Monday, January 13, 2014

Stalking Prevention Bloghop



Author Stina Lindenblatt is having a stalking prevention bloghop. Here is where you can find the other participants. 



When I was in college my next door neighbor had a problem with a boy.  A boy who wouldn’t leave her alone.  He had secretly taken pictures of her and had them all over his apartment and computer.  He could be found lurking around and looking through her windows at all times of day or night. And in general just creeped her out.

I’m ashamed to admit, but the first time she told me about this situation, I wondered if maybe she was exaggerating just a little.  We listened and consoled her, agreed that it was freaky, scary, and that she should be careful.  We all tried to be alert and keep our eyes open, but otherwise we just went about our lives and homework.  It didn’t seem like such a big deal. 

Even now I can remember the terror in her eyes, and the way she trembled when she spoke of it.  She tried to get out of her contract with the apartment complex. They didn’t believe her about the stalking and refused to let her out of the contract. Without that she couldn’t afford to move somewhere else.  The police wouldn’t issue a restraining order because there was no reason to believe her safety was in danger.  He just liked her a lot. Right?

As far as stalking goes, it was a pretty mild one. Mostly because her father, worried about her situation, drove across two states, packed her up, paid out her contract at the apartment and took her somewhere safe.  I don’t know what would have happened if he hadn’t done that. Maybe nothing, maybe something.  But I do know that no one deserves to live with the fear she had been living with.

Looking back as an adult and as a mother I wish I would have done more.  I wish I would have known more.  I didn’t know how serious something like this could become.  But ignorance is no excuse.  Ignorance only allows things like this to continue. I hope you all visit the other bloghop participants.  Some of them have information that could be useful if you, or someone you love, are ever in this situation.  Please, don’t blow it off like I did.  Educate yourself so you can protect yourself and others.

21 comments:

  1. Wow, Sara. This is pretty powerful. I haven't ever known anyone in this situation... but it is pretty scary. So glad her dad took control. I know I definitely would as a parent! But I don't think I would've been smart enough to know what to do when I was younger... I'm interested in reading the other participants!

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  2. We all look back at things and wish we'd done things differently. Like Morgan, I'm glad her dad got her out of there. And it's really sad the police didn't do anything.

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  3. Glad to hear your friend's dad realized what was going on. Don't beat yourself up for not knowing what to do--I think most people would have reacted the same way, because it's not an easy situation to handle.

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    1. It's not an easy situation to handle, but I'm glad her dad knew what to do.

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  4. WHOA...that's intense. don't feel bad though. sometimes it's not till we have kids or it becomes something we can empathize with, then it doesn't quite hit us how extreme or serious the situation is. glad she is safe now.

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  5. Thank you, Sarah, for sharing your story! I was stalked in university but never told anyone because I didn't think anyone would believe me or they would think it wasn't a big deal. But it was to me. I ended up quitting my part time job because of it.

    Don't feel bad about what happened. Now the apartment manager...that's a different matter. And if she had been in a different city, the police might have taken things more seriously. Though a restraining order doesn't mean anything. If a person is that determined to stalk someone they will. And the result is often deadly. :(

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    1. I don't think the boy was the physical type, but who knows. The fact is that, physical or not, it was a big deal to her. No one deserves to live with that fear or unpleasantness.

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  6. That sounds very scary, Sara. I don't have first hand experience of this sort of thing, but I think the lack of control - especially if the police won't help - must be very frightening indeed.

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  7. I hope that experience didn't have long-term ramifications on her. :(

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    1. I hope so to. I never saw her again, but with parents that supportive and concerned I think she's okay.

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  8. How scary. It's a good thing her father believed her and rescued her. A real knight in shining armor. What a great dad!

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  9. Dang! I'm glad she got out of that area. :)

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  10. Yikes!
    It sounds like he had a real problem.

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    1. She was a really sweet girl and I could see why so many people liked her, but that guy did have a problem and he crossed the line. Creepy.

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  11. Yikes. I've watched "Stalked" on Investigate Discovery and it's some pretty scary stuff. There aren't many protections available to people who are stalked, even with all the changes in laws.

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    1. I think this was pretty mild as far as stalkings go, but even that was enough to freak her out and make her change he whole life. And that's just not fair.

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  12. I've had 2 stalkers, one in HS and one just after. I probably should have been more freaked out than I was (about the 2nd one at least). I'm thankful both situations resolved themselves after time without any major incidents.

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    1. I'm glad the situations were resolved too. I hope you never have to deal with that again.

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  13. Heck, I had a stalking situation and never really recognized it for what it was either. It's hard to discern sometimes. Probably, like the father in your example, better to respond proactively without delay, but sometimes we even second guess ourselves. Like Tara, mine resolved itself.. I hope.

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    1. Um, does that mean it was recent and you aren't sure whether or not it's resoved? Be careful! Be alert and be proactive. Take care of yourself.

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