I work very hard and am attending college to obtain my degree in the Human Service field. Writing makes me feel alive and gives me the opportunity to touch those whom I would not be able to otherwise. Last but not least, I have been blessed with two amazing daughters who love me completely and support my dreams. Feel free to contact me with questions, concerns or feedback.
Brief history (aka true story): Approximately 5 years ago, I was on a dating website. Exchanged a few mails, chatted on the phone, went on two dates. Realized he wasn’t my cup of tea, moved on with my life, end of story? NO!
Throughout the last 5 years, he has contacted me via various social networking sites. “Would you like to go out again”, he emails. “No thanks, I have moved on with my life, good luck to you!” I reply. After numerous attempts, I reached the final straw. “LEAVE ME ALONE, YOU ARE A STALKER, GO GET SOME HELP. IT’S BEEN 5 YEARS, GET A GRIP”, you get the picture.
This past week, I received yet another email. “Are the statute of limitations up on the non-contact?” It was him. Chills ran up and down my entire body. What in the heck do I do?
I turned the tables. Over the course of various emails, I was able to obtain his last name, phone number and address. I called the Police and they informed me that he is WELL KNOWN FOR THIS TYPE OF ACTIVITY. He has had numerous complaints. He finds women on the internet via dating websites, etc, obtains their email and phone numbers and begins to contact and harass incessantly. No kidding.
This is the deal. Internet stalkers will usually never have a rap sheet. If they are warned, they are able to find their next victims quite easily. They jump from social networking site to social networking site. Some create an entirely new profile with an older or updated picture.
First and foremost, we are way too polite as a society. We would rather avoid contact than tell someone we are not attracted to them. We may string them along, change our email address or phone number. It is so much easier to allow it to fade than be honest and straightforward. Why? Because those of us who have been rejected know what it feels like, end of story.
Millions of individuals utilize dating websites to venture out. Little do we know, we are putting ourselves at risk each and every moment. In a recent story, one very popular website was cited due to the fact that a registered sex offender had attacked a woman he had met via their service. Scary, but true.
How do you protect yourself if your desired way of dating is the internet? If you are financially able, add a phone line to your current cell phone plan. I have received a 2nd phone absolutely free with a monthly fee of approximately $15.00. This allows me the opportunity to grant all new interests the secondary number instead of my primary. I never give out my address. I always give a general area closer to an exterior city. Regarding employment, I will give what line of work, but never my work address. Information regarding places I frequent remains on the back burner to ensure freedom without having to worry about someone “showing up”.
It is very important to write down the first and last name, number, email and user name of every man or woman you date. It is important you write down pertinent information regarding where they work, live and hang out. If they have a facebook account, write down names and numbers of their family members and individuals who post most frequently on their page.
If you find yourself in a sticky situation, take heed. If you know for a fact, that this person is not your cup of tea, tell them in a very straightforward manner that you are no longer interested and cease further contact. Tell them in no uncertain terms that you are not going to change your mind and wish them well. Save a copy of your email. Print it out and ensure it is kept in a safe place.
If they contact you, state firmly that you are done, no longer wish contact and if it continues, you will file a report. It is your responsibility to cease all contact. Keep their number in your phone for future reference if they choose to continue contact. Keep all emails, take photos of text messages as they sometimes delete out after a couple of months. Keep your phone records. Block them from your email, cell phone, social networking sites, change your profile if necessary, and keep records of all contact. This may come in handy if you have to take drastic measures.
If you find yourself the victim of an internet stalker, contact the police. Inform all of your friends and family, pass out his information to as many people possible without going completely public. Help other women and men to steer clear of this individual. Avoid taking blame for his or her behavior. Do not allow an individual you spent a couple of hours with to control you whatsoever. Stand strong, get support and live a life free of fear.
Because the internet is such a popular and fun way to meet new individuals, we so often forget that men and women are getting stalked, harassed and murdered by individuals they have met online. If this article saves just one life, I have done my job.
Date safe, date happy and you will date fun.