkers behaviour was brought about by the termination of a relationship, most commonly with a romantic partner, but also with estranged mothers or through broken friendships, or strained work relationships. Often, these stalkers experience ambivalent feelings about reconciliation and revenge regarding their targets. The majority suffer from personality disorders, although about one-fifth had delusional disorders. Rejected stalkers have the widest range of methods associated with stalking but are significantly associated with telephone harassment.

2: Resentful Stalker
These are self-righteous, self-pitying people who may threaten, but they are the least likely to act on it.

3: Predatory Stalker
For the predatory stalker, stalking is foreplay; the real goal is sexual assault.  While they may gain satisfaction from the sense of control and power stalking gives them over the victim, it’s the violent and sexual fantasies that they engage in while researching, planning, and following the victim that really gets them off as they prepare for the ultimate thrill – the sexual assault itself.

The stalking may have a sadistic quality to it.  For example, some predatory stalkers mess with their victim’s minds by leaving subtle clues that they are being followed without revealing their identity.  However, even when the victim is unaware that she is being stalked, the perpetrator can still take delight in the details – deciding how long to prolong the suspense, rehearsing the attack, fantasizing about the victim’s response.

4: Intimacy Seeker
Intimacy Seeking stalking arises out of a context of loneliness and a lack of a close confidante. Victims are usually strangers or acquaintances who become the target of the stalker’s desire for a relationship. Frequently Intimacy Seeking stalkers’ behavior is fueled by a severe mental illness involving delusional beliefs about the victim, such as the belief that they are already in a relationship, even though none exists (erotomanic delusions). The initial motivation is to establish an emotional connection and an intimate relationship. The stalking is maintained by the gratification that comes from the belief that they are closely linked to another person.

5: Incompetent Suitor
The Incompetent Suitor stalks in the context of loneliness or lust and targets strangers or acquaintances. Unlike the Intimacy Seeker, however, their initial motivation is not to establish a loving relationship, but to get a date or a short-term sexual relationship. Incompetent Suitors usually stalk for brief periods, but when they do persist their behaviour is usually maintained by the fact that they are blind or indifferent to the distress of victim. Sometimes this insensitivity is associated with cognitive limitations or poor social skills consequent to autism spectrum disorders or intellectual disability.

6: Erotomania and Morbidly Infatuated
This type of stalker feels that the victim loves them even though they may not have had any contact with the victim. The stalker is usually paranoid, prefers suitors in a higher social class, and will repeatedly approach the victim.

On a more Personal Note:
I’ve had to leave my own Facebook Page idle due to having a Stalker of my own. Facebook and the Criminal Justice System allows for stalkers to harass, intimidate, and threaten victims and show very little concern for their safety. Many times you have to reach out to Local Media Stations for help.  Over all the Criminal Justice System allows for victims to be continually harassed legally because criminals all of a sudden seem to have more rights than the victims in these types of cases.

For almost 2 years I myself have been stalked in person and online. I have never faced anything like this in my entire life. I have had threatening messages from people I don’t even know, been told that I won’t get hired for events, my reputation slandered over and over again, my vehicle painted, my personal address and vehicle information shared publicly on a Facebook Page where my info as the victim should have been redacted and the Police Department Records Section screwed up and gave it to a Defendant/Stalker. I have been dragged through hearing after hearing by my Stalker  for no reason which end up getting dismissed; all because people are able to file frivolous motions in AZ and as a victim you have to show up or risk losing your own case and standing in court, and filed police report after police report with very little help to get it to stop from Law Enforcement and Facebook, and other people who actually know the details about this situation.

In the process you as the victim now get scrutinized as if you are the Criminal and are treated as such, and that is the most horrible thing to be put through as a victim looking and begging for help. In the state of Arizona, restraining orders work one way. In doing this, the person you have a restraining order against can legally file one against you even if the reasons they state are all fictitious and made up in their own head. You have to respond to these because a restraining order does go on your record and can keep you from getting a job and even buying a weapon.

You also have to put up with people who know nothing about what’s going on getting involved and making things much worse because one party stays quiet while another party vents on social media day in and day out, and people only get to hear on side of things. When people do this it allows for a victim to be harassed even more. People start blowing up your phone and inbox with messages trying to figure out what is going on and why stuff is being said. Victims in such cases are forced onto the defensive and then it becomes a bigger mess, as the Victim is the one who suffers the most. Stalking is not a great thing to have to deal with. Especially when the odds are stacked against the Victim legally and very little help is available. There are many people who have gone through this type of thing out there.

In many cases people run out of money fighting these things and go into debt just to get the stalking to stop. There are people out there sitting in prison because they’ve been forced to physically defend themselves from their stalker or harasser due to the Criminal Justice System not taking these types of cases seriously. This is the reason why many things go unreported and escalate to the point of violence and in some cases death in many cases. It makes the victim give up on calling police to help, especially when judges tell victims to call the police and make report each time something happens, then police tell them they won’t come out and take a report because they don’t seem to take this type of crime seriously.

Many people can’t afford lawyers to help with these situations either, as attorneys are very expensive and stalking cases can go on for years. Laws around the nation need to be changed regarding Stalking, more resources for people to utilize when looking for help need to be added, and the laws updated to encompass Social Media Stalking as well. Police Departments and the Courts need to be in touch with each other, Social Media such as Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter need to change their policies and guidelines, and all should work together more effectively as a team in order to prevent Stalking from occurring.

Learn how to protect yourselves and demand that Criminals who stalk others, get the attention they so much crave from the Criminal Justice System in Prison! Stalking is a Crime and should be handled and treated as such!

If you or someone you know are being stalked, you can find some great resources to help here:
National Stalking Helpline: http://www.stalkinghelpline.org/
Safe Horizon: http://www.safehorizon.org/
NOVA: http://www.trynova.org/
The National Resource for Victims of Crime: https://www.victimsofcrime.org/
Stalking Victims Sanctuary: http://stalkingvictims.com/
Fight Cyber Stalking: http://www.fightcyberstalking.org/

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Copyright 2015 The Last Civil Right – All Rights Reserved

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5 thoughts on “Let’s Talk About Stalking!

  1. I am so sorry to hear you are going through this. I had my own stalker about 25 years ago. Fortunately he can no longer reach me as he is in prison (for a different offence, but it got the job done). I hope the best for you.

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