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WHEN ABUSERS STALK THEIR PREY

12 Jun

By Terry Loving

stalking 1

“Be of sober spirit, be on the alert. Your adversary, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.”    (1 Peter 5:8)

I had an experience with stalking years ago that unnerved me – but not in a frightening way. One day I noticed a non-abusive ex riding past my house. It isn’t uncommon for a driver to not notice the “dead end” sign at the beginning of the street I lived on. In this case however, he knew the street had no outlet, and therefore he had a specific purpose in mind. This particular day I was sitting by the window watching the squirrels chase one another – I noticed my ex driving by. He drove to the dead end, turned around and drove slowly back the other way.

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At another time I was shopping at my neighborhood supermarket, turned to place fruit in my cart – and there he was – just standing behind me watching. I was surprised, but not afraid because he wasn’t an abuser, just someone who decided on the wrong woman and had regrets – oh well. Anyway, we greeted one another and I noticed the lonely loaf of bread in his cart. I supposed this was his way of not drawing attention to himself – just another shopper.

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stalking 2

I was a bit curious though – he did not live in my neighborhood. And I am certain that he passed many stores on the way home that sold a loaf of bread. He briefly indicated that his marriage was not going well, but he never said that he made a mistake in his choosing. Later I figured that he had, for why stalk me – an ex, ride past my house, and follow me to the supermarket? Did he leave with the loaf of bread? I do not know. At our departure, my mind was racing, wondering how I missed signs that I was being stalked – especially when he confessed after I told him I saw him riding past my house – “It’s not the first time.” WOW! Talk about feeling weird at the thought of him following me around.

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I missed the signs because I was not expecting this type of behavior from him. More so, I did not know what type of vehicle he drove until the day I saw him driving by. We crossed paths at a later time and he was driving yet another vehicle. This is one of the ways that abusers stalk their victims. They somehow obtain different vehicles, sometimes borrowed, and follow their victims. I thank God this wasn’t a domestic abuse situation for I could have been killed or seriously hurt by an avenging mad man. It happens every day in America – we just don’t hear much about it.

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Young female looking through window blinds at night.(shallow depth of field)

So what is stalking? The following is a legal definition:

“A person who intentionally and repeatedly follows or harasses another person and who makes a credible threat, either expressed or implied, with the intent to place that person in reasonable fear of death or serious bodily harm is guilty of the crime of stalking. A person may be charged with aggravated stalking if they commit the crime of stalking while subject to a temporary restraining order, injunction against trespass, or similar order.”

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“Stalkers target public figures or celebrities, children, and sometimes even complete strangers. But, in most cases, a stalker is someone you know and with whom you have had a relationship. Criminal statutes which can be used in an effort to deter stalking include laws against harassment and assault, as well as a specific stalking law.”

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From state to state, stalking laws may vary; however, the essence of the act itself is standard across state lines. Stalking is intentional and intended to make your life miserable, cause harm or death. Many abused women feel safe once the abuser has left the home – but are they really? You change your locks, install a security system, get a vicious dog, perhaps buy a gun – do all that is necessary to protect yourself at home. But what happens when you go to work, church services, the dentist or the supermarket? Are you safe? Many abused persons are not.

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In many cases there are connections such as children, a marriage, property and other avenues abusers use to maintain control over your life. Shared friends and family often serve as information portals for abusers to keep abreast of the events in the life of the abused. When the abused makes the decision to leave abuse, as difficult as it may be, leaving shared friends often becomes necessary. Some friends may side with the abuser and feed him information that the abused shared in confidence.

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I highly recommend watching STALKED: SOMEONE’S WATCHING on Netflix, and on Youtube there is a three-part training video free to law enforcement inspired by the stalking death of Peggy Klinke. Ms. Klinke was stalked and murdered by her ex-boyfriend in January 2003. Originally designed for educating law enforcement, it is noted that the training video can be utilized by any organization or individuals.

