How to Fight Back Against Stalking

By Gloria Siess, {"Garnetbird"}

After my divorce over twenty years ago, I became the target of a stalker. Alone and vulnerable, I made the fatal mistake of dating someone unstable. A host of psychiatric issues sprang up, including the tell-tale signs of over-possessiveness and jealousy--he became something of a landmine in the flesh.

After our break-up he would trail me on dates, once even breaking into my car to wait in the back seat while I danced with someone else. It came to a terrible conclusion one Halloween Night, when he threw me into the wall of my father's senior citizen apartment and attempted to "rough me up."Had I not been trained in women's self-defense I would have probably been a statistic. The six week course I had taken at Cal State Northridge {Betty Brooks' Defenses for Women }was an investment that doubtless saved my life. Today, we have MORE recourses available than ever to stop stalking before it gets to that point.

In California the NEW definition of Stalking has been broadened to include many behaviors deemed equally dangerous to one's well- being. These include:

1. A pattern of intention: Repeated messages, destroying or harming one's property, or even following at a distance on a regular basis. If there is a pattern you may have grounds for action under the Anti-Stalking Laws.

2. Credible threats directed at you, your family or your pets.This includes online emailed threats and letters, as well as verbal threats.

3. Reasonable fear as demonstrated by the victim-(ask yourself: Does this person make you feel uneasy? Is this behavior interferring with your life, your job or your peace of mind?}If it is, you have more resources available than ever to protect yourself from such behavior.

There are penalties for stalking. In California, if found guilty, the stalker can be fined one thousand dollars for the first offense, and do a year's county jail time. If you have served this person with a prior restraining order, he or she may spend as much as five years in a state prison. Some states now require stalkers to register as sex offenders, if the stalking behavior revolved around threats of rape or molestation.

Invest in a journal if you suspect that you may be the target of a stalker. Write down the incidences and the time. If the stalker drives to your street and watches you or your children on a regular basis, write it down faithfully. Always record the time. Judges and other law enforcements personnel will look for a pattern. Save harassing emails and letters; tape menacing phone messages. The more organized you are, the less chance the stalker will get away with his or her agenda. Use your instincts. If you feel threatened, chances are, something is not right about the situation.

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Comments 18 comments

MagicStarER profile image

MagicStarER 6 years ago from Western Kentucky

Thank you so much for writing this article. I am being stalked and threatened for the past 5 days by a member of my family who has been doing it off and on for most of my life. It is very frightening and demeaning. There is not much you can really do about it, until the person hurts someone. You are absolutely correct: if you are being cyberbullied or stalked, DO call the police. Do save all evidence, emails, comments, letters, tape phone calls, keep a journal, write down times and what happened. Also keep records of what you have done to report the harassment.

It is even harder to stop a stalker who lives in a different state than you do, and it threatening you through the internet. Some states have cyberbullying laws, but many do not. Take the threats seriously! Anyone who is crazy enough to threaten you with physical harm is also crazy enough to do it. As I have learned the hard way. If someone is threatening you, try to not be alone.

This is a great hub and glad you "found" mine! :) I am your newest and most grateful and admiring fan! Hope you'll be mine too! :)

entertianmentplus profile image

entertianmentplus 6 years ago from United States

Awesome hub.

GarnetBird profile image

GarnetBird 6 years ago from Northern California Author

THANK you for your feedback. As a former victim of stalking I shudder at how close I came to death. I am not wonder women in the least, but the self-defense training I had kicked in. I preformed a throat chop with my hand and while he was reeling, RAN to my car and sped off. I had to live a few days in a Battered women's Shelter. It was one of lowest times of my life.

TimeHealsAll profile image

TimeHealsAll 6 years ago from Las Vegas, Nevada

You are lucky to be alive. Stalkers have unsafe and unpredictable behaviors. They feel threatened therefore they threaten. I lived with a man for a year and he never drank and he attended AA. I asked him if he had a drinking problem and he denied it. After a year of being together he took that drink and blamed me for it and threw me into the mirror in the bathroom and beat me. I was scared for my life! I got away and I never returned. Some women go back because they want to believe it will never happen again. If it happened once, it can happen again and again. It only takes one time to die. Great hub!

