Stalker Persistent Despite Restraining Order - Advice?
February 4, 2004 11:36 AM   Subscribe

How to squelch a stalker? More inside.

A friend of mine (no, not me) has an ex bf stalking her. She's issued a restraining order and taken him to court. He still follows/watches. Short of hiring a hit man, what can she do to get this guy to knock it off?
posted by yoga to Human Relations (8 answers total)
I predict that about 92% of the responses to this thread will include a reference to _The Gift of Fear_. But it should be recommended anyway. Buy this for your friend, make her read it.

She needs (if she hasn't already) to make sure that she is 100% disengaged from him. There has to be ZERO contact. Not to tell him to get lost, not to answer the phone when he calls, nothing. All of her contact with him needs to be through the police and/or her attourney. She needs to report every single infringement of the restraining order, even when the cops get all exasperated and patronizing.

It does sound like she's taking this seriously, which is a good thing.
posted by LittleMissCranky at 11:49 AM on February 4, 2004

Read this.
posted by monju_bosatsu at 12:46 PM on February 4, 2004

Carry a digital camera around and every time the guy gets inside the distance specified by the R.O., snap a pic.
posted by billsaysthis at 1:47 PM on February 4, 2004

My response won't move this to 92% yet, but, yes, The Gift of Fear by Gavin De Becker explains the disengagement strategy in detail. I would disagree with billsaythis re the camera. Don't collect picayune evidence that the restraining order has been violated because it will anger the stalker and show that your friend is still engaged with him.
posted by maudlin at 2:18 PM on February 4, 2004

the national victim's resource center has a stalking resource center, which includes a stalking safety plan.

as little miss cranky has said, she must never never under any circumstances engage him: not even to tell him to leave or she'll call the police. she should just hang up, if it's him calling, or not answer the door, or cross the street and call the police to report it. the cops will likely get annoyed, but if she engages him, even to remind him of the restraining order, she could get hurt, or herself be in violation of it.
posted by crush-onastick at 2:19 PM on February 4, 2004

Have or buy a cell phone. If she can't afford the service, 911 will work on all cell phones.(iirc) Also, make friends with a large gentleman, a bouncer.
posted by thomcatspike at 2:20 PM on February 4, 2004

I knew my residence life training manual would come in handy one day!

Unfortunately, with stalking, the onus is on the victim to provide proof that her/his rights are being violated. I would second LittleMissCranky's advice about being 100% disengaged: if the stalker calls 17 times in a row and on the 18th time, your friend picks up the phone to tell him to get lost, he has just learned that it takes 17 phone calls to get a response.

It is very very important to document everything: if she chooses only to do one thing about her stalking situation, this should be it. She should think about keeping a dated log of the stalker's contacts, stalking behaviour, witnesses, and police responses. Print/backup/photocopy email messages or letters: some stalkers will break in to private residences or hack accounts (I worked with an individual to whom this happened--all his threatening emails magically disappeared one day)

Other options to to increase safety:
-varying schedules, travelling routes, and activities
-getting a new line and making the number available only to those who are absolutely trusted. leave the old line hooked up, attached to an answering machine, and never answered (this is the number the stalker will call)

Also, it is very important that your friend know that she has family and friends who care about her and that she can trust. Your support will mean a good deal to her.

Best of luck.
posted by lumiere at 2:26 PM on February 4, 2004

Response by poster: Thanks, everyone. I'll pass it all along.
posted by yoga at 11:09 AM on February 5, 2004

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