How under reported is the problem of stalking, and what can we do about it?

As I write a blog called Morgan’s stalking it should come as no great surprise that I come in contact with victims of stalking – before this I would have never known this was such a hugely under reported crime.  Before Morgan was stalked, and murdered, yes absolutely and very shockingly murdered, Steve and I really did not know very much about stalking.  It was a word that had meaning, but in that far away sense, never to cross our universe.

Now it is different for me, the victims of stalking mean more than I can explain.  I have this drive now that compels me not want what happened to Morgan to happen to anyone else.  Is that such a bad thing?  I will never believe that it is, and I know that the solution starts with the truth.

First comes a change that must happen for all of us.  In a 2009 study by the Bureau of Justice on stalking in the United States, over 60% of stalking victims never reported the crime, I believe that, and suspect that today it is not very different.  Yet that is a number that has to change, drastically.

How does this happen?  Again, with the truth – stalking is a crime under the laws of all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and the federal government.  Research it and read it, assume your stalker has already done the same.  Also, research the victim’s rights laws in your state, know them and expect them to be upheld.  I have no doubt that our stalker already knew all about the laws he was breaking, how else could he have done it so well?

Next, after you contact law enforcement, ask yourself a simple question.  Are they being reactionary?  Are they reacting to your calls about another stalking incident, or is there a plan of prevention being put in place?  If it is just reaction, don’t be surprised, that is the way law enforcement is taught.  Crime occurs – react.  Until every agency in the country has a protocol to step forward and seek to prevent your stalkers next step, instead of sitting back, and reacting – the stalkers have been given the upper hand.  And, unfortunately for us all, that is the situation that I believe far too many of us are saddled with today.  This is why education, as well as a change in existing protocols needs to be implemented.

Do I think for one second that our detective wanted to see Morgan end up dead, no of course not.  He has children of his own that he loves dearly, he was devastated the day Morgan was found.  For me to be frustrated that he came to our door without any of the right tools, when I thought he had all the answers is to be expected.  No matter what I am ever told, I doubt I will ever, as a mother, fully forgive myself for allowing my daughter to be murdered, and Steve feels exactly the same way.  It does not help, we know this, but if that is how we feel, don’t expect us to let anyone else off easy.

In what may be a very unscientific conclusion, all of the many victims that have contacted me, with the exception of two, feel that they are receiving the cold shoulder from law enforcement.  Do not be surprised if this is how you feel.  Two had their stalkers arrested, after proactively using cameras that were able to snap photographic evidence of their stalker – their LE agencies confronted their stalkers, as they had obvious proof, and the stalkers confessed. This is so wonderful – but trust me it doesn’t always happen like that.

I received some very good counsel from a very wise individual today, and it has helped me very much.  And let me share part of it with you, if you even think you may have a stalker, seek help, early and often.  Because if you keep silent and do not, then it is just you against your stalker, and what more could your stalker ask for?

Please – the time is now – Take Stalking Seriously!

12 thoughts on “How under reported is the problem of stalking, and what can we do about it?

  1. 11 years ago I was the victim of stalking-first in person (until I received a restraining order) and then via the internet and my family and friends (this was before various online harassment laws came into effect in my state). I was fortunate that the law enforcement in my town took this very seriously, particularly a female detective at my local police department. I’m also the stepdaughter of a victim’s rights advocate from another state, and she played a big part in teaching/instructing me how to get help (my point is I had resources who KNEW how this would end up and helped me make some smart moves). DESPITE new laws coming into play surrounding online criminal harassment during my ordeal, the person who stalked, harassed, and threatened me, when took to court and sued by my state, only received a $35 fine and a slap on the wrist. The ONLY thing that saved me was he had moved on to his next victim by that point (a woman he married, fathered a child with, and did the same thing to). So while I was supported by local law enforcement, the actual laws were ineffective in stopping this pathologic stalker, unfortunately. It’s my belief he will just continue to repeat his behaviors with his next victim and his next and his next. During my trial, I learned via the CORI laws, that this person had stalked and harassed his prior partner as well. He was a known repeat offender and there was no law in place that looked at his entire history and the likelihood that he would repeat his crimes. The laws in place in my state at that time were a joke. In fact, it’s my belief after many years, that the laws almost inspired him to continue his behaviors. I read your story with a heavy heavy heart, thinking that could have been me, thanking God it wasn’t, and praying for you and your family as you mourn the loss of your beautiful and amazing daughter. God bless you. xoxoxo

    • Thank you so much for sharing your story. I am very sorry for your experience, but I am so happy you are OK. This is why laws HAVE to change! Take care!

    • Kristan tried to send you an email but it bounced back – could you try to send through the website form submission again and type your email address again?

  2. Hello, I have been reading your blog, thanks to social networking for a while now. I must say that taking in all these details and facts got me so angry at one point I was shaking! The extreme indifference of the law officials combined with the brazen and taunting nature of this stalker together are almost too much! Much prayers and condolences for your family in this great loss…

    I have noticed though one question that no-one has asked. It is a hard question to even ask… but did the coroner check for semen?

    It seems that would be the end goal of most stalkers, and an easy way to disprove their argument that it was “suicide.”

    • That is one of the questions that I wanted answered.

      At the crime scene that morning I was reassured by the officers there that there was no sign of sexual assault. I spoke with the detective after we received her autopsy results, and he said there was no sign of sexual assault – I looked at her autopsy results, and never saw any reference to a rape kit or anything being done on her body, so I hate to say this, but I do not believe the Pathologist even checked if there was semen or anything else in any of her body cavities – I was told when they scanned her bed they saw no signs of bodily fluids – I said, “give me a break, that’s impossible because she had not washed her sheets in almost a week, and she had a puppy and cat in her room, I’m sure there had to be bodily fluids.”

      They never took any of her bedding and when I asked if they had tested the clothes she was wearing they changed the subject, and would never give us a straight answer…I am beyond livid with this whole process. When you have just been through 4 months of hell, and then your heart feels like it has been ripped out of our body, because of the pain of realizing your youngest child is dead, how can any human being put parents through what these people have put us through? Why can they do the job they were hired to do correctly? I told the detective and the Dr. Kurtzman that during the viewing of her body it was noticed that 3 of her nails on her right hand were either cut or ripped at an angle – Dr. Kurtzman said they were perfect when her body left him and he did not cut them so they must have been damaged on the way to the funeral home and those people were responsible – so I asked him if he had pictures of her nails (obviously because since she was right handed they could have been defensive wounds) he said again she showed no signs of a struggle, but never straight out answered my question about her nails.

  3. Shady, shady, shady!!!

    It’s infuriating. Just keep on plugging away, Toni. I have faith that you’re making progress. Hugs to you!

  4. Oh, this is infuriating. Praying for justice for Morgan SOON. God bless you with wisdom and revelational knowledge as you proceed. Praying also for an advocate to join your cause who can give you more access and favor wherever needed. Best to you.

  5. I think we did just get an advocate today – good news on the horizon. I saw the colors changing in Aspen this morning and just new here comes change…and it started to happen this afternoon. Thanks for your prayers!

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