Fear. Vulnerability. Frustration. For the past 21 months, I have been a victim of stalking. This week in court, that changed. 1.4 million people are stalked every year in the United States, one in 12 women in their lifetimes. Stalking is a series of actions that make you feel afraid or in danger. Stalking is serious, often violent, and can escalate over time. A stalker can be someone you know well or not at all. I never even had a conversation with my stalker.
I consider myself a brave, empowered woman. I’ve taken self defense classes and am keenly aware of safety. But I wasn’t safe. I now see that sharing my story to help others takes a new kind of courage. Our wounds are our sources of growth. I want victims to know—you have rights…something I didn’t know for a long time. I was told he had to do something “illegal,” like harm me, before anything could be done…and I lived with this fear shadowing me for over a year…but that is not the case. I now have a 10-year order of protection. I want to use my experience and my voice to empower other women. Stalking is unpredictable, dangerous, and unacceptable. I’m an overcomer, and although this experience has been difficult, I know I am stronger for it and want to encourage others to be empowered, informed, and safe. You have rights—and everyone should be able to feel safe.
For resources, see:
In the Kansas City metropolitan area, MOCSA KC is an incredible resource. I cannot thank them enough for walking with me through this. I also had an amazing female lawyer and a brilliant female judge presiding. I’m so grateful.