Single in Sin City

A good girls survival guide to dating in Las Vegas

Get Lost: Tips and Statistics For Victims of Stalkers

Dating is hard…derr right? Just when I think I have some stuff under control, I now know a guy who…….is kinda stalking me. Why do you ask? Well..he has called me from anonymous numbers and stating things like he just saw me at the store, am I going to Taekwondo, mentioning what street I live on (when he never went to my house or received my address from me), and making mention of things he saw on my Facebook page. The final straw occurred when he called my work. This is not my first time being a victim of this type of crime.

The first happened when I was a teenager and it was infinitely more intense (and physically painful) than this recent experience. It occurred when an older man who was near my high school lied to me about his age to get me to talk to him. Long story short, once I figured out his real age I immediately stopped talking to him. He went ballistic. He actually physically attacked one of my dear friends and made several attempts to hurt me. I filed and received a restraining order. This did not prevent him from watching and tormenting me. He was finally stopped and charged with attacking a minor (yours truly) and this resulted in him backing off. There is more to both stories but that’s besides the point. My intentions are not to share all of that. The objective is to share what I discovered about stalking and to hopefully help someone who may face this issue.

Unfortunately, according to the Bureau of Justice Statistics, this is a very common crime. (Obviously..if it happened to me twice, I think that’s pretty obvious.) Below is a summary of the findings for 2012.

  • During a 12-month period an estimated 14 in every 1,000 persons age 18 or older were victims of stalking
  • About half (46%) of stalking victims experienced at least one unwanted contact per week, and 11% of victims said they had been stalked for 5 years or more.
  • The risk of stalking victimization was highest for individuals who were divorced or separated—34 per 1,000 individuals.
  • Women were at greater risk than men for stalking victimization; however, women and men were equally likely to experience harassment.
  • Male (37%) and female (41%) stalking victimizations were equally likely to be reported to the police.
  • Approximately 1 in 4 stalking victims reported some form of cyber stalking such as e-mail (83%) or instant messaging (35%).
  • 46% of stalking victims felt fear of not knowing what would happen next.
  • Nearly 3 in 4 stalking victims knew their offender in some capacity.
  • More than half of stalking victims lost 5 or more days from work.

So those are statistics and they’re kinda eye-opening. The real question is how to manage it or even prevent stalking. I am usually the most optimistic person I know but I have not been able to find a way to prevent this type of behavior. So I can’t advise on prevention. Also, until violence happens the police really do have their hands tied. I can try to offer some basic ideas towards punishing the stalker.

  • Be sure you know as much information as possible about the stalker. The police will need as many specific facts as possible.
  • If you are truly concerned, file a retraining order as soon as possible.
  • Always err on the side of caution when faced with this type of situation. Many victims become victims of escalated crime because they do not speak up soon enough.
  • Document every incident that happens (trust me that one is important.)

I will personally chalk this up to a close call. Seems like there have been a lot of them in my short dating career.  I am not complaining-it is better to learn a lesson through an “almost happened” than the hard way. I have received an earful of advice and criticism on dating. What can I do? I am not serial dating anymore (I get why that’s dangerous amongst other things-I really do.) However, if I never date anyone, how will I not be a crazy cat lady some day???  I don’t want to date..I kinda can’t stand it but there is absolutely no short cut to finding companionship.

What is my lesson? Ladies and Gentlemen: The dating world is more than a frustrating path of mind games. It is also dangerous. Be as safe as possible while choosing who to spend time with. 

Until next time…ciao!

Resources:

http://bjs.gov/index.cfm?ty=tp&tid=973

http://www.nij.gov/nij/topics/crime/stalking/arrests-prosecution.htm

http://crime.about.com/od/stalking/a/stalked_help.htm

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April 8, 2013 - Posted by | Dating Advice, Safety, Uncategorized | , , , , , ,

2 Comments »

  1. Oh my goodness…stay safe honey. Good tips. So sorry this happened to you and so glad this last close call was just that..a close call, and not something far worse.

    Comment by Amy | April 8, 2013 | Reply

    • Thank you kindly. I wanted to write about it to hopefully help others too. Yes, there have been a couple of very close calls..phew!

      Comment by datinginvegas | April 8, 2013 | Reply


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