Stalking occurs when an individual follows a pattern of behavior that leaves someone else feeling afraid, nervous, harassed, or in danger. Such behavior can include repeated undesired contact (phone calls, emails, letters, showing up unexpectedly, etc.), following, making threats to the individual or her/his family, or any other behavior used to contact, harass, track, or threaten the individual.
Feelings of fear, nervousness, harassment, or danger often include a sense of sexual violation.
Cyberstalking is a type of stalking in which threatening behaviors and unwanted advances are directed from one individual to another over the Internet and other online and computer communications.
“I felt like I was being watched…”
“It was like he was the predator and I was the prey…”
“It got to the point where I didn’t want to turn on my computer…”
Ndeyenima Traore from Cleveland, Ohio |
Hi I'm nima 31 yr old mother of four. my life changed the day i ran into him. it was 5-26-08 sunday. at first everything seemed ok you know we would hang out with my friends, go out to eat. i was just having fun (so i thought). about two weeks into the relationship he started to become too clingy, always wanting to be under me. that should have been my first sign but i still wanted to have fun. then he would talk of us getting married and having kids and always wanting to spend time together. then the threats started. he would tell me things like "you're lucky I'm saved but you're making me mad. I'm going to go back to how i used to be and I'm going to end up hurting you really bad. or I'm going to be in jail because of you." and one day out of the blue he tells me that we should hurry up and marry so when he kills me he'll be justified. Now that should have stopped me but i blew it off and kept it going. we had sex after that comment and the threats continued to come!
At some point i told him that i don't like the threats and he needs to slow down we don't know each other that well. it had only been about 3-4 weeks at that point .Then there was the time he called me at work after having relations the evening before to tell me it was getting better and that he was falling in love, which really freaked me out. so i slowed down for him. there were a few problems here and there after that but nothing like the night of july 27 08. I was bored. I was on my way to a casino when he asked me to meet him at a bar for drinks. i admit i wanted to only have sex with him and be done cause at that point i don't think i liked him otherwise. we went back to my place where things went from bad to worst. he ended up raping me twice. and the look on his face after he was done told me he was not to be fucked with. and god knows now I wish i would have a thinking head. i didn't file a report right away because i was scared and just wanted to be left alone. ladies ladies please never think they'll just go away. I am in too deep now. now that brings us up to date. on aug 3rd i had to tell him off for what i thought would have been the last time cause after that i didn't hear from him again until monday evening when he came by to show my sister a dog, which he later told me he was really there to see me and that i was rude as hell for just walking off. then tue the 5th after he called me a few times after 1:30 am which i did not answer did i later learn that that gut feeling i had about him being there looking through my window was true he confirmed that yesterday. and he just showed up to my job. and i was scared as hell and i still am. after i got off work i went to see him. I told him i don't think it's a good idea to see each other anymore and his response was scary he asked me was i sure that's what i wanted and was that my final answer and after i said yes he laughed and told someone on the phone I'm getting dumped. him of all people was getting dumped and that he would call them back. as i started walking to my car he asked me was i positive after telling him yes he responded well let me finish up here I'll be done in about 2 hours and I'll see you later. i could say nothing only walk away. he called two or three times last night once at 1 am nothing after that...now here i sit at work in this office waiting for him. my gut tells me he's not done and i better watch out i don't know what he'll do to me but i know he'll hurt me and I'm scared to death right now. i am sorry i ever met him but I am tired of running. listening to his messages now i feel the pain. I don't know how or why for that matter but he is in love asking to make it right.
Herrin from Williamson, Illinois |
I really was not raped or sexually assulted but there is this
Illinois State Trooper that lives behind me and 2 years ago
he started coming over to my house and tried to use his badge and
authority to force me to have sexual relations with him. He would only
come over late at night. After several months of this I finally (and
after he threatened me if I told anyone about his behavior) got up the
nerve to turn him in to the State Police Internal Investigation. For
over a year I was and there are still times that I'm afraid to go out in
my yard since he is getting away with it. But I want to tell everyone
that it IS ok to turn someone in.
from New York, NY |
I was 14 when I was raped. But when I was 14 I didn’t realize that I was raped, because at that time I didn’t know you could be raped by someone you know. And so for four years, I told no one what really happened. And four years is a long time to hold that in.
He invited me to see his band practice early that summer. He was an acquaintance, a kid I knew from Catholic school who was a few years older than me and very “punk rock.” He picked me up at home in his truck and brought me to his house. When we got there, the house was empty. No one home. No band. Practice was cancelled, he said. He said he’d show me a video of his band instead.
He led me to his room, where he put in a horrible video of his band and put his arm around me and started to kiss me on the mouth. I didn't want to kiss him, so I closed my eyes while I tried to decide what to do. When you’re 14, you don’t automatically know how to handle these situations. I wish I could tell you what happened next, but I honestly do not remember exactly how things got to where they got. I just remember flashes, which is common for people who’ve experienced something traumatic. I will tell you what I do remember.
I was wearing khaki corduroys, a striped tank top, a blue belt, black shoes, white socks with pink trim, a bra with daisies on it, and underwear. I sang songs in my head during the rape, and thought about other things. I distinctly remember what I was thinking, but not what was happening.
He penetrated me only for a second. Then he said, “I’m sorry”, and penetrated me with his closed fist. A few drops of blood dripped out of me onto his white sheets. He had a knife, which he showed me. He smelt bad up close. I will never forget his smell. He bit my shoulders, leaving marks that stayed for weeks.
He drove me home. I didn’t say a word. I felt very disconnected from reality.
This was the beginning. He then stalked me for six months. He called me two, three, ten times a day, often in the middle of the night. He sent packages to my house. He drove around my neighborhood. He stopped at my house at least once a week. I would tell my parents to tell him I wasn’t home, that he was just an annoying boy from school.
Many years later, a friend of mine told me that the same person had raped her. She told me her story. He had showed her the same knife. He had told her the same story about band practice to get her there. I am positive we were not the only two that he did this to.
I went through therapy and became very involved in activism. I called the police in his town nearly ten years later. They were really nice, considering that I was reporting a crime that occurred so long ago. They couldn’t help much, but it still felt good. Better late than never.
Today, I feel great. I am strong and confident, and able to help others. We survivors truly are finding our voices and building a movement.