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.