Driven out of my hobby by a stalker

(40 Posts)
DonnyOsmondsTeeth Wed 03-Jul-13 10:40:03

Earlier this year, I decided to pick up an old hobby again.
There are several local meetups that occur each week in different venues for this particular hobby, and through a friend I met a man who I thought was nice and normal.
We decided to work together on an activity and went to a couple of the groups together, also I went to his house and met his wife.
He then started sending me strange emails, asking for sex, saying he was in love with me and that we should be together...I rebuffed him as gently as I could, and told him I only wanted a friend and a hobby partner (I am married with 2 young children).

He then started sending abusive emails, facebook messages, accusing me of sleeping with all the other men in the group (it is a male-dominated hobby). I cut him off, blocked him and haven't responded to his messages for several weeks now.

Now he has gone from only being an occasional participant, to attending every single meetup, going to any new group meet that crops up, and also sending messages about me to my friends. He has been warned off by three separate well-meaning friends, and my DH! But he still persists with this behaviour.

Now I can't go to my hobby groups at all, it's really important to me and I feel I've been hounded out for being female. I've never met a man who has had to deal with this type of intimidation.
Don't know what I want out of this post really.
Just want to vent about it. If you read this, thank you.

I am sorry that this has happened, it must be awful and scary for you sad

I would report him to the police, show them the abusive emails and messages too. You shouldn't have to put up with this behaviour, it is harassment and the police should help you.

WoTmania Wed 03-Jul-13 11:32:05

Report to the police - you shouldn't have to put up with that. Also talk to whoever runs the groups. He should be the one to leave the groups rather than you being bullied out. It should be made clear to him that this behaviour is unacceptable and he isn't welcome if it persists.

BasilBabyEater Wed 03-Jul-13 13:07:01

Definitely report this man to the police.

He's dangerous.

Really, he is dangerous, it can't be stressed enough.

It's absolutely berserk for someone to behave like this - if he'd just been a normal bog-standard tosser, he'd have realised you weren't interested and might tell his wife and backed off a bit.

But to up the ante, is the behaviour of a loon and I would report it to the police.

I'd also get your DH to come with you to meetings for the forseeable future until he backs off.

MyHumpsMyLovelyBabyBumps Wed 03-Jul-13 13:38:19

id report to the police and ask their opinion on "outing" him to rest of group. Also id move this to relationships as i think you'll get good advice from women who have felt delt with it themselves

Stellarpunk Wed 03-Jul-13 13:41:44

I feel for you OP, I too have a male dominated hobby.

Can you contact the police? Or the chair of your group. This is terribly serious, don't let him get away with it. What a nobber!

OddSockMonster Wed 03-Jul-13 13:44:21

I also think you should call the police - call 101 and tell them everything.

greenhill Wed 03-Jul-13 13:46:23

He does sound dangerous. Contact the police, show them the emails, messages etc, tell them that he is following you around and intimidating you. If your DH and various friends have told him to back off, your DH may need to go to the hobby with you, temporarily, whilst this other man cools down and realises how inappropriate his behaviour is.

edam Wed 03-Jul-13 13:48:12

I agree with the advice about talking to the police - this is stalking and harassment. Feel for you but there is help available, go and ask for it.

ThingummyBob Wed 03-Jul-13 14:20:46

What's the hobby? Is it a group activity that you can make sure you have people around you at all times? Its bloody awful that you feel you can't go as he's harassing you.
I agree with reporting and keeping a diary of his actions. Scarily some stalkers do up the ante until 'something' happens. Fuckers.

Have you considered telling his wife? Or even having your dh talk to his wife? In a 'I'm concerned about your dh's feelings for my dw kind of way' if you don't want to give her all details. Poor woman though.

TheSmallClanger Wed 03-Jul-13 21:49:55

I had someone stalking me at work. You need to get the police involved. If they try to brush it off, insist. Go back at a different time and speak to another officer. You will probably find that they will take it seriously, and they will take action.

You mention that he goes to groups: are these organised groups with any sort of rules or organisation? I'm thinking of something like a sports club, which will have a president, secretary and so on, and probably some sort of code of conduct which members sign. If someone's behaviour is disrupting the group, can they be asked to leave?

You aren't a rally driver/co-driver, are you?

KaseyM Thu 04-Jul-13 09:45:57

Please go to the police. A similar thing happened to me. I had a really sympathetic police officer come round, he took a look at the evidence (save anything you have: messages, voicemails, etc) and sorted the problem out.

I'd also report to the leader of the hobby group.

DonnyOsmondsTeeth Thu 04-Jul-13 16:15:35

Thanks so much for all the supportive messages, it really means a lot to know I'm not exaggerating this in my own mind iyswim.

It's a music related hobby, so there are always other people around and friendly faces. I just couldn't perform if he was there, far too intimidating.
He hasn't contacted me directly for a couple of weeks now but is still attending every group meet he can think of. I'm unsure if the intention is to bump into me, or if he now realises I won't go anywhere he is, and is doing it out of spite.

I have no qualms in talking to his wife and my DH has suggested doing so himself. Hopefully he will get bored soon though and give up.

Nevertheless, I would still report it to the police, try the 101 number.

No action has to ensue, but if he does contact you again then at least you have lodged it, which I believe is helpful should you need to pursue anything.

Justfornowitwilldo Thu 04-Jul-13 16:18:29

I would talk to the police.

edam Thu 04-Jul-13 17:12:33

YY agree with Buffy, make sure you do log it with the police in case he does this again.

