By | June 14, 2010 57 Comments

Domestic violence and digital abuse

In a local tragedy a week ago, a woman, Tracy Coleman, her brother and her 13-year-old son were shot to death by the woman’s boyfriend, Sharif Whitlock. The murders took place 45 minutes after the woman had filed a domestic violence complaint against her boyfriend. The perpetrator fled the scene and later hanged himself.

The case was the lead incident in a story published yesterday by my local newspaper, the Press of Atlantic City. It was entitled, Hamilton Twp. shooting deaths show familiar domestic violence outcome. The well-done story focused on the larger issue of domestic violence. In Atlantic County, New Jersey over the last two years, 13 people have been killed in domestic violence situations, including three perpetrators. A total of 21 children lost a parent.

Reading about Coleman and Whitlock, I could see all the typical signs of a sociopathic perpetrator and a well-meaning victim. The couple had broken up, but Whitlock constantly called Coleman, accusing and threatening her. For her part, Coleman felt she couldn’t abandon someone who had so many problems.

And then came the statement with caught my attention: Whitlock used technology to try to control his girlfriend.

The article quoted Yasmine Lopez, Coleman’s friend and instructor in the dental hygienist class she was taking:

Lopez said in the days before the shooting, Whitlock constantly called and texted his girlfriend so much so that the cell phone in her pocket never stopped vibrating. During one of those calls on June 2, Lopez said she overheard Whitlock on the phone, making threats and telling Coleman, “Don’t you understand? I want to kill myself.”

The article then quoted from the police report:

When Coleman spoke to a police officer June 6, she said Whitlock had broken her cell phone. The complaint says Whitlock later bought a new phone, had the number changed to Coleman’s number giving him access to her friends and family and “called subjects on (her) contact list and harassed them.”

This harassment via technology now has a name: Digital abuse.

Control in the technology age

Cell phones, e-mail, Facebook and Twitter—digital technology provides abusers with another avenue for asserting control over their victims and monitoring what they are doing.

The Press reporters interviewed Susan Risdon, spokesperson for the National Domestic Violence Hotline. She said that digital abuse often runs in tandem with verbal abuse and physical violence.

“We see a lot of instances where someone will send their partner 50 to 80 text messages a day, and if they can’t get a hold of them, they’ll text their best friend, saying, ”˜Are you with her?’” Risdon said.

“Domestic violence involves control, trying to isolate someone from their friends and loved ones, and keeping them to yourself. Digital abuse is a way to extend that isolation.”

Abuse among youth

The victim in this case, Tracy Coleman, was 44 years old. But digital abuse is even more common among those who live and breathe everything digital—teenagers and young adults. A study by the Associated Press and MTV, which was released late last year, found that 50 percent of 14- to 24-year-olds have experienced some form of digital abuse.

Here’s how the study defined digital abuse:

  • writing something online that wasn’t true
  • sharing information that a person didn’t want shared
  • writing something mean
  • spreading false rumors
  • threatening physical harm
  • impersonation
  • spying
  • posting embarrassing photos or video
  • being pressured to send naked photos
  • being teased
  • encouraging people to hurt themselves.

Last year MTV launched a campaign called aimed at stopping the spread of abuse in the form of sexting, cyberbullying and digital dating abuse. The goal is to “empower America’s youth to identify, respond to and stop the spread of various forms of digital harassment.”

The campaign is called A Thin Line, reflecting the thin line between what’s public and what should be private. The website explains several kinds of abuse: sexting, constant messaging, spying, digital disrespect and cruelty. It also offers suggestions for young people to take control of their digital domains. One of the key recommendations: If they see or experience abuse, report it.

I hope young people get the message. Maybe if they learn that digital bullying, harassment and threats are not okay, they’ll get the message that the same behaviors in real life are also not to be tolerated.

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Ox Drover

This is the kind of article (and I see many of them on the news and in the papers) that makes me so sad….essentially, this is STALKING. My son and I had a discussion the other day about the DEFINITION of “stalking.”

When I sort of “have” to give an explination on why I am so “paranoid” (gun toting) I casually mention that in the past I had a STALKER who is now out on parole and I don’t want to be caught “with my pants down around my knees and no way to protect myself.” MY IDEA is that by saying I had a STALKER people will underestand that this is a SERIOUS threat from some one “out to get me”—my son disagrees about what “most people” would think. He thinks that most people would think a “stalker” was just a obnoxious pain in the butt but nothing to really be afraid of.

I would like your opinions on this. I KNOW, IN MY MIND AT LEAST that a stalker is DANGEROUS many times, if NOT MOST of the time, but whaqt you guys think “most people” believe when you say “stalker”? Maybe I better come up with a better or different word to convey that this is SERIOUS but jyet I don’t want to give a lot of DETAILS. What’ya tink?


Oxy – I think maybe the word stalker is banded about with the youth of today(whippersnapper’s;) in such a way that it looses it’s real meaning.
For instance – if one friend is looking at anothers FB profile more than once or twice…”Hahahaha! *so and so* is stalking me”… and they may simply be bored and absentmindedly flicking on an off things… this is called ‘stalking.’ that’s what I’ve seen/heard anyway. they are taking something and subverting it …. yoot culture. I wonder what word they use for ACTUAL stalking!(ask your son – I want to know!)x

probably: ‘Naaaah man! I mean PROPPA stalking!;)


I am sounding old, but I hear kids taking serious issues and banding them about as ‘fun’ a lot. A lot more than we did as kids…
An adult taking pictures at a child’s party – ” man he’s a Paedo” without being interested in what the word Paedophile MEANS. Oh – I dunno. just my thoughts on your question…


My daughter’s father’s wife began texting him continually from the moment they got together whenever they were apart… he has had a nightmare since… the relationship just gets more and more oppressive and abusive…he says: ‘she’s just insecure’. technology helps abusers reach a wider audience and track their victim without leaving the house, sociopaths construct elaborate attacks and lovefrauds, aswell as being a useful re-source. What to do?

Ox Drover

Well, you agree with my son D. That leaves me at an impasse because I want SOME WORD that conveys SERIOUS problems with someone “following” me for evil purposes, but yet don’t want to go into any nitty-gritty details.

Any ideas GANG!? Come on you guys are smart, you can come up with something. I am ALL out of ideas on this one!


Dear Oxy – I dont PERSONALLY agree with your son. I just see that with younger people that seems to be the trend.


I dont think the words need to be changed (STALKER.PSYCHOPATH.PAEDOPHILE) but peoples understanding of what that REALLY means does.x

Ox Drover

Yea, I think that is the problem is that the younger generations use these words as “slang” and like in my generation if you called someone a b1atch you would get slapped in the mouth, now they call each other “hos” and “b1atches” and so on or “perves” but the words are not SERIOUSLY used.

Got any ideas on what word I could substitute?



Ox Drover

Thanks Blue, but not sure the red necks around here would know what a HUMAN PREDATOR is, I’m thinking about NUT CASE or NUT JOB, or CRAZY guy, or maybe just a “mentally ill” guy is obscessed with me. Not QUITE the whole truth, but close enough I guess for not having to go into a lot of detail that I don’t want to.l Any more ideas? I don’t have to make up my mind today. Thank goodness!


I get facebook and myspace, but even those things I’m limited with the amount of personal information that goes out… and, I don’t put a lot of pictures up. It’s unfortunate, but people need to always exercise precaution before putting out personal information, or using online forums.

It’s funny, but I met my ex-sociopath through an online dating site, where he (of course) lied about his credentials, character, background, everything, etc.

Later, I even found that he had another profile page on a different site that had a really disturbed introduction.

One time, when talking to another local girl that knew my ex, we were joking, and I had her rate my ex-s (at that time boyfriend) on a scale of 1-10 on psycho, and she rated d an 8 or 9. Haha.

