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Stalking

Gavin De Becker, a highly regarded national security and crime expert estimates that before our next breakfast, at least twelve women will be murdered by estranged intimate partners. The startling reality is that 76% of those women who will be killed have been stalked for at least one year prior to their murders. One out of every twelve women in the United States will be stalked within her lifetime.

Experts compare the experience of staking to that of a long, slow painful rape. It is a form of terrorism, mind control and torture designed to keep a victim in a constant state of anxiety. Stalkers intend to make their victims feel depressed, isolated, fearful, devoid of self esteem, and finally completely unable to function. This is done not only by following their victims in relentless pursuit, but also by burglarizing their homes, hacking into their computers, wire tapping their telephone lines, tampering with their vehicles, and paying proxy stalkers to decimate their reputations.

www.starfishgirl.org
"As nightfall does not come at once, neither does oppression. In both instances, there is a twilight when everything remains seemingly unchanged. And it is in such twilight that we all must be most aware of change in the air -- however slight -- lest we become unwitting victims of the darkness." ~ Justice William O. Douglas

We are living in that twilight today. Stalking, whether perpetrated by an individual or by a group, is a direct attack on the very core of our being. If you are being stalked, your basic rights promised by the Constitution and the Bill of Rights are being violated. In essence, you are experiencing terrorism which was devised and designed to rob you of your ability to earn a living, of your reputation, your ability to feed, clothe, and house yourself, your dignity, your self esteem, and even your life.

Gavin De Becker, a highly regarded national security and crime expert estimates that before our next breakfast, at least twelve women will be murdered by estranged intimate partners. The startling reality is that 76% of those women who will be killed have been stalked for at least one year prior to their murders. One out of every twelve women in the United States will be stalked within her lifetime.

Experts compare the experience of staking to that of a long, slow painful rape. It is a form of terrorism, mind control and torture designed to keep a victim in a constant state of anxiety. Stalkers intend to make their victims feel depressed, isolated, fearful, devoid of self esteem, and finally completely unable to function. This is done not only by following their victims in relentless pursuit, but also by burglarizing their homes, hacking into their computers, wire tapping their telephone lines, tampering with their vehicles, and paying proxy stalkers to decimate their reputations.

In essence stalkers rob innocent citizens of their privacy, ability to pursue happiness, and the right to enjoy their lives in peace, without intrusion or harassment. These relentless attacks have the effect of destroying the victim's trust in her own judgment along with the benevolence of her environment. Because these crimes are well calculated, yet subtle forms of mind control, many victims have difficultly gathering the evidence needed to prove that they are under assault.

This is especially true of serial and vigilante gang stalking victims whose perpetrators have learned how to "fly under the radar" of obvious and easily proven harassment.

In fact, many victims are unaware that they are under attack until they begin to notice friendships, relationships, and jobs fall apart for reasons the victim is unable to comprehend. Now the stalker has created a helpless victim whom he can manipulate at will. His way is cleared because of society's lack of or inattention to information, and its propensity to deny the truth in the face of such horrific actions.

It is at this point that the victim can be easily and freely tortured with very little consequence to the stalker. These assaults can last many years or even the course of a victim's lifetime. Many times stalkers will murder their victims; however, often enough the stalker has been so successful in his campaign to destabilize his victim through his reigns of terror that the victim will commit suicide, develop a stress related illness, or be institutionalized . This reality points again to the contributory causes of lack of training and coordination in the law enforcement, legal, and mental health professions. Only when these developments have taken place can victims be properly cared for and stalkers be held responsible for their behavior.

Unfortunately there are very few resources available to assist the victims of stalking in reclaiming their mental, physical and financial health. The United States Department of Justice estimates that out of all of the grant monies given to battered women's shelters, rape crisis centers, and victim's advocacy groups only seven percent of these funds are being used to assist stalking victims. Most mental health professionals are completely unaware of the appropriate methods for assisting a stalking victim in healing from her trauma. Also, because the trauma is often times ongoing, healing is not always possible. Therefore stress management techniques, and a supportive environment where a victim can express her grief and trauma without fear of being re-victimized by under informed mental health professionals is desperately needed.

Changes in our legal system that would prevent victims from being re-victimized in the courts and by police departments are also desperately needed. Unfortunately law enforcement is sadly lacking in the training and funding which would enable them to successfully investigate stalking cases and protect stalking victims. Starfishgirl will in work to assist in procuring the funds which are desperately needed in order to provide police departments all across the country with the training and resources they need in order to catch and prosecute stalkers. We will also work for changes in state and federal laws which would impose strong and harsh punishments on stalkers, as well as fight for the resources and the wherewithal to enforce these laws.

Finally, a massive educational campaign must take place in the United States and abroad. We at Starfishgirl believe that once the general population is made aware of stalking issues and ramifications that the public outcry will be enormous. This is what is ultimately needed to mobilize our elected officials to look at the issue of stalking directly, fearlessly, and pro-actively.

Starfishgirl aspires to tackle this horrific crime on all fronts. Our goals are to lobby for stronger legislation which would punish stalkers and assist victims, provide counseling and rehabilitation to stalking victims, work to provide law enforcement with the training and resources to fully investigate stalking cases and to protect stalking victims, and finally, to create the education campaigns which will bring the entire nation on board with this issue.

With your help, we can put an end to the terror, anxiety, and shattering grief that are experienced by the millions of people in this country who are being stalked, and enable them to embark on the journey of re-claiming their right to pursue peaceful, joyful, productive lives.

"First they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out because I was not a Jew. Then they came for the Communists, and I did not speak out because I was not a Communist. Then they came for the trade unionists, and I did not speak out because I was not a trade unionist. Then they came for me, and there was no one left to speak out for me." ~Rev. Martin Niemöller

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