Recommendations for books dealing with overcoming stalking/harassment?
September 18, 2009 1:22 PM   Subscribe

My mom is dealing with the aftermath of a stalking situation. Looking for books and other things that might help her get through it.

My mom has been dealing with an ex-boyfriend-turned-stalker over the past few months. She has pursued every legal avenue available to her and has been very good about exercising all her options, but she's been having a hard time processing the fear and the anxiety that go along with it. She is exploring therapy and victims' advocacy groups, etc., to help herself, but she's also interested in recommendations for books that deal with overcoming this experience in a helpful way. She feels rather isolated because she doesn't have a lot of people around her who understand what she's going through (and a few who have actually made it worse by intimating that it was somehow her fault), and I am currently living a few states away and thus cannot be with her as often as I would like. So if you know of a book or other resource that helped you through a similar situation, I'd appreciate your recommendation so that I can pass it along to her. I think works in which the author's sense of empathy is pronounced would be ideal, because the lack of understanding and concern from our family and other people around her in her life right now is really making this difficult for her.
posted by anonymous to Human Relations (6 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
The Gift of Fear would be a good start.
posted by peanut_mcgillicuty at 1:45 PM on September 18, 2009 [3 favorites]

Just finished Whisper of fear. The author is one of the people who first drafted the stalking laws in California. She talks about her work helping people like Spielberg and Madonna with their stalkers, as well as regular people and their stalkers. At the end, she's got a 24-page section about what you should know about stalking, and what you should do if you're being stalked. I found it pretty informative, as well as very revealing of what the standard procedure is when someone files a complaint about a stalker. Not so much about post-stalking life, though.
posted by Sully at 2:11 PM on September 18, 2009

I second The Gift of Fear - I firmly believe that having read that book saved my life when I got tangled with my last boyfriend.
posted by patheral at 2:36 PM on September 18, 2009

Thirding The Gift of Fear by Gavin de Becker. Should be given to everyone in this situation.
posted by tkolstee at 2:46 PM on September 18, 2009

The Gift of Fear really is the gold standard. Another good book is Surviving a Stalking by Linden Gross. Best wishes to your mom.
posted by Sidhedevil at 5:33 PM on September 18, 2009

I'm sorry that your mother is going through this. Stalking is one of the scariest things to deal with, and most people don't understand it.

The National Center for Victims of Crime operates the Stalking Resource Center.

The Webpage displays funk-ily for me, but there's a lot of good stuff there, including a Stalking Handbook available as a PDF. It contains a bibliography that your mom might find useful.

You say she's seeking therapy and advocacy groups, so she might have already tried this, but domestic violence organizations might also be able to recommend some books about stalking. There are likely a few agencies in her area, but you can start with the National Domestic Violence Hotline.

For what it's worth, I think our culture minimizes the impact of stalking, and if you look at popular media, even repackages it in ways that make it...appealing. The most recent version I heard is the song "I Will Possess Your Heart", by Death Cab For Cutie, announced by the DJ as a love song, that sentiment repeated in many places.

Given that the "boy pursues girl against all odds" theme is usually viewed as heroic, I'd say your family's response is not surprising (of course, I say this knowing nothing about them...). If you want to give them something to read (besides any of the horrific news stories about this topic), consider getting a copy of "Boy Gets Girl" for them.
posted by Gorgik at 10:09 PM on September 18, 2009

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