I told her I met him online, and said, I tried the online thing, because I didn’t think it was a good idea to meet someone in say a bar. But, I told her, after what I’ve gone through, I joked that if I could do it all over again, I’d pick up a random guy at a bar, and advise everyone to do the same!


Totally didnt understand/ mis-read your situation..ox. You are trying to find an easy word that will alert your community. apologies. I was being general.x use the word dangerous: “dangerous psychotic “? That might give them the willies.

on second thought. Dangerous Stalker is more truthful and might work better because it will describe …well…the stalking and sneaky factor.x

Ox Drover

I think you are right, Blue, I will just add the word “dangerous” to the stalker word and it will be more accurate probably portray what I am trying to get acoss..Well, need to get off this computer and get a few things done around here. got my BF coming from Texas tomorrow and need to get the bed made and floor swept!


BF??? when did this happen?? You see – I dont read things properly!

Ox Drover

SORRY BLUE, BEST FRIEND not BOY friend. I didn’t even think. Nah, baby when I get a BF you will hear me shouting the whole words, not just initials—that is if he is worth having a second date with. So far I haven’t seen one I would want a FIRST date with in 2 years or more.

And I can tell you there is NO line forming outside my gate OR my door either. So I am NOT holding my breath! He would also have to be a 9.9 on a scale of 1-10 to make me even consider giving up this LIFE OF FREEDOM which I am getting to like pretty well.


I cannot thank you enough for this article! It isn’t just about young people or kids. This includes adults, such as myself. This is one of the types of abuse my ex used and still does. He has called and sent mail to my ex-husband, my family, friends and children. He used to call me up to 24 times a day. It was HARASSMENT all the way. The joke used to be that he and a phone were a bad mix. BUT it wasn’t funny at all.
I have no question in my mind that what he did was stalking. His latest attempt went straight to the police. I had a birthday party for my youngest son out of town. I purposely didn’t have the party around where I live because of him. My 3 older children had the party with me at my oldest son’s home. That idiot called me 14 times while I was out of town and sent numerous text messages. Documentation becomes very important here.
And WHY did he do all of this? He wanted to get under my skin. He wanted to get to me…well, he did! And I went right to the police because he’s breaking the restraining order. If you have never been a victim of this kind of abuse, be glad! It IS ABUSE. I’m just so glad to see it addressed here and now I can give a real name to it.
Thank you!

Ox Drover

Dear Cat, Happy birthday! Sorry he is still messing with you, but maybe the restraining order will put him back in jail for a while. May not stop him, but will make you feel better at least! (((hugs)))) Can you change your cell number or anything else to help slow it down some?

I’ve been reading a really good couple of books written by a woman who was one of the instrumental women in getting stalking laws passed (first one in 1990) and that is NOT that long ago, I’ll do a report on the books here pretty soon when I get a chance there is some great information in there about how to prevent stalking and how to handle it when you can’t prevent it, both legally, and emotioonally.

And STALKING is more common than most people know, and even then, only a small number are actually REPORTED.

She also makes a good point that WE must be responsible for our own safety by insistring that the police take us seriously! Which I think is great advice! The early struggles she had when she was bleeding on the street and the cops would’t do anything because it was a “domestic” problem, and the cops woujldn’t even take her to the hospital because “we aren’t a taxi service:”—they did call her a cab though! SHE fought our early battles, so it is up to us to keep the light burning for future gnerations of women and men! You are doing your part!!!!! TOWANDA!!!


Keep making reports….I think you got that.
The cops don’t arrest each time and this can be frustrating….but at some point the DA will be aware and when it counts…..they will ‘shut him down’.

Keep your head up…..your making a point!!!!!


Jim bugged me to accept him as my friend on Facebook. I did what he does to me. I made a lot of excuses about nothing, and never did accept him as my friend on the site. I knew that Jim would “take over” on Facebook. He already took over my neighbors across the street. He is the best friend of what used to be my friends. What would he do when so many of my family members are on Facebook?

He is not interested in knowing my family. He made endless excuses not to attend family functions with me.

I believe he wanted to be my “friend” on facebook so he could become star of the show. And, I would become invisible. He would walk away with a smug look on his face. As I sit home alone with no outside contact.


super chic

I think stalker is an excellent word for a dangerous person. From Wikipedia: Rebecca Lucile Schaeffer (November 6, 1967 ”“ July 18, 1989) was an American actress best known for her role in the sitcom My Sister Sam. Schaeffer was stalked and then murdered by an obsessed fan, prompting the passage of anti-stalking laws in California.

Theresa Saldana, another actress was also stalked, she was stabbed (thankfully she survived) in 1982.

John Lennon, Jodie Foster, countless people we hear about on the news. Sorry kid… your mom is right on this one!

super chic

jeannie812, I think you are absolutely right about blocking this guy from your Facebook page. He can learn too much info about you just from looking at your friend’s pages… other people post more info about us, they post pictures of us, and they don’t block their info.

My page has every security option checked off, and I don’t say much about myself on top of that!!

Ox Drover

I’ve been reading two books written by a woman stalked by 2 of her x-es for 40+ years, and both guys did her some major bodily harm. Her first X went to a mental hospital for the criminally insane for 17 yers but got out and went right back to stalking her. Even wrote her daily during the 17 yrs inside.

Prior to the 1990 laws, police did NOT take any “stalking” seriously at all. Things have changed somewhat, but NOT ENOUGH for sure!~

I’m just now educating myself on stalking, and what I am learning makes me uncomfortable—as former victims of psychopaths, we all I think have a sensitivity to what destruction these people can do even if it is never physical. Psychological stalking is as bad or worse than physical I think. I don’t want to live in TERROR and I won’t, but I do want to be INFORMED AND CAUTIOUS. I am making some changes in my life. I can’t erase what is out there on the internet about me, or information about me (been doing some searching about what is out there on me) but I can keep more information from being out there.

Erin B’s suggestion of and searches on yourself should prove very interesting! Give it a try!


oxy – I was thinking ‘criminally insane’ or some derivative of it.


What is stalking: “The National Institute of Justice’s Model Anti-Stalking Code doesn’t require stalkers to make a credible threat, but it does require victims to feel a high level of fear.”

Both my ex’s stalk, one is more stealth than the other. As a result, I go to great lengths to keep anon and lay low, while still having a life.


FaceBook/MySpace (if you must use one, read this):

firefly – excellent eye-opener for women who have left an abusive spouse.

Privacy in education (including college):


– Use of public records: In some states, voting records (just enrolling to vote) is a matter of public record and lists your physical address right online, no charge.

– Place real property in a trust, and list utilities under the name of the trust.

– Utilize a private mail box service to receive all personal mail.

– Place a “freeze” on your credit file.

– Place real property in a trust, and list utilities under the name of the trust.


– Utilize a private mail box service to receive all personal mail (USPS sells your data, when you move, USPS alerts *ALL* (ie, sell your info, again) databases you have moved and the new address. Try to never use USPS for residential or PO Box, instead use a private mail delivery such as “mailboxes etc”.

– TIP: If you currently have a PO Box or residential address, and want to change your mailing address, keep the old address while notifying “the few” and “necessary” of your new mailing address – do not use a “change of address form” at the post office. Then keep the old address until all mail ceases (approx two years).


Removal from data mining sites:

Google phonebook name removal:

A lot of good removal information, here:


LexisNexis (big one!): (opt-out for each computer you/your family uses)
“To underscore our commitment to privacy and our vision that good privacy is good business, we have adopted an online privacy policy for, and (except for, which has a separate privacy policy). These sites are operated by LexisNexis Risk Solutions Inc. and/or its affiliates (“LexisNexis”).”

