Stalking is a Crime – Why do Women Suffer in Silence?

Why do women suffer in silence and tolerate criminal behavior? I wish I knew. The police can’t help you unless you let them. And they need to know about men who are stalking women. It makes their day when they put a violent man behind bars.

I have a friend who’s ex-boyfriend is stalking her. He’s doing it a creepy, smarmy way. He left a magazine in her mailbox. He circled an article on the cover and wrote, this made me think of you. It’s just a magazine you may say. But she moved after breaking up with him and has not told him where she lived. So he discovered her whereabouts without her consent. The magazine was there to let her know that he knows where she lives. Not only that it against Federal Law to leave something without postage in someone’s mailbox. That – is – stalking.

Then her current boyfriend got a call from his bank that a man claiming to be an investment consultant came in the bank asking questions about him and his bank accounts. They figured out that it was the ex doing the snooping. So now this jackass is not only stalking her but her boyfriend as well.

I got a text message from her this morning asking me if I sent her a Valentine ’s Day heart boxed candy. I didn’t and asked if there was no card with the shipment. She replied no, that it was probably her ex. I told her not to eat the candy, and quoted her some facts from the National Center for Victims of Crime. This site lists the unwanted sending of gifts, cards, letters or emails as part of the definition of a stalker. She texted me back basically telling me to shut up about it, in a nice way of course, but the message was clear.

Well, fortunately for me I have a blog and so I don’t have to shut up. I can say it loud. Ladies you DO NOT have to put up with any kind of contact or communication from anyone from your past. Even a relative can be legally defined as a stalker if you do not want anything to do with them and they persist anyway. Also, there is a point where a person ceases being the “ex” and becomes a criminal stalker. And that line is drawn when you decide when you want no further contact with them. They don’t get decide this. YOU decide this.

Over the years I’ve known a lot of good women who were stalked by their ex-boyfriends or husbands. A couple of women ignored their stalkers and were terrorized for years before their stalker either gave up or went to jail for other reasons. Some even went on to receive threatening letters from their stalker from in jail. The misery went on for what seemed like forever. Their lives and the lives of the loved ones and friends were significantly diminished because the stalking.

The smart women went to the police, got restraining orders, and followed it up by calling the police every single time their stalker made any kind of contact them. The stalkers got the message and backed off. Turns out these tough guys were afraid of the police and the possibility of jail time.

Three of these women are in their graves now. They did not go to the police or do anything else to stop the stalking. One was beaten to death by her ex-husband after he broke in her house and shot and killed her boyfriend. One was shot in the head at a Wendy’s Hamburger drive though window by her ex at lunch time in broad daylight. The ex-husband of the third shot her and her female attorney to death in the stairwell of the parking garage next to the court-house.

Stalking is not like your car tires. If you ignore the problem – it will not go away. Stalkers get off on terrorizing you. It is not love or grief. It is a power trip. They didn’t get what they want and intend to make you pay and pay and pay. It’s sick – and it’s not your fault.

Resources:

Information about stalkers:

Stalking and Intimate Partner Femicide*

  • 76% of intimate partner femicide victims have been stalked by their intimate partner.
  • 67% had been physically abused by their intimate partner.
  • 89% of femicide victims who had been physically assaulted had also been stalked in the 12 months before their murder.
  • 79% of abused femicide victims reported being stalked during the same period that they were abused.
  • 54% of femicide victims reported stalking to police before they were killed by their stalkers.

*The murder of a woman.

[Judith McFarlane et al., “Stalking and Intimate Partner Femicide,” Homicide Studies 3, no. 4 (1999).]

Stalkers

A stalker can be someone you know well or not at all. Most have dated or been involved with the people they stalk. Most stalking cases involve men stalking women, but men do stalk men, women do stalk women, and women do stalk men.

  • 2/3 of stalkers pursue their victims at least once per week, many daily, using more than one method.
  • 78% of stalkers use more than one means of approach.
  • Weapons are used to harm or threaten victims in 1 out of 5 cases.
  • Almost 1/3 of stalkers have stalked before.
  • Intimate partner stalkers frequently approach their targets, and their behaviors escalate quickly.
  • All 50 states have stalking laws

Victims of Crime.org fact sheet

4 responses

  1. I had a stalker once. It was scary. I wish the best for your friend. Even when you report it, it often doesn’t change anything. The best thing is to get your community members involved. I old everyone, who he was, what he looked like: Friends, neighbors, my gym, my bank. I would always ask people to escort me places. Eventually he gave up because there was no place that wasn’t aware and/or surrounded.

    1. I’m glad you took steps to protect yourself. I still think it’s a good idea to report stalking even if it seems like it doesn’t do anything. It creates a paper trail if things escalate.

      1. Right, I agree with that too.

What do you think?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: