Parenting and Children
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Abusive Relationships and Domestic Violence

What does a parent do when an abusive ex-boyfriend is stalking their 19-year-old daughter?

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February 12, 2008 11:14AM

Please go onto www.google.com Look up: The Teresa Saldana story and then decide! I would suggest moving away, far away and possibly changing your name...if that is not an option...First, file a Police Report regarding the abuse. Then, Document all of the abuse and subsequent "Stalking" activity. If you have a tape recorder or video camera use them. If the conversation is over the telephone, first advise the "Stalker" that the conversation is being recorded. It is important to be able to show the Police what has been taking place with Hard Evidence. Put your Daughter in a Self-Defense course immediately. If it is Legal in your State or Municipality, have her carry the most "Effective" Self-Defense item legally allowable. example: Pepper Spray...etc. Check this with your local Police Dept when filing the Report of abuse. Some of these Stalkers will stop at nothing to get to their victim. Be ever Ready for anything and as prepared as possible ! I agree with most of what the above poster said with the exception of moving away. Firstly, moving solves nothing because this guy sounds persistent and he will follow! Fighting this guy is better on "common ground" where you have neighbors, family and friends to rally round you. Running off to unfamiliar ground will only give this stalker the edge. Sometimes a person can't afford to move, but go to the police. They will at least contact this stalker and give him a warning. I would then suggest (if you can afford it) to get a bodyguard for your daughter. This sounds strange, but it's done a lot when the stalker just won't go away. Either that or hire a detective to follow this guy (give the detective every bit of information your daughter knows about him such as where he goes to hang out, who his friends are, where his family lives.) It's also highly advisable that both of you go to the Abused Women's Center in your area!!!! You will get to talk to the counselor and then placed in a "safe house." If you find this stalker is extremely dangerous and has actually made threats then include yourself along with your daughter if you are living alone. There is no way the stalker can find out where you are when in a safe house. There you will not only have a safe haven, but attend programs that teach you how to use the tools to deal with this stalker and there is a specialized Victim's Counselor that will go to court with you to push further charges. Be sure you find out if your daughter had any special places the two may have gone and where these places are. If her ex boyfriend stalks her, grabs her, then it is highly likely he will go to a "special place" only the two of them knew about. Here are some tips in the meantime: Make sure you do as the above poster said as far as taping threatening phone calls from this guy, put in that police report. If you have evidence this guy is a nuisance they will take this very seriously; otherwise, they will generally have to wait 24 hours (depending on the State) to declare her a missing person. Get your daughter to keep ANYTHING that he has written to her as a threat. Get the names of any of her friends that have heard him utter threats to your daughter. Have your daughter go to and from school or work with someone or you drive her. Have her give you all the names of the people this guy knows, where he hangs out, and who his parents are just as a safety measure in case she is late coming home one night. Make sure she has a CELL PHONE (they can be lifesavers) and that she phones you 4 times a day, at least. Most young women are taken by the ex-boyfriend or stalker if the young woman works shift-work late at night, but it's not uncommon for a stalker to take the victim during daylight hours. Your daughter should NOT park in underground parking. If she is at the shopping mall even with a girlfriend she should park next to a car not a van because vans can slide their doors open and grab a person before one can blink an eye. She should always be aware of her surroundings and while leaving ANY BUILDING she should move along with a crowd of people and many buildings have security so have her ask the security officer to walk her to her car or taxi. DO NOT ANSWER THE DOOR unless you have invited someone to come over and even then ask who it is. Have "code words" that friends or family give before you open that door. The majority of women that are accosted have opened that door! Make sure all windows and doors are locked. If you can afford it get an alarm system and if you can't go to the ASPCA and get a well-trained (and there are some) watch dog (a medium sized dog such as a German Shepherd, Dobie, etc.) is advisable. My husband and I will go camping in remote areas and we carry a licensed shot gun full of rock salt. This, of course, is usually only used for wildlife such as grizzlies. I don't care for guns, but can tell you, if it were anyone of my family and their life was threatened I'd fight back like a wounded grizzly and if it took a gun to do it you bet I could use it. I prefer Pepper Spray (carry it with me even when walking my dogs) and also self defence such as the above poster mentioned. If you keep a gun in the house be sure the gun is on safety and that the bullets are nearby, but NOT in the gun! Buy a gun, and learn how to use it. The above is not to make you paranoid, but to give you hints to keep not only your daughter safe, but also yourself! If you don't have a husband around