–>SEE PRIVACY POLICY FOR EACH (opt-out, even if you fax, upload, or mail them a form; this is one of, if not *the one* data miner the little guys (intellius, etc) use.


For intellius, peoplefinder, etc., just go to the privacy policy/options and opt-out or send a fax o USPS form (or letter) ”“preferably typed, and do not sign your name, print/type your name.

Reputation (and privacy) Defender:
Web visibility score:

Reputation Defender: ;

My Privacy (paid): ;

Edge (paid): .

…I am done (wouldn’t send in one post)


i exist on fb but under a pysudenom – with all privacy settings set so that only my handful of freinds can see things.

i hid or deleted blogs that i formerly had and wrote to google to have them removed from cache. i also wrote the webmasters of some school related pages and had them remove old contact info and then had google remove the cache. to begin with i googled not only my name but my blog names and key words in the blogs to find all the pages. i had a friend do it in the uk also – she foufn different pages than i did. i had all of them removed.

i use a proxy server for most surfing and email. (‘proxify’ is the one i use) email contains information (called headers) which can be opened and the area which you live in and the IP address block assigned to your computer will be exposed to anyone who bothers to look and google those addresses. (this is how i found out that ALL the folks i was talking to were in one place and not spread out around the globe -ie the same person). proxy servers hide your address.

thanks for the great info firefly. i will add it to my ‘things to do to hide from the spath list.’ sigh.

have just now put in the request to remove my phone number – the one thing i didn’t change, but i have any unlisted/ unidentified numbers and hers, blocked.


one_step –

Great job! And it can be *sigh* tiresome to do all this work, but it is worth it. As for the “paid” removal sites, I think by going through Lexis and it’s buddy, ChoicePoint, we can remove everything ourselves. …and go on down to the lesser sites and just keep cleaning up.

Another thing you pointed out, which is true and very helpful- have a friend search from another computer/region, they will find new/different info on you. Same for what browser you use, use another computer (such as at a library) that has multiple browsers than you have on your home computer.

Remove old phone numbers, too! And if “okay” remove phone numbers of all relatives.


This might be a good place to get some advice on a situation that happened to me recently. I allowed a male friend to stay at my place for a few weeks recently when he needed a place while he was moving. We had known eachother for maybe 8 months or so and had never had any problems, just hanging out casually. Well, during the time he stayed with me, he became upset when he knew I was not attracted to him how he wanted me to be and one day I came home and all his stuff was gone. He never called me but after four days he texted me that he was mad my cat peed on his clothes. I texted him back sorry about the cat and asking why he did not call and did not bother to return or leave the key. Then the problem came: he texted me back, “Your not comfortable with me taking the key (insert swearing), F you, (insert swearing) !”. He has not returned the key and it has been over two more weeks with him having it and we have not communicated. My intuition tells me without question the real problem is that he feels rejected. I am about to renew the lease here. There is no such thing as remote controlled hidden cameras or anything is there?? I know that may sound like a crazy question, but I am going to ask to have my locks changed by my apartment and this guy’s behavior has suddenly become creepy. I feel our friendship is obviously over. I texted him that I am not comfortable with him taking the key and I have not heard from him. Obviously he could have made a copy anyways. Maybe this is just his way of getting back at me for not wanting a relationship. I guess I shouldn’t have allowed him to stay with me because he had expressed attraction previously. I did know that he had a crush on me. That was a bad move. Why haven’t I learned my lessons by now. I was just trying to help a friend, and now he has refused to return my key- he left some of his stuff at my place too. I am broke and I can’t afford to pay for the locks to be changed so I hope the landlord will do it for me for free. I honestly worry about cameras, etc. It may or may not be an overreaction, but how can I know.


