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Alice's Story

This is something I wrote while being stalked and still update now. I wrote it and read it out to professionals in my area to try make them understand what it’s been like. If it helps 1 person it’s worth sharing.

Imagine - Stalking

Imagine dating someone for 8 weeks and then when it ends being stalked. Well I don't have to imagine cause I’m living this, I'm still living this nightmare now 11 months later.

Imagine ending it as something wasn’t right, so you go with your gut.

Imagine receiving hundreds and hundreds of phone calls and messages, some threats and some just delusional.

Imagine blocking all contact as there was no reasoning with him.

Imagine getting more calls and more messages from other random phone numbers and various Facebook accounts, blocking them all, then getting more from other numbers and other accounts.

Imagine wanting to throw your phone off a wall to smash it because it just never stops ringing or pinging no matter how much you try to stop it.

Imagine coming home from a night out with the girls to find a card and flowers on your doorstep when you haven't gave him any responses for over a month.

Imagine reporting it all online to the police as your friends tell you this isn't right.

Imagine the very next night he turns up on your doorstep, banging your door, shouting through the letterbox. You don't dare let him know your home, you're scared what’s he wanting.

Imagine phoning the police but no one comes, too busy, it's Friday night.

Imagine the police turn up. It's now Saturday at 7pm. It's the diary appointment for the original online report, they are here to take the statement, they tell you someone will be in touch and arrest him and question him.

Imagine feeling relieved that the police will sort it because they are here to protect us.

Imagine making contact with WWIN Domestic Abuse Services and you break down crying because you’re absolutely fed up and don’t know where to turn, don’t know if they can even help. They tell you they can, you're relieved.

Imagine 9 days later and still no police have contacted you. You've rang 101 (non-emergency line) a few times but it's not assigned yet.

Imagine it's Sunday and you're at work in a busy workmans club and there he is staring in at you through the bar door and shouting your name.

Imagine shaking, scared. Why is he here and what's he going to do? Phone 999 (emergency line), the police will sort this because they are meant to help us, aren’t they?

Imagine being petrified, shaking in panic. He's fallen asleep in the bar.

Imagine the police turn up after waiting an hour and a half. They arrest him and he's kicking off in the car outside so they have to call for backup. He gets bailed and told not to contact you at all. He gets out the next day, you're scared.

Imagine being told whilst giving another statement that he has a huge criminal record with over 200 criminal convictions.

Imagine him back at your work the day he is released, pacing back and forth outside during your whole shift trying to intimidate you and shouting awful things in the doorway about you as he’s so angry

Imagine you phone 999 again no one comes.

Imagine he gets in a taxi and finally leaves as your shift ends at 11:30pm. You drive home a different way in case he's watching or lurking about, scared to get out your own car to go in your home.

Imagine going to the police station the next day distraught for help. Why did no one come when you phoned 999?

Imagine trying to seek protection under Clare’s law but being told you're safe, you're not in a relationship with him so they can’t tell you anything! Safe??? You’re in more danger now than when you dated him.

Imagine more phone calls from him.

Imagine him threatening friends.

Imagine reporting it all to the police. The fire service comes out to fit a fire letter box because his cousin threatens to "set fire" to your home.

Imagine having to get cameras in your house and take other safety measures.

Imagine he decides your locals are now his locals even though he lives on the opposite side of the city.

Imagine not going out no more.

Imagine him turning up at your house banging the fence outside and shouting threats, very angrily. It's dark, around 6am. You know he'll get away with it cause all the police talk about is evidence so you video him walking off to get the evidence.

Imagine you ring 999, but they take too long and they miss him.

Imagine the same night he turns up again, this time he throws his cap off your window. You hear the bang so you run upstairs to look out the bedroom window.

Imagine ringing 999 while the phone is on the windowsill trying to keep him talking while he’s begging you to let him in. All from a bedroom window while crying and scared for what seems like forever.

Imagine the police are finally there, they get him on the corner of your road, he is finally arrested.

Imagine you are granted an emergency non-molestation order via the courts to safeguard yourself from his contact. You finally feel safe, this order will make you safe. How naive was I?

Imagine he goes on remand for 5 days.

