By Karen Rae Elkins
When I was living in Virginia I would frequent the Seven-Eleven Convenient Store for their hot dogs. I know, I know,...hot dogs are bad for your cholesterol, but they made the best dogs for a quick lunch on the go. What does this have to do with abuse? Seven-Eleven, (7-11) is an abuse ratio. It takes a woman on average 7 times to process the abuse and be done with an abusive man. However it takes an abusive man 11 times to hear I'm through, before he gets it. When an abuser becomes relentless in his pursuit of you, it's called stalking. Just because you've left doesn't mean the perpetrator of violence is willing to give up control.
1. Following or laying in wait for the victim at work or in their neighborhood.
2. Repeated unwanted, intrusive, and frightening communications from the perpetrator by phone, text, mail or email.
3. Damaging or stealing the victim's property. Includes suddenly having a flat tire when the tread is fine, a drained radiator, or running out of gas, any act as so to leave the victim stranded and in need of help.
4. Making threats to harm the victim, the victim's family, friends, pets or themselves
5. Repeatedly sending the victim unwanted gifts... so to seem as a good person and when the gifts are rejected the perp turns to sending pornographic material to threaten or send a message to the victim
6. Harassment through the internet, known as cyberstalking. This form of stalking leaves victims with limited access to the internet.
7. Manipulation, such as dragging the victim into court
8.Securing personal information about the victim by: accessing public records (land records, phone listings, driver or voter registration), using internet search services, hiring private investigators, contacting friends, family, work, or neighbors, going through the victims garbage.
9. Isolation by releasing personal information, true or untrue about your personal life for the purpose of turning friends and family against you.
Stalking has become one of the most dreaded crimes against women in recent years. According to a 2000 study conducted by the federal Department of Justice, one woman in 12 will be stalked during her lifetime. This figure is startling when compared to the fact that 1 in 3,000 will be raped, based on current FBI statistics. Many women know their stalker personally and as a result, are hesitant to believe the situation is potentially dangerous. Being aware of these alarming signals can help you determine if you are being stalked and what to do about it.
Researchers predict that one in twenty adults will be stalked during his or her lifetime. According to a 2000 report by the Department of Justice one in twelve women have been stalked. Many stalking situations result in the death or serious injury of the victim. While anti-stalking statutes are aimed at protecting both sexes, experts believe that the majority of stalking cases involve men stalking women. This pattern of men stalking women occurs both in the domestic context and between strangers. Thus, stalking needs to be addressed as a form of violence against women. Eighty percent of stalking cases occur in a domestic situation. Stalking occurs after the woman has attempted to sever the relationship and the man responds, "if I can't have you, no one will."
This is what some have coined as separation assault and describes domestic violence from a different viewpoint. Leaving the situation did not guarantee the woman's safety, in some cases it increased her danger. It can be lethal. The stalker, in most cases, is not crazy. This stereotype is an inaccurate depiction of abusers. It's all about them regardless of the law.
One fundamental point that defines the problem and you must never forget it is the Stalker/Abuser thinks of themselves as laws unto themselves. No laws, no social standards, no standards of behavior and no motivation other than themselves dictates their actions. Laws that would deter the average person doesn't phase a stalker. The only law they follow is: "It's all about them": their feelings, their emotions, their needs, their pride. A stalker will go to no ends to enforce his law. Stalkers feel you have no right to hurt or deny their law. Remember, their law is - it's all about them and anything can set them off...like writing a blog. Stalking is just another form of control and the stalker will go to almost any lengths to get the control back.
Stalkers are cunning. They have had years of experience in manipulation. They have a sense that they can get away with anything, regardless. They convince those around them that they are a great person and friend. Stalkers mask themselves as knowledgeable, strong, heroic, romantic people. They play the part of caring, charming and sensitive people as long as you cater to them and their every whim. Stalkers reveal their true nature after they win your trust.
An abuser would not attempt to stalk his victim if he wasn't pretty sure he could get a way with it, if he was afraid of what you could do and if he hadn't already overpowered you in the past. One of the fatal mistakes made by women is the thought that they can handle it by themselves. Please get this through your head, "You can't handle the situation by yourself".
Recognize the danger you are in and seek advise from those who bought the tee shirt and lived to tell their story. That's what I did eventually, and my stalking x abuser should be afraid of what I can and will do. Knowledge is power. Power is self defense. Self Defense is using every resource to take control back. Control comes when fear subsides.
Until next time, fish steady my friends. love from the lake. karen