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One of the stalking myths in domestic situations especially is the belief that ignoring the stalker will cause he or she to just go away – not so. In Peggy Klinke’s situation, her abuser Patrick Kennedy was relentless in pursuing Peggy hoping to win her back. He would call her cell phone every day, all day, and even showed up at her doorstep with flowers and an engagement ring. Peggy was through with emotional and verbal abuse – she got out of a bad relationship – but she had no peace.

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stalking 5

Manipulative and smooth talking abusers like Patrick do not handle rejection well. When he found out Peggy was in a new relationship he started harassing and threatening her new boyfriend. His desperation intensified to a new level which included setting fire to the new boyfriend’s house. It was never proved that Patrick was responsible, but the couple knew he was the guilty party. This was a major turning point in Peggy’s life. She moved to another state to put distance between her and her dangerous stalker while awaiting his trial date for felony stalking. Her extensive documentation was enough to obtain a charge against Patrick.

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It is a fact that abused women are in more danger when they leave their abusers. Friends and relatives often help the abusers locate the abused as depicted in the movie “What’s Love Got to Do with It? Ike Turner bought Tina Turner’s mother a house, and probably gave her many other financial benefits over the years. In turn, she felt obligated to tell Ike where Tina was so he could bring her and the children home. In other cases, friends and family may be frightened and threatened harm if they did not tell where the abused is hiding.

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Stalking 6

Patrick hired a private detective to find Peggy, and boarded a plane from New Mexico to California to find her, and killed her in a murder-suicide six days before his trial.  Unless an abused woman takes on a completely new identity, she can be easily found – especially with the technology available today. “Assembly Bill 978 – also known as “Peggy’s Law” – makes it misdemeanor for anyone targeted by a domestic-violence restraining order to try to locate the victim by hiring a private investigator, using a friend or relative or any other “third-party means.”

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Abusive stalkers go to extremes to maintain some sort of control over their victims. They are known to plant GPS systems in the vehicles of the abused, and hack their computers.

“Three years before her estranged husband killed her, Sandra Bentley told friends that her computer was doing things she did not want.”

“The cursor would highlight words by itself. It floated over them and even changed them spontaneously. Documents she created and saved disappeared from memory. Folders stored in one file were altered and saved somewhere else, Sandra’s friend Charma Meek said.”

“He had established a ghost on her computer.”

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stalking 9

What happened with Sandra’s computer is a form of “Gaslighing” – designed to make you feel that you are losing your mind. In this case however, this was another way her abusive husband kept tabs on her. Sandra left her abuser when she found out what her husband was doing behind her back. She wasn’t losing her mind after all. Unfortunately, leaving changed the game plan to murder. Sandra’s husband ran her down with his car in the Walmart parking lot where she worked. He then shot himself in the head – never a thought about their children.

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 “Used to be, if a spouse ran away in the night, it was quite a bit of work to find her,” said Aaron Hughes, a computer forensics expert based in Houston. “Now a lot of people have access to things that they never even thought about before.” GPS in cellphones, tracking devices hidden in vehicles and intercepted text messages sent to friends and relatives can help abusers find their victims.”

“Often, people are not aware that they are being electronically monitored, said Kristine Soule, a Tarrant County assistant district attorney.”

“Unless the abuser does something to let the victim know, the victim may not know,” Soule said.”

“That was the case with Sandra for a long time, friends say.”

stalking 8

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Now here’s a scary thought:

“People accept cellphones and other personal electronics as gifts from those they are dating without knowing what software is on those devices, she said.”

“Sometimes the gift is a Trojan horse, Villareal said.”

“Many times, they give you a phone for Christmas, and then they know your every move. He can see every phone call that’s made,” she said.

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Stalking extends the abuse once suffered at home, for the physical and emotional symptoms are the same. Stalking causes many sleepless nights, anxiety, vomiting, headaches, exhaustion, and fear. The uneasiness stems from fear of what the abuser may do because she left him. Many survive stalking from an abusive ex, and countless others do not.

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As noted by Criminal Psychologist Dr. Michelle Ward:

“Stalkers are not your average criminal. They are master manipulators. They understand that their stalking behavior usually amounts to “He said, she said” in the eyes of the law. A victim needs to prove a pattern of harassment that the stalker can’t refute. Until then, nothing can be done.”

