Pinned down, not knowing if he was going to push my face into a hot radiator, he raped me. Telling me over and over that no one will ever want me again; that I am his; and that he would kill me if I tried to leave him.
That is how I lived my life until I got the courage to get away from my abuser. Then the stalking increased. We are possessions to our abusers. I never imagined that I would have to live in fear of him finding me.
As I heal, I know God is watching over me. God is protecting me. I can Thank God every day that I am free of the abuse.
There are many precautions that one must take to stay safe. To learn the steps to leave abuse, check out my book: Domestic Violence Survivor Handbook, Steps to Freedom; Second Edition. https://www.amazon.com/dp/B09K1TTY17
Log Book of Incidents: Domestic Violence, Stalking, and Other Abuse is a companion book to help survivors document their abuse. https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0B5KV58D4
The Helping Survivors website provides a comprehensive guide about sexual assault in a rideshare. For more information: helpingsurvivors.org/sexually-assaulted-uber-lyft-driver/.
For help, if you have been assaulted, call 800-656-4673, National Sexual Assault Hotline. or go to their website: https://hotline.rainn.org/online, where you can chat online.
Stalking is defined as: harass or persecute (someone) with unwanted and obsessive attention; move silently or threateningly through (a place)
Some signs of stalking are:
- Follows you as you travel
- Sends you unwanted text messages, cards, and emails.
- Sends you unwanted gifts, like flowers.
- Uses social media/GPS to track you.
- Constantly calls you and hangs up; or leaves voicemails.
- Appears in places, they should not be; waiting outside of your employment, church, house.
Stalkers control their victims, try to trap them and become threatening in many ways.
Your school life, work, social life, and daily functions are affected.
There is always a fear of what might happen should the stalker find you.
The feeling of being hunted can cripple you.
Stalking is illegal in every state.
Get the police involved and make sure to find out their jurisdiction. You may have to involve multiple locations.
Victim advocates are very helpful. They can provide assistance with safety issues.
Always know it is not your fault. You did not cause this person to become a stalker.
You may have to relocate, as I did. A restraining order did not stop my abuser/stalker.
My stalker appeared where he was not supposed to be. I was a confident, strong woman who became fearful of shopping, going to church, in fear of answering the door and spent many sleepless nights wondering if my stalker was outside. I alerted people ahead of time of where I was going so they could be on the lookout for my stalker.
I always was looking around everywhere I went, even when driving until I went into hiding.
I am still very cautious when answering the door after relocating. I have heard of stalkers finding their victims years later, so I stay alert to my surroundings.
You can feel panic at any time, even years later. Telling my story encourages and strengthens me, knowing that I can help others. I know that God is protecting me wherever I go. Praying daily has helped me gain back my confidence.
Here are some ways to keep safe:
- Stop all communication with the stalker.
- Remove yourself from social media.
- Alert your friends, employer, and family members that you are being stalked.
- Change places you shop, routes you drive and times of your activities.
- Get some training in self-defense.
- Keep track of all interactions with your stalker, even if you do not think they mean anything. In the future, you may realize that minor incident was leading up to something major. Stalkingawareness.org has resources, such as a “Stalking Incident and Behavior Log”.
- Go to the local authorities.
- Get a protective/restraining order. The difference between protective and restraining orders is explained here: https://victimconnect.org/resources/protection-orders
- Become part of the address confidentiality program: http://victimsofcrime.org/our-programs/stalking-resource-center/help-for-victims/address-confidentiality-programs
- Take back your power.
Written by C.L. Valens; Advocate, Author and Speaker. “I am in hiding for Domestic Violence and Stalking. Relocation and a permanent restraining order have not stopped my abuser/stalker. The arrest cases were dropped for lack of evidence. After the last arrest and release, I asked the district attorney, ‘What will it take for you to stop him, for him to kill me?’ I got no response and stay alert to my surroundings every day.”