Need Some Advice For My Niece (sorry)(9 Posts)
In April, my 18 year old niece ended her 3 year relationship with her fiancee. Obviously, it was hard for both of them, but she's trying her hardest to move on.
The problem is, since the split he's become psychologically abusive. Her younger sister has taken his side, and thus been kicked out of the house by my sister. So far, he's messaged her and phoned her, harrassing her enough for her to change her number 3 times. The last time, he got her number after her younger sister phoned her off his phone. He then informed my niece 1 that he was going to get some girls to beat her up when she was out. (so far, not happened, thank god).
However, a couple of weeks ago, things got worse. One evening, he smashed into her stepfather's car, and then tried to break into her bedroom. The police gave him a caution, and told him he's to stay away from my niece. He then logged onto his younger brother's facebook account, and left abusive messages on her facebook wall, but then deleted them after her brother pointed out she "now had evidence, and thanks for that". By the time my niece got to the computer, the messages had been deleted.
Last Friday, my niece bought her fist ever car. To say she was over the moon about it was an understatement. I think she spent most of Saturday just driving about. However, Sunday morning , she got woken up by her brother cursing (about 6:30 am, as he was on the way to work) Someone had spray painted graffiti over her car. She suspected it was him, and later found out he'd been bragging about it, so reported it to the police. However, when they arrested him yesterday afternoon, they released him, and then left a message on his sister's page saying "No further action, you dumb fuck, shove that up your arse!"
Needless to say, my niece is terrified. I'm finding it hard to offer her logical advice at the moment, but she's beside herself, and scared it won't stop. Does anyone have any advice at all on how to deal with this? How to help her? Or does anyone have any advice for her, please?
Don't now to help Peanut but that's so awful to hear.
Would women's aid be any good? Maybe for advice.
Are the police joining the dots on all these things? Do the know about the facebook stuff as I would have thought it can be found even if deleted?
I'm pretty sure they know about it, but it seems like they're either not connecting the dots or just being incompetent.
I'll suggest women's aid. They may have some advice, which I think would be more productive than sympathy for her atm.
I'd love to wring his neck, I really would... It's not fair on her at all...
Can Facebook recover the deleted messages if the police ask them to? I think she should think about monitoring everything she can and keeping records. What about getting a webcam pointing out of the house window to where she parks the car in case he targets it again? He's obviously not that bright because of the FB thing so might easily provide more evidence against himself. What an awful situation for her.
Oh your poor niece.
I think facebook can retrieve messages that have been deleted. Also, if you can provide statements from people to corroborate your nephew's statement about what he saw on your niece's wall, that would do it too. I had to give a statement once confirming that I had seen a threatening message from the XP of a friend of mine (because she'd already deleted it).
I second getting hold of a camera. You can get some from as little as £15 on Ebay. A little hidden camera (e.g. like a lighter or pen) in a window will be good enough as long as it has high enough resolution and is placed at the right angle. Try getting a motion-activated outdoor light, too.
Go back to the police and ask to speak to the DV liaison officer rather than just a general PC. This scumbag is a former intimate partner so still counts under the DV remit. They can help protect your niece and advise her on what legal recourse she has.
This is only a personal opinion, not a professional one, so please talk to the police/WA first, but personal experience has taught me that the only way to deal with this sort of situation is to go on the offensive. Trying to keep my head down didn't work. It was only when I involved the police and social services and threw the book at my XP that he stopped harassing me.
Hope she gets it resolved and isn't too traumatised by all this, poor thing.
Sunshine, I've mentioned the DV unit to DNiece and DSis. I don't know if they've approached the DV unit yet, although, I do get the impression DSis was advocating a more "if anything else happens" approach, as opposed to immediately. They've also adopted the camera idea. I was mistaken about the wwallposts. turns out my nephew had got a screen shot each time, and police have seen these... :/ I'm hoping we've heard the last of it.
DontCallMePeanut - I think you could suggest that she fills in the stalking checklist and takes that to the Police. It will provide a framework to the conversation.
WHO IS THE VS-DASH (2009) CHECKLIST FOR?
It is for victims who believe they are being stalked.
The VS-DASH can be used if you have had an intimate relationship with your stalker (even if it was just a few dates or a 'casual relationship'), as well as if you have not.
WHERE HAS IT COME FROM?
A number of behaviours of have been associated with serious violence and murder through profiling many cases.
There is still limited knowledge, awareness and education about stalking, even though the problem is getting bigger. Many people and agencies, including law enforcement, still do not fully understand stalking and harassment behaviours and the risks.
They may not understand how frightening it is when it is happening to you. Many will expect to see physical violence and think it is not so serious until this happens. However, a lot of the stalking behaviour is about coercive control and jealous surveillance i.e. psychological and emotional abuse/violence. This does not make it any less dangerous.
Do not despair if you have not been satisfied with the initial police response. Keep trying to be heard. Complete the Stalking Checklist (VS-DASH 2009) and then take it into the Police if you answer positively to the questions.
We can assure you that most police officers want to help, but may sometimes lack the tools and training needed.
forkful, how do I address the stalking checklist without alarming her any further? I've tallied it up in y head, and the whole thing meets several criteria that I know of... I don't want her feeling any more afraid than she already is.
Keep a record of everything. Even deleted Facebook messages can be retrieved.
Do not respond to him in anyway and get those around her to do the same. Tempting though it is to give him a mouthful, it muddies the water.
Go see a solicitor and get an injuction taken out against him. This will ban him from coming within a certain distance of her, harassing her etc.
Once there is an injuction against him, the police will have to act if he breaks it.
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