StopStalkingUs.com began with a personal story.
“For seven years and counting, I have been stalked. Only in 2013, after two months in hiding and living under a pseudonym, my stalker was finally arrested through the work of the N.Y.C. Special Victims Unit. He was prosecuted and incarcerated, but has since been released. He continues to stalk me. Despite this, I consider myself a survivor. It has taken its toll.
I am outing myself because I want other victims of stalking to feel less alone and to take their hurt and fear more seriously. I want to generate discourse and promote understanding about the crime of stalking.
I never invited this fear into my life. It has eroded my sense of trust in myself and has made me suspect the good intentions of others. It's left me isolated, distanced me from intimacy and made me bitter and skeptical in ways I don't want to admit.
This has been one of the most challenging experiences of my life. I didn't speak about this for years because it was ugly, confusing, embarrassing and unstoppable. I was afraid to make a big deal of something which did not bear obvious signs of violence.
Admitting the deep impact of being stalked and examining my complicated coping mechanisms has left me humbled. On the outside although I am a confident and independent woman, on the inside I’m struggling to breathe because I don’t feel like there’s enough space. I feel like I'm living intimately with something I can’t control. I go to great lengths to hide it.
Despite the fear of violence and retribution from publicly outing myself, it is time. I want to step out of the shadow of this dark personal experience and use my voice to to help build a community of support to empower myself and others. As a result, I've told my story to Glamour Magazine so that this message to be heard.
I have also been compelled to transform my personal experience into a fictionalized drama about the horrors of stalking. I am making a feature film, GLASS. In this narrative, my protagonist is stalked and manipulated by a stranger, but in the end is able to confront and overcome her stalker.
The ways in which the legal system characterizes stalking as a crime fail to offer adequate protection for many victims. It is my wish that GLASS, in conjunction with this site, will help spark a discussion and a shift in our understanding that stalking is a form of personal and private terrorism.
Everyone's online with an identity. It’s an exhilarating tool for self-expression and it should be within one’s right to do this without fear or guilt; but exposure has a dark side that cannot be ignored.
Has anything good come from all of this? I've searched for this answer:
My experience has left me with a ravenous compassion for people who have been violated. It has left me with a ruthless intolerance for bullshit. It has left me with a fire inside, a sense of mission. And profoundly, it leaves me loving people who struggle to love themselves well.
The more I share my story, the more I hear similar ones, stories of unwanted, pervasive, insidious attention, what I call #invisibleviolence. It can feel amazing to be seen and recognized, but I've had to learn to live with the fear of knowing someone I don't want is watching me too. It's a double-edged sword. I believe that from a destructive place, awareness can emerge and a new strength can be found."