Imagine the court gives him bail, really back to being not safe.

Imagine a girl contacts you to say she’s been seeing him but she knows he’s used her to get at you, tells you they have been driving past your work, house, going to places they think you might be.

Imagine she tells you he hurt her and she had to get staples in her head but won’t report because she’s scared.

Imagine he phones one night while on court bail and a non-molestation order is in place not to contact. You’re at your cousin’s, you get her to record it and put him on loud speaker, you know the police always want evidence.

Imagine he gets arrested again.

Imagine he goes on remand again for 4 weeks this time with the non-mol still in place.

Imagine feeling safe at last, he’s away and he can't do anything to you now.

Imagine him having a bail hearing and it being refused. You feel great and you have your life back for a few weeks at least, no more hiding away, watching over your shoulder, being constantly on high alert.

Imagine receiving a letter from him from prison for stalking you, surely this should never have got out of the prison. Do they not know he's in for stalking you?

Imagine feeling broken.

Imagine feeling this will never stop. Why aren't you being protected?

Imagine having to deal with this almost daily from December to May.

Imagine the court case isn’t till June.

Imagine having to go see a counselor every week to try and cope.

Imagine some days you can’t see an end and you just cry, but always have a brave face to the world outside when inside you’re a broken mess, you’re not you no more, you have got lost, you have been ground down.

Imagine waking up one morning, knowing it’s nearly a week away and feeling like he’s broke you.

Imagine it’s the day before court and you feel physically sick, tired, scared, chewed.

Imagine turning up at court after going through every emotion possible and hardly any sleep.

Imagine being told he’s in the cell, he’s here from prison and it’s going to happen.

Imagine bursting into tears, scared of the unknown. You have never been to a trial before, all you want is this man to leave you alone.

Imagine the CPS (criminal prosecutors) giving you the wrong statement to read before the trial. You advise that he disappears, you are even more worried now.

Imagine the CPS recommending the stalker pleads guilty on a lesser charge so evidence isn’t needed to be given, weighing up what is best to do whilst really not having a clue what to do.

Imagine agreeing as you’rr so scared to face the courtroom as his family is there and you’re alone apart from your IDVA (domestic violence advocate) from WWIN because you didn’t dare bring anyone for support.

Imagine being told he’s getting a custodial sentence but because he’s been on remand he’s free to go. 8 weeks, that's all he got, where is the justice in that? You get a restraining order for a year.

Imagine feeling scared, like you haven’t been taken seriously, like the stress of the last 6 months hasn’t been put to the judge correctly.

Imagine the next day evaluating what happened

Imagine feeling reassured there’s a restraining order in place, he’s going to be involved with probation, he’s been warned by a judge to leave you alone and if he doesn’t he’ll be back to court.

It’s now time to put these horrible 9 months behind me!

I will still be on high alert anywhere I go and I’m not the same person I was, but I will get there again eventually.

Do I hate him? No, I generally just want him to stop and leave me alone, that’s all I ever have wanted.

I didn’t want to be put through any of this but I was.

Anyway, what have I learned?….

I am a lot stronger than I ever imagined I was.

Trust your gut, red flags are a warning, take them seriously.

Clare’s Law any new relationships if you don’t know them. It doesn’t matter how charming they are, that could all be an act!

Not all professionals or police have an understanding of stalking or even empathy towards the survivor when they are at their worst.

Narcissists and manipulators are good at what they do, don’t be fooled by them they are good at acting and make you think you're cracking up.

Unless some people get help they will be stuck in a cycle because they don’t see their wrong.

And that’s my story, time to move on.

Well, so I thought that was the end, how naive was I!

Imagine having a non-molestation order and restraining order in place and he still breaches them and is turning up looking for you!

Imagine getting a phone call on a Saturday night to say he is back at a local place alone, which is actually a breach as it’s within 100 meters of your work but you reported this before and the police did nothing.

Imagine seeing red thinking you need to put an end to this, you can’t cope no more. What does he actually want? If he wants to hurt you let's just get it over with, you just want it to end no matter what.

Imagine jumping in the car to drive down and confront him without thinking , shaking with fear and full of adrenaline and anger.