GarnetBird profile image

GarnetBird 6 years ago from Northern California Author

THANK you; yes, God and that one class I took on self-defense saved my life. I will never forget it. To this day I never celebrate Halloween, as the memories are just too disturbing. Have a lovely weekend!

valeriebelew profile image

valeriebelew 6 years ago from Metro Atlanta, GA, USA

Scary thought, but it happens all the time. I had a blind date once at 16, and received "breathing" calls years later. I was too young to recognize the difference between being really sick, and merely unattractive, but I'd recognize the signs now. Thanks for the write.

GarnetBird profile image

GarnetBird 6 years ago from Northern California Author

Looking back, I wish I had taken precautions; I was really careless about my dating as I had married young and wasn't used to meeting creepy guys.

sheila 6 years ago

how, at this point, can i stop this lowlife of a human being from stalking me. the problem is i pled guilty to charges that were false because of my fragile position at the time and it is on record, but i cant handle much more of this & i need, desperately to find a solution so that this individual understands that i want nothing to do with her nor she in my life. any suggestions would be helpful. actually a good lawyer would be helpful but i don't have money for one. this person has interfered in every aspect of my life and, for me, shes destroyed the best years of my life. this started when i was 41 yrs old and now at 61 yrs old i simply want to live in peace & quiet.

GarnetBird profile image

GarnetBird 6 years ago from Northern California Author

You have every right to have peace; I suggest a support group. My own support group for Incest Survivors has helped me enormously in dealing with these issues. Good Luck.

susanlang profile image

susanlang 6 years ago

Chills...chills and more chills! That's what happened when I read this hub. Some people don't believe it when someone says they are being stalked. Other's don't understand what "true" stalking is. I've had to call the police and debug my pc many times as a result of my stalkers. I say stalkers because I have proof and know who they are! Right now I'm not pressing charges but I have my reasons and when I'm ready, I will. This hub will help many. Good job, Garnet.

GarnetBird profile image

GarnetBird 6 years ago from Northern California Author

Thank you Susan! You are a brave survivor and I value your comments. have a lovely Mother's Day!

susanlang profile image

susanlang 6 years ago

Thank you Garnet, I will... I have 15 kids coming over for a friends daughter's birthday party. Have a nice Mother's Day!

meg 2 years ago

I have a warrant of arrest against my stalker. BUT he is not afraid of the law or going to prison. It sounds absurd but I'm still so scared cos he has called my kids n he knows everything about them too - must be following them on facebook. I tried changing my number but he always gets it. He sends literally hundreds of sms n calls at all hours - even early hours of morning. I'm soo fed up n stressed

Garnetbird 2 years ago

I am so sorry for your situation; how is the stalker getting an unlisted number? Could someone you know be helping him?

Pamela Kinnaird W profile image

Pamela Kinnaird W 2 years ago from Maui and Arizona

Very important information you've given us -- reminding us to write down the incidents and the details of the stalking if we believe it is happening to us. And a couple self-defense courses is always a good idea. I took one years ago but have forgotten everything. It's time for another one. Sharing.

GarnetBird profile image

GarnetBird 2 years ago from Northern California Author

Thank you Pam!!

heidi in KS 14 months ago

I wish the advice of documentation and going to police were true! I wnt for the Protetion from stalking order and the judge said I was not scared enough. The policeman told me stalking was no longer a crime and he didn't want to be involved. The small town cop told the stalker and now its a joke to them. I am changing my po box address and bank. I leave town by the backroads only. This is a rural, very tiny town and this has affected me deeply. It's like I will need a photo of him doing these things for any credence from the law.

GarnetBird profile image

GarnetBird 14 months ago from Northern California Author

So much depends on the individual police dept./ so sorry you are going through this.

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