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woman stressed

Those words are not comforting. Peggy documented “200 pages” of stalking incidents concerning Patrick, but she never got the chance to present the evidence in court. At least she did what she could do to hopefully end the madness. If he had not killed her, perhaps he would have served jail time. But what happens when abusive stalkers are set free? Would the abused still have to look over their shoulders? Would the abuser’s anger intensify because they were incarcerated?

Dr. Ward also said this about Patrick:

“He’s really trying to stop it. Patrick is obviously torturing Peggy, but he too is being tortured. He’s being tortured by his own sick mind. He’s just really trying to stop it one way or another. Whether he hurts himself or he hurts her, he just wants it to end.”

Patrick ended both their lives.

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RED FLAG

Patrick rushed Peggy into a relationship, and they moved in together shortly after. She was in a state far from family and friends, and she did not have a support system. Once Patrick had her where he wanted her, he started with the emotional and verbal abuse. He began to tear Peggy down in order to establish power and control – and to feel good about himself. Patrick most likely suffered from self-esteem issues according to Dr. Ward, and he built himself up through the abuse. Leaving him was not an option. Patrick exhibited the cruel and evil mentality of abusers that kill:

“If I can’t have her, no one else will.”

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When abusers stalk their prey, it is with the intent to do harm. Tell someone; involve others that can look out for you. Document, document, document – even though this may not have helped others, it may help you. Don’t keep abuse a secret, it may cost you your life. Take your time getting to know a potential mate. Beware of men who come across as the most charming, helpful, thoughtful, sweetest man you ever met – test the spirits.

Peggy was killed six days before Patrick was to stand trial for felony stalking. Her documentation gave the authorities the ammunition they needed to bring charges.

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Every domestic violence case should be looked at as a potential stalking case.
When dating Peggy Klinke, Patrick Kennedy had shown the kind of aggressive, controlling behavior that is typical of stalkers. Years of study show that there are common signs before a violent attack, a hostage situation, a murder. And stalking is at the top of that list of signs.”

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Psalm 35:1

“Of David. Contend, LORD, with those who contend with me; fight against those who fight against me.”

Romans 8:35
“Who will separate us from the love of Christ? Will tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?”

Romans 2:9

“There will be trouble and distress for every human being who does evil: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile;”

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Proverbs 6:12-15

“A troublemaker and a villain, who goes about with a corrupt mouth,

who winks maliciously with his eye, signals with his feet

and motions with his fingers, who plots evil with deceit in his heart—

he always stirs up conflict. Therefore disaster will overtake him in an instant;

he will suddenly be destroyed—without remedy.”

NSAM………………………………………..

Proverbs 6:16-19

There are six things the Lord hates, seven that are detestable to him:

haughty eyes,

a lying tongue,

hands that shed innocent blood,

a heart that devises wicked schemes,

feet that are quick to rush into evil,

a false witness who pours out lies

and a person who stirs up conflict in the community.

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How to Protect Yourself From A Stalker

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Female Stalkers, Part 1: What is Stalking and Can Men Be Stalked by Women?

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Computers and Cellphones are Another Way Many Abusers Stalk Their Victims, Experts Say

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Are You Being Stalked? 19 Ways to Protect Yourself From a Stalker

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How to prevent or defend against online stalking

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Stalking Goes High Tech (and How to Protect Yourself)

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DOMESTIC VIOLENCE AND COHABITATION

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Prayer-Request2Please click on picture to submit a prayer request.

http://www.spiritual-side-of-domestic-violence.org

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© Spiritual Side of Domestic Violence Org. – 2013
All rights reserved.

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2 Comments

Posted by on June 12, 2013 in LEAVING ABUSE

 

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2 responses to “WHEN ABUSERS STALK THEIR PREY

  1. secretangelps911

    July 5, 2013 at 1:35 pm

    Awesome blog… Thanks for finding me so that I could find you… Blessings to you!

     
    • ssofdv

      July 5, 2013 at 3:21 pm

      Thank you, and you are very welcome! I love your blog as well. A blessing in return.
      Peace

       

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