National Stalking Awareness Month 2022

[Content Notice: Today’s post deals with a very difficult topic, specifically stalking. If this is something you need to take into consideration, I encourage you to give today’s post a miss, and go check out my other posts instead. However, if you decide to move forward with this post, and it brings up some upsetting feelings for you, I encourage you to reach out to the great people at Victims of Crime and RAINN. For those of you outside the U.S., there’s the Suzy Lamplugh Trust, and 1800Respect are both good options to explore for local resources.]

What do you think of when you hear the word “stalking?” No-budget, made-for-TV movies made in 1980 where a stranger lurks outside of people’s bedrooms? Or an obsessive ex who shows up everywhere, like a bad penny, they’re always turning up.

This is National Stalking Awareness Month. This came to be in 2004, and we’re now celebrating its’ 18th year of existence in raising awareness, and improve the responses to address stalking.

President Biden issued the proclamation last month, stating that everyone deserves to live their lives in safety. However, when someone’s being stalked, that can’t happen. SPARC defines stalking as “a pattern of behaviors directed at a specific person that would cause a reasonable person to to fear for the person’s safety or the safety of others; or suffer substantial emotional distress.

But what counts as a pattern? The website states that while it depends on how the state defines a pattern of behaviors, the generally accepted number of incidents is two. It may be more than this, depending on the location in order for it to count as a pattern of behaviors.

The behaviors that make up stalking are multifaceted, including following someone, texts, phone calls, social media comments, showing up and approaching someone and their known associates, threats, and property damage.

In many cases, the stalker is someone the victim knows. It’s less common for strangers to engage in stalking behaviors, but it happens. Regardless of who the doer is, stalking can happen to anyone. SPARC mentions that no one particular gender is safe from stalking, stating that 1 in 6 women, and 1 in 17 men will experience stalking at some point in their lives.

The presidential proclamation talks about the devastation stalking can cause for victims, including economic and financial burdens resulting from moving to get away from these turds, and taking time off from work in order to keep their loved ones safe.

Story time. This is where it begins, so if you need to step back from this post, I encourage you to do so now. Your well-being’s what matters here.

This issue hits closer to home for me than I’ve admitted to. In my case, this was a stranger. I didn’t know him from Adam. He didn’t know me from Eve, but it started in 2019. It was February when this car came up the street and tried to offer me a ride while I was at the bus stop. I ignored him, since this was typical behavior among a specific gender toward me. I was coming up on the century mark of my weight loss, and had left the Obese class 1 BMI category, so the attention had really ramped up. I talk about that here, in case anyone’s interested.

For the record, I never take these jackassholes up on their offers for a ride. Nothing good can ever, or will ever come of it. Readers, I encourage you to do the same.

I got on the bus, and didn’t think anything of it. As time went on, this guy would continue to show up with multiple run-ins per month, leering at me, honking at me, and passing by slow af.

At one point, he cut across multiple parking lots and chased me.

Before this happened, I’d started taking pics of him, and started up a notepad documenting each run-in with this horse dick.

He even did a donut in the parking lot to get at me just before the pandemic started. I’m dead serious.

Anyone think the pandemic was enough to stop him? Nope. No way, Jose.

It didn’t, not by a long shot. Instead, he ramped it up, and I saw 4 young girls in the car with him when I was on the bus. They couldn’t possibly have been any older than 14, 15 max.

I have my doubts as to whether they were related to him or not, and I really hope he never laid a hand on them.

That’s when I knew he had a type.

Unfortunately, I fit his type. That sick son of a bitch.

I should also mention that I have no proof either way that he’s engaged in doings like physical or sexual abuse toward minors (or adults, for that matter), in spite of his stalking predilections, so I’ll call him a predator instead of a pedophile.

He was an elderly man, and a lot bigger than the view of him from the driver’s side windows had me thinking he was. There was one run-in where he actually got out of the car, and I couldn’t believe what I was seeing. I got a pic of before I ran through the back of the store, and went a different route home.

I’m still shocked, tbh. If he succeeded getting me in his car, there’s no way it would’ve ended well for me.

It was real nice to know our government and Social Security paid him to smoke all day, stalk girls, leer at ’em, and possibly try to kidnap ’em. He knew exactly what he was doing, since he bolted every time I took out my phone and took a pic of him in action before I flipped him off.

If he wasn’t in his right mind, then my phone wouldn’t have made him slam the pedal to the metal every time, which he did.

I heard from a couple others in my neighborhood having had similar run-ins with this chode. I won’t share their stories here, since they’re not my stories to tell. I will say that after he followed someone else on the bus going to their job, their manager and a security guard came out to confront him, and thankfully banned him from the premises forever.

Good fuckin’ riddance.

However, like every other predator, it didn’t stop him with those 4 girls in his car, though, since that’s the same location I saw him with those girls at.

Nothing stopped him. My last run-in with him was early March 2021, a month before we moved. He never knew where I lived. I made damn sure of that.

Based on the age I guessed him to have been (give or take), his series of less-than-stellar lifestyle choices, his willingness to put himself (and others) in harm’s way just to get at his victims, and the amount of time that’s passed since March 2021, I’m going out on a limb and I’m assuming that he’s since died.

I haven’t been able to confirm it or disprove it, though.

If he has died, then I’m fuckin’ stoked he’s gone. Normally, I hate to say this about anyone’s passing, partly out of the cultural mores about not speaking ill of the dead, and also out of baseline human decency, but after what he put me through, and after what his actions in life continue to cause me, I can’t even feel a shred of sympathy.

I hope his death was brutal af. Say hi to Hitler, Himmler, and Bundy for us, you mutant dickbag!

I never told my mom about this while it was going on. I told her about it a few months before she died, and I even showed her the entire album of pics I’ve amassed on my phone. My mom thought he may have died also, and she said she hoped he did.

In my case, obviously whatever was done wasn’t enough to stop him. The Biden administration has mentioned starting up a dedicated task force to gender-based violence, and stalking counts in this category. The goal is to amend existing legislature to hold stalkers responsible, and also hold any institution or agency that condones, actively enables, and perpetuates stalking behaviors responsible as if they did it themselves.

There’s also plans to include cyberstalking in this, which I think I’m going to dedicate an entire post to at some point later on. Yay, nay, or meh?

Regardless of whether stalking happens online or in the 3D world, there’s some things you can do if you’re being stalked. First and foremost, it really sucks that we’re the ones who have to prove it’s happening in the first place. SPARC says the following:

Trust your instincts. If it’s happening, then 9 times out of 10, it probably is. Too many times, the people around us will gaslight us into feeling like it’s not that bad, whether they realize it or not. Your situation doesn’t have to play out like it does in the movies in order for it to count as stalking.

Call the police. Probably not the answer a lot of you were hoping for, for any number of valid reasons, but call them, and tell them what’s going on.

Keep a record of run-ins with the doer. SPARC has several templates you can check out. Just scroll down to the bottom of the page, and they’ll be there. I kept mine in a notepad on my phone, along with a whole photo album in my pictures dedicated to the bastard who stalked me.

Save the evidence. Take screenshots if their behavior’s online. Save texts, emails, and voicemail/answering machine messages.

Find local victim services providers for additional resources, and safety plans.

Over to you, readers. How are you gonna raise awareness about stalking? Me, I haven’t decided yet beyond this post, but I’ve considered writing a letter to my state’s Congress representative. I hope this isn’t an issue that hits close to home for you, but if it is, then I want you to know I am so sorry for what happened to you. Nobody deserves this, at all. Either way, I’d love to hear your thoughts and takeaways, so drop your plans for National Stalking Awareness Month like it’s hot, and let’s talk.

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