Or ‘What Jane Did Next’. As 2014 draws to a close, there’s a letter I shall share with you. This is one I wrote to send and be read.
On 22 July 2013, I posted ‘Being Stalked’ on this blog. I hoped the article marked the end of that experience. Sadly, it didn’t. In January this year, as my sister and I prepared for our grandfather’s funeral, the stalker resurfaced. He was angry. Six months late, he’d just read the post and wanted to comment. Ironically, publication of his abusive comments (which I blocked) would immediately have outed him. But, once he’d started, he wouldn’t stop.
This time? I called the police. Two officers came to visit, listened and offered advice for an hour and a half. They filed an Incident Report. What they told me? Fifteen months of ignoring the harassment doesn’t make it go away. People who behave this way need to be made to stop. So? Create a new email account from which you send a very clear message to the stalker to stop. Then delete the account. It’s not there to start a dialogue. Any further contact from that person then occasions a police visit.
Here’s what I wrote (name removed and one sentence altered to remove identifying details):
X – I am writing to you to ask you to stop contacting me.
This means I do not want:
This list is not exhaustive. I do not want any contact from you in any form. It is all unpleasant, unwelcome and unwanted. I last contacted you on 8 November 2012, 15 months ago. I have not responded to any of your messages since then as I hoped you would simply stop. Last June, I sought a discreet third-party intervention so that we could all avoid legal action. This has not worked. In the 10 days leading up to my grandfather’s funeral, I was having to deal with abusive messages from you. On the day of the funeral (17 January), you messaged me again, this time saying ‘This is my final message to you’. Obviously it wasn’t, last night you sent another. This has to stop. I have contacted LinkedIn and WordPress to notify them of your actions. I have also spoken to Essex Police and they have filed an Incident Report. It is their suggestion that I write this email to you to make the situation clear.
Do not respond to this email. Do not contact me again.
(Facebook isn’t listed, as I’d already blocked him there. Subsequent to this, thanks to mine and others’ efforts, LinkedIn introduced blocking).
Of course, he did respond. He wanted the last word. As soon as I read his answer I knew what I should have known from the beginning: deal with stalking immediately. Face it. Act strong. You will protect yourself and, have no doubt, others from this corrosive behavior.