Private Investigations and Personal Security/how to cease a phycho path from harrassment

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My partner is a deputy sheriff who has now been harrassed by my EX partner for over a year now.  the harrasser is trying to play victim and stating it is my partner that is doing the harrassing, all to compromise her career in lawenforcement.  The harrasser is doing things through channels that are hard to track, like sending faxes threatening to kill my partner to the courthouse where she works..;  most recently she  has filed a law suit against the county dept where my partner works stating they are harrassing her, when they attempt to trace and cease the acts she is doing.  Everything in the lawsuit is obviously false and i can't believe some greedy attorney actually took it on.  this crazed person is retliating against me by going after my partner's career.  We are both about to have a nervous break down..I just feel there must be something else I can do. The county sheriff's dept where she works has been supportive under the circumstances because they know she is not guilty, they have vowed to counter sue against the harrasser after this initial garbage gets thrown out... Do you have any further suggestions..?  it seems liike this is at a level that requires a higher degree of law enforcement..do you agree..FBI..?

Answer
I'm sorry you and your partner are in this difficult situation.  Stalkers and harassers often pretend to be the victims, and they can be very good at getting other people to believe them.

The first thing you should find out is what the stalking law is in your state (or any other law, like harassment, she might be violating).  m-Most states have information about their laws online, or you can check a web site such as:
http://www.ncvc.org/src/main.aspx?dbID=DB_Register204
http://www.ilj.org/stalking/
http://members.aol.com/lrfuzz1/StalkingLaws/StateLaws.html

There is a federal law against stalking that the FBI can investigate.  Some info about the federal law is available at:
http://www.ncvc.org/src/Legislation/federalstatute.html

Your partner should report the situation to whoever in her law enforcement organization is responsible for safety (such as a union safety officer or someone who would handle a domestic violence situation).  Say what is going on, and try to enlist their help.

Sometimes it is effective to have a certified letter sent from a lawyer to the stalker, explaining exactly what laws he is breaking, what the penalty is, and stating that he must stop.  This is more official than a communication from you, but less than a police report.  If he ignores such a letter, that does provide evidence that he was aware that he was breaking the law, and knew the possible consequences.

Another possibility you might explore is getting a restraining order against him that would require him to stay a specific distance away from you (and your home and work), and not try to contact you in any way.  This is a controversial and potentially inflammatory action on your part that you should consider carefully. On the positive side, restraining orders are sometimes effective with stalkers who are not mentally ill or obsessed.  Restraining orders can be a useful deterrent, but only if the police will enforce the order if it is violated.  On the negative side, some stalkers are aggravated when a restraining order is issued against them, and may escalate their behavior.  If you decide to get a restraining order, don't expect it to solve your problem; just expect it to be a way to bring the legal process into the situation.

Tell  your friends, neighbors, family, coworkers and others what is going on.   They can help to watch out for your safety, and can make sure they don't give him any information about you.

Don't try to talk to or reason with your ex - assume they are not rational.  You absolutely, positively should not attempt to contact them, confront them, or return the harassment in kind.  If you do any of those things, you may be considered legally at fault (or partially at fault) for anything that happens later.  Don't provoke him - it just isn't worth the risk.

Keep everything that might be usable as evidence, including copies of any email or text messages.

You should keep a log of every time your stalker tries to contact you, watches you or takes an action that frightens you.  The log should include not just date, time, and the event, but also what you did (leaving the area, etc.)  The log may eventually help to convict him, but even if it does not, it will help you express what you are going through, and it may help to convince others that your situation merits attention.  You can also ask your friends, family, neighbors, and anyone else to keep logs of the stalking behavior that they observe.

You can probably estimate your stalker's possibility of violence better than I can.  If you think you might become in personal danger, start taking more security precautions at home and away from home.

I hope this information helps.  Good luck with your court appearances and your counter suit.   Stay safe, Lyn  

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Lyn Bates

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Are you being stalked? I can help evaluate the amount of danger you are in, and can provide very specific suggestions for increasing your safety, and for managing your situation. As a founding member and the current Vice President of AWARE (a volunteer, nonprofit organization), I have helped thousands of women learn to protect themselves from crimes ranging from minor harassment to serious assault. I am currently writing a book on safety for stalking victims. I have lectured at annual training meetings of the American Society of Law Enforcement Training, Women in Federal Law Enforcement, the International Women Police Association, the American Society of Criminology, and the American Women`s Self-Defense Association. In 1997, the American Tactical Shooting Association gave me their annual Tactical Advocate Award for teaching and writing.

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