Thursday, 27 February 2014

Don't be a victim! Don't be Prey!

After the last blog update, I got such a resonance from women and men who have been stalked, some of the stories were really harrowing and the stuff nightmares are made of. I was aware that it happens very often, I had no idea HOW often.

I thought it's time to address it and show you that there is a life after and while being stalked, don't give the stalker power to take your life away, friends can tell you that I was in a bad state while it happened, my mistake was that I was late in looking for help, by help I don't mean talking to the police, though if anybody would start telephone terror again, I wouldn't even consider waiting until it "blows over", I would be straight down at the police. While it might not get worse and blow over, it's not worth taking the risk, seriously not.

What I mean with looking for help is apart from all the legal steps (do NOT delete anything, keep all the messages, have them printed out as you don't want them to get lost in a computer crash, have a diary where you write down every attempt to make contact, all the usual drill) go and see a help group, seriously, I can't stress enough how important a help group is. Not every group is a good fit, so do shop around. There are also a lot of online resources, utilize them:

Pandora's Project - Resources for stalking victims

More Resources for Stalking Victims

Cyberstalking

Victim Support

Create a log

http://cyberstalkerhelp.org/

Protect your eMail address

Protect your phone number

Alexis Moore - Advocate for Stalking Victims 

Mistress Didi's Article on How To Stop A Stalker 


Read the book: The Gift of Fear: Survival Signals That Protect Us from Violence

Here are is a summary or what you should watch out for, but please read the book, it's a very pleasant read and reads more like a thriller:

  • Forced Teaming. This is when a person implies that he has something in common with his chosen victim, acting as if they have a shared predicament when that isn't really true. Speaking in "we" terms is a mark of this, i.e. "We don't need to talk outside... Let's go in."
  • Charm and Niceness. This is being polite and friendly to a chosen victim in order to manipulate him or her by disarming their mistrust.
  • Too many details. If a person is lying they will add excessive details to make themselves sound more credible to their chosen victim.
  • Typecasting. An insult is used to get a chosen victim who would otherwise ignore one to engage in conversation to counteract the insult. For example: "Oh, I bet you're too stuck-up to talk to a guy like me." The tendency is for the chosen victim to want to prove the insult untrue.
  • Loan Sharking. Giving unsolicited help to the chosen victim and anticipating they'll feel obliged to extend some reciprocal openness in return.
  • The Unsolicited Promise. A promise to do (or not do) something when no such promise is asked for; this usually means that such a promise will be broken. For example: an unsolicited, "I promise I'll leave you alone after this," usually means the chosen victim will not be left alone. Similarly, an unsolicited "I promise I won't hurt you" usually means the person intends to hurt their chosen victim.
  • Discounting the Word "No". Refusing to accept rejection.
Please, do talk to the police rather sooner than later, I understand you might be embarrassed, especially if your stalker met you on a kink related board, but the longer you wait the more difficult it becomes and the police is there to protect you, not to judge your life-style choices.

Warn them off ONCE, say loud and clear that you do not wish to have any further contact and keep a copy of it, or make a note about it, apart from that, nothing, do not give them a reaction, every reaction, even a "LEAVE ME ALONE" is encouragement for them... You tell them ONCE and then ignore, but do not delete their emails, you might need them if they "crank things up a bit".

Fact: In the US only 37% of the male and 41% of the female stalking victims go to the police!

I assume that in kink related cases the number is even higher due to the embarrassment of the victims, by NOT reporting a stalker, you're not only empowering the stalker, you also allow him or her to feel more secure and continue with his stalking, you're endangering somebody else! Think about it, wouldn't you have liked that his previous victim would have done something and stopped him or her?

The "if you ignore the stalker he will go away" theory is FALSE, in almost every case the behaviour will escalate over time. Don't wait until it gets worse!

Here is a rather sobering fact sheet

Stalking Fact Sheet 

About 10% of all the victims were stalked for 5 years or more. Can you afford to live in terror for 5 years or longer?

If you see signs of somebody being stalked, don't look away, you could be the next victim!

Look, being stalked is hardly ever the victim's fault, in most cases it isn't a complete stranger but somebody you know, be it in real life or online. There is no telling why somebody stalks you, most of them aren't even "crazy" in the usual term of the word, as in they haven't been diagnosed with a mental disorder. So the typical stalker that obsesses over a celeb is actually the minority. In terms of statistics, about 80% of the stalking victims are women, almost 90% of the stalkers are men.

What you shouldn't do is retaliate! Leave it to the authorities, it's not uncommon that the stalker will claim to be the victim and if you try to warn him or her off, she might actually take legal steps and claim you are the one doing the stalking (I was actually accused by my stalker of stalking him among a lot of other stuff, just to try and get others to cut contact with me). It's normal that you want to strike back and defend yourself, but by doing that, you are playing into the stalker's hands! In a lot of cases they also make false allegations to the police (been there), to cause trouble, their goal is to disrupt your life. A stalker in almost every case WILL make up lies about you, he wants you on the defensive, he wants to isolate you from your friends, for a stalker that IS a power game and he wants to present himself in a good light.

They will try to befriend people around you, it's a way of getting to you and they will try to influence them, sometimes they will succeed. I lost a lot of friends, some have disappointed me, but to be honest, in general, even while it hurt, I'm better off without them.

I'm not going to lie to you and claim that you're going to come out of such an experience unchanged, hell, I'm seriously dented, but you CAN get through and the sooner you get help, the quicker you react and ask for help, the less damaging it is for you. It was my mistake to wait too long, you know the "ignore him and he will go away" approach, I ended up throwing up so much, that my throat was sore and I had to deal with mouth ulcers as a result from the stomach acid. We went through changing numbers, you know removing myself as a target, it doesn't help, they're obsessed. Basically everything you do as a reaction to the stalking is a reaction for the stalker, something that tells him he's successful. They might be nuts, but most of them are cunning, they have to be or else they'd be arrested.
 
The best way is to avoid stalkers, however that's often not possible, because you don't have to invite them into your life, they force their way in, but a few clues how you might recognize them online:

If you see them following a poster around obsessively and trying to goad that poster or make snide remarks about him or her, it's a pretty good sign, just be careful and stay away from them.

I can't tell you enough how important it is to document everything, I know it's a lot of work, but you might need every piece of evidence you have, make screen shots, print them out, keep chat logs, phone logs, everything. It is normal to delete everything because you want nothing to do with the person (made that mistake myself) but it is exactly the wrong thing to do. It's overwhelming, I know, but chances are your stalker has experience and has stalked others before, he will know every trick in the book, why give him even more of an advantage?

If something feels creepy, trust your instincts:



 Look, you are certainly not alone in this:

 


Your silence empowers your stalker! Speak out! Get help! Contact the police and helplines!

Even if the videos bore you, here are a few more, seriously, if you wonder if you are being stalked, you probably are. Watch this 3 part series and listen to what the retired police officer says: Stalkers don't have boundaries!




Here is a documentary about cyberstalking, it's quite long and I haven't seen it completely yet...


And here is a somewhat sensational approach about stalking and how to decode their behaviour,  those cases usually end up with murder, it doesn't need to go that far for you to be afraid, but you really shouldn't take anybody stalking you lightly!