Imagine he tries to turn it all on you, you put him in prison, he only ever wanted to talk, he loves you! Remember this was only an 8 week short relationship!

Imagine driving off thinking “you idiot, why did you confront him?” Feeling even worse again, once a manipulator always one, wishing you didn't go.

Imagine being full of hate for yourself like why did you do that, why did you think he would listen. Imagine thinking you have made it worse.

Imagine sitting on your settee on a Sunday night 2 weeks later and he’s staring in your window!

Imagine you freeze and jump up and shut the curtains as you don’t know what to do.

Imagine you go run upstairs, heart racing, crying in shock to see if you can see him but no sign.

Imagine sitting with your curtains shut in daylight as you don’t dare open them.

Imagine the dogs won’t settle so you know something is happening outside, you go upstairs and there’s a black thing in your garden.

Imagine you check to see if you can see him up or down the street, it’s all clear so you run out to see what it is, it’s his phone! Why did he put his phone in the garden???

Imagine ringing a friend scared of what to do. Remove the sim so he can’t phone it,

Imagine not wanting to phone the police as they’ve let you down time and time again, what’s the point? But your friend makes you.

Imagine the police saying they will be there in an hour or ring in an hour at 830pm.

Imagine getting a phone call at 12.40am to say they weren’t coming! I think I gathered that!

Imagine not being able to sleep anyway in case he comes back, listening to every sound, checking the ring doorbell every time an alert happens.

Imagine they turn up at around 9.30am the next day, take a statement then off to arrest him, they phone later that night to say it’s going to the CPS he's breached the non mol and the restaring order

Imagine he’s up to court the next day.

Imagine he pleads guilty.

Imagine he gets an 8 weeks sentence suspended for 12 months. Really what was the actual point in the restraining order if it's broken and nothing happens!!! And for the letter he wrote to me from prison back in May (it’s now July), 1 day in prison but he’d served it already as he had been in prison.

Imagine thinking what is the actual point of phoning the police or having a non-molestation order or restraining order as he breaches and walks. They don't protect me at all.

Imagine 2 weeks later he’s back in the area you see him he shouts over at you. You're in the car so drive away.

Imagine thinking will this ever end!!!

Imagine being told he is now barred from the blue bell for damaging a table, the relief.

Imagine he is seen again outside the blue bell so you no he is still not giving up.

Imagine he sends you a message from another new Facebook account then tries to phone 4 times. You have 21 facebook accounts blocked in his name already.

Imagine phoning the police.

Imagine they come, take a statement and leave to arrest him.

Imagine getting a text to say they have him at 1.30am.

Imagine the next day they question him , he says he doesn't have a phone so it wasn't him.

Imagine he lies saying he’s been set up, you're thinking how is he getting away with this no one spells or writes a message as bad as he does, look at the hundreds he sent previously it is him!!!

Imagine it goes to CPS and they say not enough evidence to charge, another breach, another let down.

Imagine feeling let down, that he’s winning, he’s slowly chipping away at you, your getting weak, your mental health is suffering, you feel like you can't cope.

Imagine he’s let out and the night after a friend of yours gets threats sent to him.

Imagine feeling fed up, low, like he’s ruining your life/

imagine having to deactivate Facebook as you are just fed up.

Imagine reporting the threats but the police say they won't do anything about it.

Imagine less than 3 days later being woken up by a loud bang at 2am, dog barking, your heart sinks, fear takes over, you check the ring doorbell on the phone, it’s blurry, it's a damp night. You jump out of bed and look out the window, can’t see a thing. Did you dream it? Did you hear something? You doubt yourself. Later to find out it was rubble thrown at your sitting room window by the stalker, an attempt put them out.

Imagine getting back into bed, heart still racing wondering what it was, the dog wanting to go out for a wee but don’t you dare allow him out, it’s too dark and you’re alone and petrified , you should never feel unsafe in your own home.

Imagine you’re in bed trying to settle again and you hear the stalker's voice swearing, shouting, and glass smashing. You jump out of bed and see him walking off, you’re trying to get the window open shaking with fear. You shout “I know it was fucking you.” He shouts and swears back while you are phoning 999 shouting for the police to help you

Imagine being so scared and alone, shaking, unable to breath. “Help me , hurry up, he'll get away again!!!