WoTmania Thu 04-Jul-13 17:23:49

yup, would agree about just calling the police so there is a record there if he kicks off in future.

OctopusPete8 Thu 04-Jul-13 17:48:17

I would tell his wife, poor woman,

I would seriously consider talking to the police he sounds like a loon!

Justfornowitwilldo Thu 04-Jul-13 19:00:47

I wouldn't have any contact with his wife either. Police first.

I agree. I feel sorry for his wife, but don't think it's worth the possible hassle of getting yourself even more involved sad

NandH Thu 04-Jul-13 19:34:48

What on earth is with all these weird men threads this evening! Sorry about the possible loss of your hobby, I know it would be hard and I'm being hypocritical for saying this as I would stop attending my hobby too but what if you were to stand your ground and show this arse hole your a strong woman and will not tolerate his behaviour or him attempting to push you out of the group!!!

Isoscelesnorks Fri 05-Jul-13 13:58:43

I'd go to the police. He needs to be stopped. It's not acceptable for him to do it to you and it's not acceptable for him to move on and find a new victim. As many people as possible in Authority need to tell him this is not acceptable behaviour. If he is banned from your hobby because of it then so be it.

LiveFastDieOld2 Sun 07-Jul-13 09:34:12

Yes go the police who will, at the very least, offer the man "words of advice". And I know this because it happened to me not long after I left school. I didn't give the tenant even the slightest encouragement but it got quite nasty.

Isoscelesnorks Mon 08-Jul-13 00:40:08

I'd also let the people in charge of your hobby know about your concerns and ask them what the policy is on this type of behaviour. Then tell them you want to keep attending at x times so will need them to help monitor said policies. Don't go hiding your problems or fears. You have done nothing wrong and should be able to attend without fear or harassment.

offal1 Mon 08-Jul-13 01:06:53

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offal1 Mon 08-Jul-13 11:24:11

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Message withdrawn at poster's request.

offal1 Mon 08-Jul-13 11:41:54

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Well, we're all laughing at you offal, does that count? grin

offal1 Mon 08-Jul-13 12:08:51

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Aha, I'm not so easily distracted, you scamp!

<ruffles offal's hair in a patronising manner>

It's far more important to exchange reasoned arguments with your good self on an anonymous internet forum. How else will we learn and grow and create the wonderful, tolerant society that I know we're both working for?

NicholasTeakozy Mon 08-Jul-13 12:31:11

Buffy grin Well played there.

I agree with those who have advised involving the police, just so it's logged and they can warn him off.

Yet another vote for informing the police. It's quite likely that this man already has form for stalking/harassment: people don't suddenly start behaving like this after having lived ordinary harmless lives.

And do talk to whoever's in charge of the hobby group, as it's also possible that you are not the only woman within the group who has had trouble with him.

Unfortunately it is possible that the group leaders will be unhelpful; there is, sadly, a culture in some groups of defending predatory men and telling women to stop making a fuss. However, if he has not been involved with this group for very long they might decide it's not worth the hassle of allowing him to remain a member. Or, of course, they might be lovely people who kick him out immediately.
Best of luck and remember none of it is your fault.

PoundlandClareRayner Mon 08-Jul-13 12:36:22

What a strange, and very frightening, man

he sounds unstable, OP, and I second (or twentieth) the suggestion that you speak to the police

What he is doing has finally been acknowledged as a crime and he deserves to be punished for it

scallopsrgreat Mon 08-Jul-13 12:37:56

"It's quite likely that this man already has form for stalking/harassment: people don't suddenly start behaving like this after having lived ordinary harmless lives."

Agree.

If anyone is interested or has this problem Gavin De Becker's Gift of Fear is very good on stalkers and what to do about them. It is mainly US based but the same principles apply.

DonnyOsmondsTeeth Thu 11-Jul-13 19:02:05

SolidGoldBrass, you've hit the nail upon the head there. He does have form for this as it turns out.
I have spoken to some of the others and there are at least 2 meetings at which he's persona non grata. So I'll be attending those and will give serious consideration to contacting the police.
Will check out that book, thanks for the tip.

Can you get a restraining order so he can't go to the activity and you can? He has tried to drive you out. Maybe a warning will be enough but I would involve the police.

I would as well, even if just ringing the 101 number to ask for their advice. Because:

1. They might have some good advice that we haven't thought of that would help and reassure you

2. If he does continue to harass you, you are starting to build up evidence of his behaviour. Which you might need.

Isoscelesnorks Fri 12-Jul-13 11:33:02

Oh so someone who is known to harass people is allowed to attend all bar two meetings per week/month? I really don't think this is on. You need to make it clear to all leaders that you have been subjected to continued harassment at these events. You should be able to attend free of harassment so what are they going to do about it? Your probably not the only person to be subjected to this mans behaviour but speaking up about it as a reasonable request may help other people.

ButThereAgain Fri 12-Jul-13 11:47:55

I second the strong suggestion that you speak to the organisers of your meetings to be sure they know what is happening and see if they have given adequate thought to policies that should be in place for this sort of harassment.

An organisation I have an association with had a problem of this sort and although individuals there were very well intentioned indeed, the impression I got was that they had never got themselves together to face the issue decisively. People knew as individuals there was a problem but hadn't approached it as a group. The poor woman felt driven away from the organisation, and lost something that was of great value to her. With hindsight, the group felt devastated by its failures.

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