Practical Advice for Victims of Stalking

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4 Responses

  1. ohwilleke says:

    The biggest divide, in my experience, is between victims of stalking who have some need for continuing interaction with the stalker (e.g. co-parents who have ended their non-parenting relationship with each other), and those who do not have (and may never have had) any relationship with the stalker.

    The first case is quite a bit more complex than the later, where legal and practical remedies can usually be unequivocal subject to a risk of extra-legal retribution which varies from case to case.

  2. Jeff Bellin says:

    Assuming that a victim is interested in involving law enforcement at some point, I would suggest that the victim preserve voicemail, e-mail and the like that came from the stalker. I was helping another prosecutor at a stalking sentencing (after a guilty plea) where the defendant somewhat plausibly suggested that the offense was basically a scorned-suitor scenario, to which law enforcement overreacted. I think this strategy would have been effective, resulting in the proverbial slap on the wrist, except the prosecutor then played a series of unbelievably vile and very scary voicemail messages that the defendant left for the victim in the course of the stalking offense. The entire mood of the courtroom shifted as it became painfully clear why stalking, and particularly this stalking, necessitated criminal prosecution and punishment. My sense is that if the victim had not preserved the voice mail messages (as painful as that must have been to do), her very serious case might have been taken less seriously by law enforcement and the court.

  3. ParatrooperJJ says:

    A carry permit and a pistol are the way to go.

  4. Adam Benforado says:

    Thanks for the posts — keep the recommendations coming! Jeff, I think your point about documentation is crucial. Letters, voicemails, and emails are extremely helpful tools when seeking a legal solution to stalking, but even just keeping a written log of interactions is a good step.