Imagine police turn up and he's already got away, another statement is given.

Imagine the insurance company writing your car off! Your independence is taken away, you're going on holiday Friday and you need a car to take your son and dogs.

I absolutely hate this man, why do the police not stop him!? Why is he doing this to me? He’s not right in the head, this is not normal behavior. What’s next? I’m petrified, he's gradually getting worse. Is it me next, am I going to be the one to get smashed up??

Imagine having to go to work all afternoon after being up from 2am, stressed to pieces but can’t afford not to!

Imagine being so scared you can’t stay at home that night so have to sleep out, in case he's about.

Imagine getting a phone call later that night that a neighborhood officer arrested him around 5pm in Mthe park.

Imagine feeling safer but scared still at least he isn't out.

Imagine police come to take yet another statement with more details of what happened.

Imagine being on constant edge. Will he get out? Will they let him get away with it again? You feel physically sick with worry and stress.

Imagine the next day around tea time you get a call to say he’s been charged, CPS have charged him.

Finally they are listening. Breach of non-mol, breach of restraining order, criminal damage and harassment.

He’ll be at court in the morning to enter a plea, he says not guilty.

Imagine being told he has a bail hearing next Wednesday, surely they can’t let him out. Prepare for the worst hope for the best. We’ve been here before the first time he got bail, second time he didn’t, please don’t give him bail!

Imagine being on holiday for a week with the family. It's Wednesday, your mind is racing, you just want to know are you safe or not when you come home?

Imagine thinking you don’t ever want to go home, you want to just disappear so he can't find you.

Imagine you get told he’s out! Why? This man is crazy, what will it take for him to be stopped?

Imagine being told he’s on tag, he must be home between 6pm-7am and not enter a very large area north of the river anytime until the court date.

You burst into tears thinking you never want to go home and want to just live where you're on holiday. You're safe here, as soon as you're home your not.

Imagine being petrified of court, he’s going to be walking in there this time like you. You could bump into him outside, he could get you , he could hurt you.

Imagine thinking you just want to be left alone!!!!! You now have no car. Your son is now going to suffer getting him to and from school. This is impacting him now, this is not fair! You want this to stop, please someone help me and stop this man!!!!!

Imagine getting a phone call to say he breached his tag, he went home late, he’s been arrested, been to court and of course nothing happened, he walked free! Of course he, always does! The system is a joke.

What is the point in a tag if there are no consequences when the rules are broken?

Again the stalker gets away with yet another breach! In total 6 restraining order breaches, 8 non-molestation breaches and a tag curfew breach and still nothing’s happening! I thought the police were meant to help us!

Imagine It's the court date , the date you’ve been dreading, you hardly slept, you’re shaking, shivering, your body is not coping, your head is racing. What's even the point, it was a waste of time last time.

You get there, you go with your IDVA from WWIN, you're told his lawyer has covid, it might not go ahead. Another solicitor from the same firm will speak to him.

The CPS defense comes in to speak to you, she seems brilliant, you now feel confident, 3 hours of waiting and you are told to go home, it's adjourned. The stalker wants his own lawyer. It's adjourned till the end of the month.

You're fed up, more waiting, more stressing, think positive, he's still tagged at least, positive thoughts only, come on!

Imagine later that night you get a phone call from a family member that he's messaged them the night before court to ask them to say sorry to me. Another breach of orders and court bail, why does this man not just leave me alone?

Imagine phoning the police, they say they will be an hour. You go to bed. You get woken by 2 police, they tell you it isn't a breach, you say it is they patronize you, "I've done this job 30 years, that is not a breach".

You're not happy, it clearly is, it's indirect contact. His inspector comes on the phone, he wants him to confirm to me it's not a breach as "clearly he's upset me " he says to him. Aye ya mate, I've been going through hell since January, don’t speak to me like shit in my own home. You speak to the inspector who agrees with you. Yes, it is a breach, they do need to take a statement. No apology from the police man or woman who sat there in your home, instead they have zero empathy for the situation. Of all the police I have spoken to, and there have been a lot, I have given numerous statements. Last count was 18, but these are the worst and should not be in the job as they clearly do not care or understand!!

