- Stalking is not flattering
- It is not love
- And it does not mean someone cares about you nor has your best interests at heart as many perpetrators would have their victims believe
- Stalking is insidious, terrifying, an abuse of power and often renders the victim hopeless
Thursday, 27 April 2017
But first, let me enlighten the disbelievers about my own case which ended 17 years ago. I was stalked by my ex-husband for three years. He would appear anywhere I was and would always claim innocence and just do some shopping or whatever and disappear. He would send me text messages saying he knew where I was, what I was wearing etc. He would telephone constantly, say vile things and hang up. He would threaten to kill me and threaten to kidnap my daughter. I changed my number on numerous occasions but somehow he seemed able to find it again. We moved house several times but he found me again. I reported him and the behaviours to the police on numerous occasions but they did absolutely nothing. They advised me it was domestic and they could do nothing until he harmed me or attempted to take my daughter. Of course, he did none of those things because he was a charming, intelligent, eminent businessman and narcissist who knew the law and knew the boundaries he must keep to stop a caution or an arrest. Even with a restraining order and injunction, nothing was ever done. He broke the restraining order constantly and I eventually did not have the financial resources to keep going back to court. So I gave up. I managed my own life hiding and protecting me and my daughter and eventually I moved 400 miles away. He has no idea where I live now and only a handful of people do.
Just this past week I supported a family where a young child had been exploited and the perpetrator given a suspended sentence and community order and was rehoused by the local housing authority two streets away from the victim. They shopped in the same town. They kept bumping in to him. He was smug and smirked at them. The family had already been rehoused prior to the court case so when they asked to be moved again the council refused. A few days ago they put all their furniture into storage and fled from Yorkshire to Cornwall.
Another woman I supported was terrified as her ex-husband seemed to know where she was all the time. Knew who she was talking to on her mobile and knew where her car was constantly. He even knew what she was writing in her emails. Her perpetrator had purchased from the USA Apps and tracking devices and had installed them on her devices and was watching every move she made. It took forever to get help from the agencies and eventually she fled changed her devices, changed her name and sold her car. He does not know where she is now but no help from the agencies.
I could go on with many more cases but I’ll leave it there.
But the point I want to make is this. It is 17 years since my stalker finally got bored with me and then couldn’t find me but still today the education, knowledge, and understanding of stalking from the victims perspective is not adequate enough. As with all abuse, coercive control, grooming, gas lighting and love bombing, in too many cases the agencies do not have enough in-depth knowledge and understanding from the victim’s perspective. The perpetrator often has more rights and support. This has to change. Seventeen years ago I was nearly going out of my mind with toxic trauma and PTSD due to domestic abuse, violence, and stalking and here I am today still supporting women and children suffering exactly the same challenges and very little has changed. No very very little has changed.
Like any form of abuse, there are individuals, communities, and agencies that never come into contact with any form of abusive behaviour and do not know the damage and trauma caused. Many do not even believe abuse goes on in their neighbourhoods. One woman said to me “does this really go on in leafy Buckinghamshire”. Agencies still do not take victims disclosures seriously and some still do not believe, many do not even listen. I work every day at ground level with victims and survivors of all forms of abuse and I am appalled by the lack of support and understanding still being launched at victims and survivors.
Unless some of us continue to speak up and out about not only our own stories and journeys but those of others we come into contact with and support nothing will ever change. I will not be silenced about my own journey; I was silenced for far too long. But I will also not be silenced about what I come across in my day to day work because far too many women and children are still be let down by the system and agencies.
Training in narcissistic sociopathic and psychopathic behaviours of the charming manipulators needs to be a priority for agencies and they would do well to use those of us that have experienced domestic abuse, violence, stalking and non-current child sexual abuse in their training sessions in order to hear first-hand the victims perspective and learn the depth of these insidious crimes.
Narcissists have no conscience and believe their own propaganda. They are charming upright citizens. The myth of the dirty old man in a mac behind a tree who none of us know or have ever seen before is a myth that needs to be put to rest once and for all. Most of us are abused or stalked by someone we know (or the family knows) and they are often well thought of by all those around them.
So I urge you to speak up about what really is happening, tell your stories, share your journeys, it not only liberates the victims and shifts a great weight and starts the healing process but it gives other courage and support to find their voice in order to again help others come forward.
I urge you to think about this because we all know someone who has suffered or is suffering right now and who needs our support. Agencies will tell you thing have changed and it is better today, and it is marginally but there is still much more to be done and by speaking of what is really happening at ground level will help the stalking charities like...
to continue to campaign and fight for the rights of victims.
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