Thanks for all of this info Firefly. Your posts are always so helpful and practical!:)x

I was completely naive about the internet. I’m still pretty clueless and stupid day to day:(

The Spath was the first person I ever met who was completely paranoid about his ‘info’ showing up on line…I didnt understand… snow -white here’s attitude was why worry if you’ve nothing to hide? he said his ex wife was monitoring his usage through an FBI contact! I thought he was just being paranoid (and anyway i though he’s TOLD her about us…and werent they divorced? …and blah-di-blah-di-blah PUKE!). shortly after that she contacted me (I had no idea at the time it would be so EASY to just contact someone) with a really nasty e-mail quoting his correspondence with some chic he’d picked up plus quoting what I had written about a particularly tough time with my son on a parenting advice board and information about my credit reference file. I felt humiliated and violated. I had never been in a relationship that involved this type of ‘craziness’.

I also felt completely confused, I couldnt understand living in a world of monitoring people and hiding your tracks, of grooming people on-line, of using the internet as a mask. It’s like being shown a disgusting image and having it burnt onto your brain forever.

After the disgard I tracked his movements on line myself! (so I became the ‘stalker’ just like his ex wife!) I had no idea he’d be able to notice!DUH! I wanted to TELL people about him!! Oh! the whole thing makes me feel ill.
It’s part of My trauma.


hopeful: yes, cameras exist. Erinbrock can give you the low down – her place is a virtual movie set.

get the locks changed and block his phone number. he is immature and vengeful at the least. don’t listen to another word he has to say. he is in no way acting like a friend.

don’t worry, you WILL fine tune your radar. you are in the classroom now. first lesson – cut your losses and protect yourself. he is not trust worthy.


Hopeful. ITS HORRIBLE to be in a position where you HAVE to do something like change the locks and check every area of your house for hidden cameras… sounds/looks bonker? Who cares? who’s looking? DO IT anyway. you have nothing to lose.x You wouldnt think twice about changing the locks if you had your handbag snatched!xx


bluesky – this is where proxy severs and false identities (on fb and myspace, etc.) come in handy. if we have to search, we need to go stealth.

fiefly- never occured to me to remove relatives phone numbers! thanks. the ppath has two phone numbers (and lives out of my area, so no access to phone books) of family/ friends. will remove some others from 411. Thanks again.


I know one step but part of me still thinks NOOOO! I dont WANT to be LIKE THAT. LIKE IT! LIKE A SPATH!! I dont want to be frightened or stealthy. I want to be ME. to my friends and to anyone who wants to look me up for business. I want people to be able to contact me for commissions on my website….ect.ect.ect.:(

I have to get my head around what is the risk and where is the balance.


blueskies – i hear you.

i don’t think it is spathy. it is about risk assessment and appropriate response to your risk.

i think it is realizing THEY exist and we have to protect ourselves from them. i’ve had to accept that i have to do certain things to protect myself. i find it hard emotionally, too. i am still working on separateing ‘stelthy’ from ‘frightened’. andit def. goes against how i like to be in the world.

there is a loss of innocence…i cannot resist this loss, regardless of how it changes me. and i am betting that over time i will integrate these lessons and be a smarter person in the world because of it.

now, because you are online for business you do need a web presence. a few ting to consider:

there is a way to monitor who comes to your site – what their IP addresses are. Ask your web hosting company how to do that. And don’t answer inquiries from anyone with his IP. You can figure that out by opening the headers of his emails.
Be careful of the content you put on your website. don’t put anything up that talks about your life, where you are, what you are doing, changes in your life. Have a contact form programmed for your site, so that you don’t have to use an email address so that others can contact you.


blueskies, it *is* a horrible position to be blindsided by our Internet usage then have it turned against us; covering our tracks, using proxy settings – yes, going stealth to keep safe. For me, I am tired of relocating because of the spath.

Cameras, video, audio – the spath has used them all, and we had a voice activated tape recorder in the bathroom (I had no clue until after I left).

I have changed the locks on my outer doors (twice), and when I first left also changed the locks to my car (doors and trunk).

