Stalking is unique. Normally causes show you the victims as a way to relate. St. Jude’s shows you pictures of adorable, but very ill children. Animal Shelters show you the animals in cages awaiting a home. It touches the hearts and gives the causes much needed support, but stalking is different. You see stalking victims are often too terrified to come forward with their stories. Their lives have been turned upside down for weeks, months or in some cases years from constant harassment and stalking. I have seen it make even the most out-going of people turn to seclusion out of a need for safety.
With more than 3.4 million people becoming the victims of stalking each year in the United States there are many faces out there with stories. With those statistics each person reading this post likely knows someone who has been or will be a victim of stalking. It is what we are fighting against with Jodi’s Voice.
I hear from victims daily who are too scared to participate in our YouTube video awareness campaign, but need to tell someone their stories. Today I will share with you a few of the stories from last week.
A woman in the Midwest called to tell me about how her stalker was about to be released from prison. He was in prison not for stalking her, but rather breaking her young child’s arm in the process of stalking her. He is about to be released and the corrections department is so concerned they suggested she and her daughter relocate to another state since his fixation has been apparent throughout his incarceration.
A Las Vegas man tells me about his stalker who at times breaks into his home to sleep next to him. This man literally wakes up with the stalker in bed next to him. I asked if he had reported any of this to police and he sheepishly tells me “I’m a dude I am not supposed to be scared.”
A young woman on the east coast calls me to tell me about her stalker. She hasn’t reported the case to law enforcement either. Her friends and family have told her repeatedly that he is “just watching” and not really doing anything harmful to her. He is stalking her in her activities in other cities and coming into her work constantly. They never dated. She doesn’t really know the man at all.
I answered the phone to a woman in tears asking what could be done about her daughter’s stalker. She tells me he is in his 30s and following her 17 year old daughter everywhere including sitting outside their home. Her daughter has never dated the man and is not sure why he has become obsessed.
Some of these stories may sound simple and even like it is not dangerous situations, but I ask you to put yourself in the shoes of these men and women. Try to imagine what it is like to be watched every minute of your life and wonder when and if the stalker will escalate to a dangerous level. These people are often too scared to come forward and speak out about the problem of stalking.
Jodi’s stalker took her life. She never knew he was stalking her. They never dated. They were not friends. She never had the chance to speak out, but her story inspired Jodi’s Voice and it is up to us to give a voice to the silent victims.
Shortly after beginning my mission to make a change I too became a victim. Here is a portion of my story.
Thank you all for your support!