Blindsided

Blindsided 35

“For many years, stalkers got away with harassment as there were few laws to protect the innocent, and the laws that were available were highly ineffective. Stalkers thought they were immune from prosecution as there were no ‘stalker laws’ and harassment laws required a huge burden of proof and the ability to demonstrate a pattern of harassing behavior.”

“Now a first offense can result in several years imprisonment.  The victim no longer needs to show a pattern and there do not have to be multiple incidents nor carry the same burden of proof.”

“The law does not differentiate between offline and online stalking.  Using a computer to stalk you it is no different than doing so by phone or in person. They can and will be put in prison.”

“Do not threaten the stalker with arrest or even let them know the police are involved.  You’ll only succeed in slowing them down for a while, but when they return, and they will, the next time they will be more careful, making it even harder for us to catch them.”

“The most dangerous tool in a stalker’s arsenal is emotional confusion because it often prevents a victim from doing what is necessary for self-defense.  If he can confuse you emotionally, with threats to family, friends, co-workers, or acquaintances, or by saying one thing and doing something else, your brain can shut down.  You feel helpless, outsmarted and overwhelmed.”

“Instead of changing your phone number, get a second unlisted number for friends and hook the old one up to an answering machine that can preserve a record of the harassing calls. (At work, have someone screen your calls and never accept an anonymous package).”

“You might consider buying a dog.  Always, always carry a cell phone with you.”

“Not particularly interested in a dog, but I have a cat that will attack on command, and if he doesn’t like someone, growls like a dog,” she informed him.

He smiled at that.  “Have you taken any self-defense courses?” and as an after-thought, “Either of you?”

“I can hold my own, usually,” Cassy offered.

“I haven’t,” Maggy said, “but that can be rectified.”

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