the house (and even if you do he can't be there 100%) then I suggest you and your daughter take up fire arms practice by a professional. I am against firearms in the home (live in Canada), but one has to do what they have too to survive. This measure should only be taken if this ex-boyfriend has used death threats or that he will harm your daughter in any way. Good luck, God Bless, and please let us know if this guy is caught. She should get a gun and learn how to use it. It amazes me how that simple act of self-protection is overlooked, especially by women, who stand more to gain by arming themselves. The police will not help your daughter on the day, God forbid, her stalker decides to injure her. All they will do is conduct a criminal investigation after your daughter is injured or killed. No piece of paper will protect her from a nut job with violent intent. A gun will. For goodnessake, if some guy is capable of breaking the law by assaulting somebody, he certainly doesn't give a crap about violating a restraining order. In the US it buying a gun is not a simple process in most states nor would such action guarantee the safety of the persons involved. A person may only use "deadly force" if their life (lives) are in danger. The vast majority of women who are serving time in prison are there because they took the law into their own hands and killed or seriously injured their alleged abuser. In the US, prosecutors, judges, and jurors are not always in sympathy with the victim, as most of the public believe. Violence begets violence and I am surprised that anyone with a knowledge of domestic violence/abuse would take the stand that contributing to the violence is the solution. Be that as it may, the parents of a 19-year-old are limited in what action they can take to assist their daughter because in the majority of US states she is an adult and would therefore need to take charge of her own affairs. Viable options are restraining orders, alarm systems and non lethal self-defense methods, (marital arts, mace, trained guard dog, etc.) Keep in mind, more innocent people are killed by guns than are the "bad guys." (See rebuttal to this assertion on the discussion page.) There is absolutely no guarantee that the weapon won't be taken by force from the intended victim and used to harm him or her or others. (See rebuttal to this comment on the discussion page.) Well the above is true ask yourself, American or Canadian that if the laws hands are tied what would YOU do to protect yourself or those you love. For instance, in British Columbia, Canada, if a man breaks into my home with a weapon and is going to harm me in any way and I stab and kill him with a knife then "I" will be charged with second degree murder. However, once the circumstances are thoroughly checked out by police these charges are usually dropped. It all comes down to survival mode and when people say it's illegal to use a weapon of any sort to protect themselves or a loved one, I believe each of us will do anything we can to stay alive or protect those we love. We don't think of the laws at the time of the crime. People (even the elderly) are fighting against muggers in Vancouver, B.C., and even in burbs where I live. No one wants to kill another human being, but deep down one think that has never left anyone on this earth is "survival." It's true that the person committing the crime could easily use that weapon on the victim, but I'll take my chances on that one! It's better than sitting there like a lamb to slaughter! First off, I wouldn't advise buying a gun. A young person could easily panic and the gun could end up in HIS hands. This could be said for a variety of weapons; a lady in CT kept a baseball bat right next to her bed. After an argument one night, the husband used the bat to bash in her head, then threw her out of the 2nd story window. Do some detective work. Supply the police with his address, phone #, whatever you have on him. Then try to find other women that he may have been or IS stalking. Also file a protective order against him. This piece of paper won't guarantee anything, except that it will be on record with courts and local law enforcement. If the young lady is well versed in gun usage and handling, then I would say get a permit and keep one on you. If she has never really been skilled with a gun, I think that this would not be a time to be "packing'". I am not against guns nor do I think no one has the right to have one. But it seems more likely that an innocent person will be injured than a hero saves his or her own life with a handgun. I agree with above posters; get a can of Mace or pepper spray; be on the defensive at all times; don't have certain patterns of activities that you do daily, that this guy could easily track you. Change your routine daily. HOPE THIS HELPS <<>> You make the police aware of it, every time it happens. You get an injunction against him, like a restraining order. You can also take him to court for harassment, just be sure to document every incident whether on paper or camera phone. Try to have a couple of the larger male people in your lives go and have a pleasant but direct talk with him. No violence just a message that lets him know his actions are not appreciate and should cease and desist immediately or further legal action will be taken. The worse thing you can do with a stalker is threaten and not follow through. You can also play his game and have someone with time on there hands to follow him every where he goes and make him uncomfortable but they would have to be very careful. Good luck and make sure to call the police every time. They soon will tire of being in the middle of this and make the idiot understand clearly.