As for your website (and living), the balance is where ever you are and feel safe, then keep both eyes open so you can stay where you are (safety-wise) yet still grow as a person. The mean relative to you 🙂


fierfly: ‘voice activated tape recorder in the bathroom’ there is no emoticon to express my response to this.

many years ago i lived with someone who tapped our phone. i remember quite clearly the gaslighting of having parts of my conversations fed back to me.

bathroom. one step shakes her head….


one_step –

He claims to have had the place “wired” and I usually laughed it off, then came the tapes. No wires far as I know, just the cheaper stuff. He is cheap (with his own money) and lazy.


Just checked with my landlord and it will be $25 to change the locks, not as bad as I thought. There is no way to control cameras from outside of an apartment though, right? I hate to sound so ‘paranoidish’, lol. I mean this person I thought was a friend has not done anything even remotely close to the sociopath I dated who I first came onto this site for. He isn’t a sociopath, but he is definitely being selfish, immature and, ya definitely vengeful by keeping my key. I’ll just get the locks changed and forget about it. I mean what reason would he have to keep the key other than to just intimidate me if it isn’t to actually commit a crime. It’s one or both of those two things and I think it is probably just to have some power over something he couldn’t have power over. Jerk! We never even had an argument or fight, but I could feel the resentment about my not wanting to be intimate, etc., not feeling attracted to him. I still feel sad that I have lost a friend, but some people do say that guys and girls can’t be friends, which I find to be ridiculous if both parties are intelligent adults. Anyways, just venting and since he doesn’t reach sociopath levels, just immature, I will stop rambling. Lol. On a note about my ex sociopath however, I just found out from a friend in the court system that he has been arrested for possession of a stolen vehicle. Only thing surprising is that he got caught and wasn’t able to sweet talk his way out of it. He probably will be able to get out of any true consequences though.

Ox Drover

Dear Hopeful,

The way you describe this second guy, the MORE HE SOUNDS TO ME LIKE HE IS A PSYCHOPATH. A normal person would not want to keep your key, or to become VENGEFUL. Sounds like he was trying to pressure you into sex as well, and that is so P-like more than just “immature.” Anyway, he is out of your life though! THAT’s GOOD!

I think you can check on line about the radio controled cameras that can be mounted out side your apartment, they are tiny, and almost “invisible” and shoot in dark etc. and then raido the signal inside to your TV or recorder or computer. Or you can mount them inside so they shoot out through a window.


WOW! I miss a day and look at all the good stuff on here!

Thank you and I am actually feeling much calmer over this these days. I document like crazy! I also keep tabs on my ex and I don’t consider it stalking. I go to the websites my city and county has that tells the public what offenses have been committed and who did it. I just saw AGAIN that he is going to court for driving on a suspended license with suspended plates and “OPERATING VEHICLE OR MOTOR CYCLE WITHOUT FULL ATTENTION”. I don’t know what that means. Reckless driving? Regardless, he’s on probation and the above offenses might very well give him that 6 months in jail he’s being trying to avoid.
I have a very strong belief that knowledge is power and I have to have that power in all ways possible to take care of myself and my child as well. Between what I go to the police with and what these public records say, I can have a fair idea of what he’s up to. So, I agree with the author who said we have to be the ones to take initiative, to INSIST when it comes to the police. It IS tiresome and I do get sick of it all, but I also know I have to be on my toes.

EB, ages ago you suggested that I send a copy of the restraining order to ALL local law enforcement agencies, sheriff’s dept., local police departments, etc.. It was, and is, a GREAT idea that I followed through on. I’m bringing it up again for those who have just gotten No Contact or Restraining Orders. Make sure the police KNOW this order is in effect because one agency most often doesn’t share with the others and if the ex KNOWS you’ve done this, then it might deter them from stalking. To me, stalking IS a form of abuse.

firefly, GREAT websites you suggested! I’ve already visited a couple of them. And your other suggestions are right on. Get that address that the USPS can’t give away. This is some good stuff!

