Last week, we published a story by Tiffanie Drayton about encountering a strange man multiple times in her neighborhood in the span of a few days, including on her own block, who then hunted her down on social media and sent her creepy and “flirtatious messages.” The experience made her feel incredibly unsafe, understandably so, and I was distressed to see some commenters be quick to dismiss his completely bizarre actions as coincidental or a misinterpretation on her part, mimicking the way some of her friends responded. Unfortunately, I think that happens a lot. On one hand, the instinct to dismiss those concerns — “I’m sure he’s not stalking you, he probably lives on your block/has an innocent crush/won’t actually DO anything to hurt you” — could be a (misguided, but well-meaning) attempt to make the person feel better/safer. On the other hand, they are also an example of the ways in which we tell women to ignore their instincts and give complete strangers, in particular men, the benefit of the doubt and a trust that has not been earned. There are very, very good reasons for women to not feel safe in this world of ours. The ways in which women’s personal spaces are violated on a regular basis are plentiful, from street harassment to inappropriate comments at work to online threats, and sadly, so too are stories of these behaviors taken to the extreme. As these 12 examples from Whisper illustrate, women who have been stalked are left isolated, do not always get the support they deserve from family, friends and community, and find the fear stays with them even after they’re finally “safe.” Keep reading »
Last week, I had a stalker experience that left me feeling very uneasy. I frequent a Starbucks about a mile away from my house and sometimes just spend the entire day there writing. On one particular afternoon, a young man came into the cafe. I just happened to look up at that same exact moment and we made eye contact. I politely smiled, then returned to my work.
The following day, I was walking my dog on my street, when a very familiar guy approached me.
“Hey, what’s your dog’s name?” he questioned.
“Um, it’s Sam,” I responded casually then noticed his face look very familiar.
“Hey, didn’t I see you yesterday at Starbucks?” I asked the stranger. He haphazardly nodded, responded, “Yeah, I think so.” Then we both said goodbye and parted ways.
I didn’t think too much of it at first. I figured the guy just happened to live on my street. A coincidence, right? That was until I got home and checked my Facebook inbox and noticed one unread message in my “other” folder. Keep reading »
More than occasionally stalk an ex’s Facebook profile? Ever find yourself driving past the house of “the one who got away”? Believe me, you will stop this love zombie nonsense after watching the new CBS crime drama series, “Stalker,” which premieres tonight. Here are three reasons why you should watch. Keep reading »
A California court granted a temporary restraining order to Jennifer Aniston yesterday against a stalker who’s been “laying in wait” for her around Santa Monica. According to the U.K.’s Daily Mail, 24-year-old Jason Peyton left Pennsylvania on June 25, leaving a note for his father that he was driving to California. The young man’s dad realized his son, who has been diagnosed as a delusional and paranoid schizophrenic, was on a mission to find Aniston and alerted the police.
Sure enough, cops picked up Peyton on July 15 with a car on which he had scratched “I Love Jennifer Aniston,” carrying DVDs of her movies and a notebook full of messages about Aniston. Peyton allegedly had a list of baby names he’d picked out for their future spawn and scribblings like “Jen told me she wants me to be the father of her children” and “call Jen.” Keep reading »