How NOT to become a victim:
I was a stalking victim for over 15 years, and in that time there were no laws on the books that made this behavior a crime-actually the word “Stalking” didn’t even exist. In that time I had to learn every aspect of personal safety just to stay alive. In May of 1990, my stalker came in to my home, tied me up and took me out at gunpoint.
Luckily the police were waiting outside-and after an 11 hour police standoff, I was able to escape unharmed, and he went off to prison. Shortly thereafter, I was contacted by then State Senator Ed Royce out of Orange County, CA who was trying to pass the nations first Anti Stalking Law. He asked if I would testify in front of the State Senate to help pass the law-which I gladly did. That day, the law passed unanimously, and from there Ed Royce was elected to US Congress and in 1996 we helped pass the Federal Anti Stalking Law.
Stalking is a very hard crime to prove.
Many times it is your word against the Stalkers, that is why it is so important to recognize the behavior and start collecting evidence as soon as it starts happening. The key to staying alive as a Stalking victim is to stay one step ahead of your Stalker. Being aware and nipping the behavior in the bud is the way to stay safe.
In order to prove a case of Stalking-you need to prove a Laundry List of Behavior-in order to do that, you need to become your own “Case Manager” and work along side the police. Here are a few basic tips to remember:
1. NO CONTACT: Make sure you have conveyed to your stalker that you want no further contact of any kind
2. SAVE ALL EVIDENCE: Voice Mails, texts, emails, letters, gifts, etc.
2. DOCUMENT EVERY INCIDENT: Keep a journal, calendar, video, photo
4. FILE POLICE REPORT: Go down to your local police department and file a police report every time there is an incident
5. BE AWARE OF YOUR SURROUNDINGS: Make sure to pay attention to who is around you-leaving the house, entering work, coming home, etc.
January is Stalking Awareness Month-and I wanted to be sure and honor the thousands of Stalking Victims who have lost their lives to this crime by giving some simple tips to help potential victims stay safe.