Imagine you get an email that he's been arrested, they have his phone, they will download it for proof.

Imagine you get a call from the CID to say she will be interviewing, they are going to try and go to CPS to get him remanded to prison..

Imagine he is remanded.

Imagine he doesn't get his bail at his bail hearing 5 days later.

Imagine this trial is now going to join the trial at the end of the month.

Imagine the trial is now for Criminal Damage, 2 x breach of non-mol and 2 x breach of restraining order. He's also on a suspended sentence of 8 weeks suspended for 12 months.

So I have another trial with more added, surely they will see he isn't stopping. All I want is this man to leave me alone, please leave me alone. I'm so scared of this man, please help me, I can't cope. We ended things 10 months ago. It’s been hell.

Imagine it’s the day of court, you go through every emotion possible again that morning

Imagine you walk in the court and it’s the CPS prosecutor you got the first time, the one who didn’t listen who kept getting it wrong. Your heart sinks.

Imagine you’re told he's pleaded guilty to it as he’s aware he’s getting a custodial sentence, there’s no trial you don’t need to give evidence.

Imagine you get the inner strength out of nowhere and tell CPS you want to go to that court and read your own victim personal statement. You need the magistrates to hear how he affected your life.

Imagine it’s time you fight back the tears, but you're shaking as you read it. Then you listen to the lies his lawyer tells, unable to say a word, then the prosecutor says his bit. You’re shaking, crying just want this over.

Well, what can I say? They returned and all together he got 54 weeks. I didn’t get the area or an indefinite restraining order but I got a bigger area around my home and work and it’s for 5 years. If needed I can apply for an extension.

How do I feel? At first I'm not entirely sure if this is the end. How long does he get off because of tag, remand etc.? When will he be back out as it’ll be halved too? I need that date. I'll be worried.

I need to put it behind me and forget it. Most of it I’ve already placed in a part of my head that’s locked away. I don't like to think of exactly what I’ve been through, this is how I deal with it. I block it out; it's in my diary that holds the details not my head. Trauma makes you wipe your memory to protect you.

What I’ve learned? I’m actually loads stronger because I’ve had to be. That WWIN are worth their weight in gold. That service is an absolute credit to Sunderland they need recognition. They speak to us when we are at our most vulnerable, literally on the bottom and guide us with amazing support every step of the way.

Not all police want to help or care , some do but I was let down countless times. It's very worrying.

That you have to stand up to everyone no matter who they are. If you know you're right, shout till they listen.

A survivors group and these 2 survivors in particular got me through this hell and without them and my IDVA I would not be standing here today. We need to keep our voices heard to help others going through this so they know they are not alone. And now I want to use my story to help, not only help new survivors but to help professionals understand we are real people with feelings. Please don’t judge us , just listen to us, we did nothing wrong. Listen to us and work with us. We can help you help future survivors.

Anyway, for now I’m safe again and I’m glad I could end this on a sort of positive note with him being in prison. I’m a different person from when this started but I’m stronger than ever cause I had no choice. I now suffer with the effects of trauma and have attacks. I'm worried about his release which I’ve been told now could be soon, but I’ll deal with that then. I can’t allow myself to think of that or I’ll not cope.

I'm Alice and I survived!

He got out again after 5 months.

That day, I was trying to stay as positive as I could. I turned all the cameras back on, on my home. I’m a totally different person now. I feel ready for anything that happens now (hopefully nothing will though). I have a 5 year restraining order, not that the one prior to him going to prison made a difference, as he broke it so many times, but I have one.

I’m keeping away from the town center in case I see him, so I’m back to having to alter the way I live. I watch every bus that passes me in case he’s on it. I won’t go on the metro alone now in case he’s on. I watch over my shoulder and anywhere I am I assess how I can get out and who’s around me. I’m very careful what I put on social media now and won’t post where I am even though my accounts are private.

That man I met for 8 weeks in 2021 has changed my life forever. I just pray this is the end but until I get maybe 3 months of no contact or sightings, I won’t settle. I can't for my own safety.

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