I know from working on computers you can find out a lot about someone. MY computer never goes to anyone to fix it. They can get too much info from it. I do my own fixing right here and I am so glad that I can! So, be careful with who works on your computer. I’m not saying this is a common practice but it DOES happen. I also go into “private browsing” as a habit. I did it when the ex still lived here and I’ve made it a habit these days.

one-step, I agree, it is very hard emotionally. I have a website as well and I pay close attention to who visits that site. Good info regarding reading the headers of emails, etc! I, too, have learned to check everything much more closely than I used to, but it is what it is and I try to just accept it.

hopeful, I am so sorry you just went through this situation. I agree with others. This person is SO not right in the head! A NORMAL person would have simply returned the key, moved on and THANKED you for allowing him to stay there. Don’t be so hard on yourself. We all do things to try and help others. I would just consider it a lesson learned. You tried to do something nice for someone.

I can’t say I know much about the camera thing. My ex wasn’t smart enough to use those (Thank you, God) and I read the stories on here about people finding out about the exes using cameras, recorders, etc.. What a TOTAL invasion of privacy! Is this stalking? YES.

Whenever I come to LF, I find myself very grateful. There is so much more that could have happened that didn’t. There is so much more damage that could have been done what didn’t happen. The stories and suggestions on LF strengthen me. Thank you!

Ox Drover

Dear Cat, THAT’LL teach you not to miss a day! LOL

Keeping INFORMED about the people in your life who might harm you is NOT STALKING….it is GOOD sense in my estimation. As long as you are not doing anything illegal, immoral or fattening! If a person (even a P) is no danger to you, I wouldn’t even bother with “back door” contact or finding out things about them. Waste of time and energy, however, if the person is known to want revenge etc. or to stalk you, it is important that you be INFORMED about what they’re up to. It would be “nicer” if you didn’t have to think about them, and sometimes it can trigger us, but at the same time, I think as we get closer to healing it is less able to trigger us or to make us uncomfortable.

I’m glad you are doing well, Cat,and those are good suggestions about computer repairs, etc.


Hi Ox!
Yep, that’ll teach me! LOL! In my estimation, this idiot is quite capable of revenge and has sought it in the past. I always have that in the back of mind. If something goes wrong or goes on, 90% of the time, the ex is behind it. Past behavior teaches us about the future with this type of personality. He won’t change and doesn’t think he has to. So, it’s my job in all of this to know all that I can know. At one point, years ago, I remember him telling me that he had been caught “watching” his ex g/f in high school by her father. THAT was stalking.
Digital stalking-a new term for what he’s pulled on me in the past.

Ox Drover

Dear Cat,

Yes, and they can do you some damage too if they are pretty sharp with the technology. I’m learning though, and mostly relaxing some as well. I got tired of living terrified and jumping every time the dog barked!

Ox Drover

I don’t know if any of you watched the 20/20 show last night about the “preacher” that “suicided” his wife—actually he killed her—but at first it looked like suicide, but they finally convicted him. Dateline and 20/20 were on at the same time, so it was dicey which one I watched, ended up watching part of each. They have both been highlighting dangerous and murderous psychopaths and DV murderers. I THINK it was Liane Leedom who said (I may be wrong CRS) that like 75% of DV perps are Ps or at least high in P-traits, so that would go along with what I have observed if it is so.

Of course not all are going to murder, but if they will do other kinds of “violence” I sure wouldn’t put much “past them.”

The number of murders of women and/or children by DV males is pretty ugly in this country and others as well.

I just finished re-re-reading Gavin de Becker’s “The Gift of Fear” if you have NOT read this book, you OWE IT TO YOURSELF TO DO SO, Mr. deBecker grew up in a home with a violent mother so knows first hand what it is all about, and has made his life’s work HONORING that gift of FEAR and helping others to honor it as well. The book is a great one to decrease our worry and anxiety and to honor the FEAR we do feel. If you haven’nt read it please DO!

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