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Has anyone dealt with a stalker before? Feeling really unsettled. *TW: violent language*.(27 Posts)
Some odd stuff's been happening over the past year.
Firstly, I got a Facebook message from an account name I didn't recognise, and it was a comment about a video of me singing that I put on Youtube ages ago and forgot about. It was only really for friends and family to see and only had 7 views. It would not have come up easily in a search, and the account it's associated with is linked to an email address that doesn't include my real name.
The Facebook message basically insulted me, saying I sound fucking horrible and should kill myself. I deleted it and put it down to someone finding the video by accident and deciding to troll.
Fast forward three months and I got an Instagram request (again, the account is private and not under my real name). The person had made a fake account in my name, called "Retarded(myname)". They used a photo which was a still from the video. This creeped me out because I had since deleted the video.. so they must have saved it.
The worst part was the writing, which said I'm a "cockeyed cunt who needs to learn to cut deeper" (I have a lazy eye, but it's not visible in the video.. and sadly I self-harmed when I was young.. again not visible in the video, and only known by those close to me).
It also made mention of the time I was hospitalised for psychiatric reasons and said something very unpleasant about the hallucinations I was having at the time, which brought them all back.
I was really upset by this. The only person I could think of who knew all the details was my ex. We had a codependent relationship, he was addicted to cannabis and he was once physically violent to me, but often to objects e.g. smashing his phone to pieces. We had a terrible three years together and the breakup triggered my hospitalisation and breakdown. He refused to move out of our house, cut himself and threatened suicide to make me take him back. It was the hardest thing I've ever been through in my life and I was only 22. Thankfully, no kids with him.
After I dumped him, he also put a keylogger on my laptop without my knowledge and tracked all the stuff I did online for a year before telling me over the phone when he was drunk because he thought it was funny.
I also got abusive texts from him after the breakup, calling me a prostitute because he heard I slept with someone knew (though god knows how he knew this).
I have since replaced my laptop, phone etc.
I'm pretty sure he is the stalker doing all this. It just "sounds" like him. But I told the police and they put it down as a "domestic disagreement" and said they can't do anything about it, even if my mental health is being specifically targeted and it could threaten my recovery. He once friend requested a close friend on Facebook, but then deleted the account. I think it was just to just let me know he's "out there".
Has anyone else been through this? What do I do? I feel happy now in terms of my life, but I feel like he's behind every door, waiting, biding his time to do something else. The police even told me not to have social media, but I use it to keep up with family and would hate to lose it.
Thanks for listening, it's a bad night tonight.
V helpful of the police no social media in 2016? And why should you have to change your life?
I'm sorry it's happening to you it must be horrific. Hopefully someone with concrete advice will come on soon.
Just wanted to offer support.
No advice but just wanted to empathise. You must be feeling horribly upset and worried. It HAS to be your ex doesn't it? Or could it be new girlfriend of ex?
I would speak I to a different police person. The people I know who have reported stuff like this have had t taken seriously.
It's harassment. And I think it's illegal to 'troll' people online too.
Thanks for the replies. I already experience anxiety and depression so it just makes it worse. I use CBT techniques and mindfulness, but it's the worry that he'll pop up again.
It must be the ex. That's what I keep telling myself. But I can't prove it. His new girlfriend dislikes me immensely, and I know that. He used to show off to me, texting me to chat and then saying that the new woman "hates him speaking to me" and had banned him from communicating with me. That was when I used to reply to him. I have changed my number so he shouldn't be able to find me now.
He doesn't contact me now (at least not as himself).
I'd persist with the police. Sometimes an individual officer gives advice that is not what the policy is. I'm sure they should take it more seriously than that. Can you ask to speak to someone else there?
I think the police were wrong, and they should be dealing with this as harassment.
Would they write off physical abuse by an ex as a 'domestic incident' too?
I'm angry on your behalf.
Thanks darth and Fliss.
I live in a new area now so might consider trying again, but dealing with the police last time really took the wind out of my sails. The guy read off a questionnaire about my ex, asking about past physical violence, drug use etc. but didn't seem impressed by the answers I gave and actually sounded a bit bored.
I am going to agree with some of the previous PP. I would contact the police again. What he is doing is illegal. (or whoever it is) Online harassment should be taken seriously. I feel so bad for you ... stalking/bullying is never ok
The problem is I don't think the two current incidents (though absolutely vile and very upsetting) probably don't count as stalking. I would have thought it would need to be a more persistent and protracted series of events.
I would change your name on social media. Set up a new account with an anonymous profile picture. Make the accounts private and then contact your family and ask you to use that as your only point of contact. It's wrong that you should be the one who should have to change their course of behaviour but at the moment I think it is probably all you can do.
I'm very sorry you are going through this.
Also I agree it is worth approaching the police again, ask if they have an officer who specifically deals with stalking and make sure the incidents are logged so that IF anything further happens you can establish a pattern and may be able to apply for a restraining order the terms of which can be not to contact you directly or indirectly (both of which will cover social media).
Stalking should be taken very seriously by the police. If you have no luck with them try finding out who your local domestic violence services are and contact them for advice. I know stalking is not widely thought of as domestic abuse but it is. They should be able to offer you support and advice and sign post you to any services that can help you.
Please get in touch with the Paladin Anti-Stalking Advocacy service. They will take you seriously and they will support and advise you.
For such personal things it's bound to be your ex. I'd speak again to the police and also keep a log. How searchable are you on Facebook? He could check any friend's of yours on Facebook if they've got an open friends list. I'd lock everything up social media wise. In thankful for you there's no kids involved but sorry you're going through this.
Paladin do a lot of work around domestic violence and stalking. Please don't think that this isn't serious enough. They will listen and advise on safety and legalities etc. The stalking laws are still quite new and it can take a while for law enforcement to catch up.
You poor darling! I'm so sorry this is happening to you.
I agree with the others. Go back to the police and if you're brushed off again ask what the procedure is to make a complaint. This is domestic violence. It's a new law, and the offence is called "controlling or coercive behaviour". Details here www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-35192256
Also write down exactly what's happened, in great detail. Dates, if you can remember them, screenshots. You need to build up a list of what has happened.
I would be surprised if he stops here. Better brace yourself. Members of my family were stalked and it took loads of incidents and over a year before the police could get enough evidence to charge the woman. But they did collect the evidence and she got a prison sentence.
Thanks everyone. I will have a look at Paladin. To one of the PP: I guess stalking might not be the right term but it's sort of all I could think of!
I'm so thankful we have no children as it'd be horrendous.
Re: social media, my profile was locked down even before this - nothing public. I do have a photo so people can find me (profile pic). No networks, no university or school listed at all, even on friends-only. My friends list is viewable only to me.
Thanks for the support, again, it really helps as am having a small wobble. I will get in touch with the police again if something else happens.
To echo PP's, I'm so angry on your behalf that this is happening to you. Completely disgusting behaviour and utterly unforgivable.
Really hope you sort this out, it's great to see how much support you've had on the site so please remember to use us if it continues to bother you.
Don't change anything he wants a reaction from you. Keep a log of every incident but the police won't do anything until he physically harms you or abused you and you have a witness. Believe me I've been in your position and it's horrible.
Think of how far you have come from that 22 year old girl and how pathetic he is for still being obsessed. Spend less time online and more time doing things you enjoy. I hope he gives up soon
is a UK organisation set up to advise people being stalked, and it does include online stalking. DO have a browse; it will help you say the right things to the police to help protect you.
Absolutely contact the Police again OP. In no way similar but I was receiving threatening phone calls at work (from a stranger with MH problems I later discovered) and at first the Police would not help, but once I presented them with 4 or 5 instances they listened and were then really supportive. Persevere with the Police, even if just to give you peace of mind that they will be there should you need them. I hope this stops for you, must be really awful. Good luck.
gosh so sorry you are going through this. It sounds really scary.
Please do everything to keep safe. If I were you I would possibly even move countries 😳
You only need two incidents of harassment to get in injunction under protection from harassment act. This behaviour would constitute harassment with the issue of a non harassment order if the injunction is ignored, which then becomes a criminal matter. The incidents don't even need to be closely related in time or place. Police are wrong that it's only a domestic incident - if you are feeling threatened and scared by this behaviour then keep reporting each instance of contact or anything you consider harassment. Keep list of dates and times and screenshots for evidence. Include any texts and phonecalls.
I learned the hard way about stalkers. I won't even recount the story for fear of becoming identifiable. Police were absolutely shit but it turns out that was more about them not being arsed with paperwork than there not being laws to protect me.
I just remembered something else he did a few months ago!
I got an email with a link. The link was to a porn site that collects images of girls together in one place so people can look at them.
There was a collection of every photo I'd ever uploaded to a website when I was younger (under an anonymous username, no visible background, no visible tattoos/scars and no face in any of the pictures).
The text in the email just said "might want to deal with that".
I know the pics aren't identifiable as me, and they're just topless from years ago, but it freaked me out. The police don't know about that, I was too ashamed.
You've all been really sweet and I'm so sorry some of you have been through similar and worse. I will consider putting it all together and trying the police again..
That may well come under the 'revenge porn' (horrible terminology) laws.
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