Online harassment & cyber stalking
All bloggers love receiving comments. It’s their life blood. There’s always that thrill that any creative person craves when their work is acknowledged or their audience grows. Creative people NEED to entertain in whatever medium they have chosen to work. .Sadly, online harassment and cyber stalking can be an unwelcome by-product of a life online.
One day I routinely checked my new contacts – a list of people who had signed up to follow my blog; and I felt sick to my stomach. A name from the past had popped up on the screen in front of me.
A man who had been convicted of stalking and harassment and who had been given a lifetime non-molestation order by a British court to stay away from me and who was banned from attempting to make contact with me in any way had signed up to follow my blog.
Now he hadn’t just typed www.scarletjonestravels.com into his browser. He had actively signed up to receive my free guide – ‘Things to know before you travel’ and he would now be sent an email every time I posted an article.
That’s not just stalking. That’s harassment.
Why would anybody do something like this after he had been convicted in a court for his crime? I have researched this and I have come up with some possible reasons.
- It could be because he is arrogant and he believes himself to be above the law.
- Maybe because he is narcissistic and he has no empathy or consideration for anybody except himself.
- Perhaps because he is controlling and manipulative and he is determined that he WILL have the last word.
- He is a bully who wants me to know that he is still watching me and keeping tabs on me.
- He hates to think that I can cope without him and I am getting on with my life
Who knows what goes on in a mind like this, but I could go on all day with a list of possible reasons.
Pat Craven has written an absolutely AWESOME book called ‘Living with the Dominator‘ which explains all about emotional abuse far better than I can. Pat outlines varies character types and the reasons why people feel the need to bully, control and manipulate. In my opinion, everybody should read this in order to understand the insidious creeping strangulating problem that is domestic violence. You may not experience it first-hand but one in four women do. Could you recognise the signs? We keep them well hidden you know.
Previously this man had even tracked down some of the people who had commented on my blog and he had sent them nasty and inappropriate emails. He had taken the trouble to contact friends and business associates that I have collaborated with and he has advised them that they shouldn’t be working with me. Why?
Because I left him!
What to do cyber stalking?
I am in the business of blogging. Blogs are public.
I am not able to remove his name and I am unable to block him from my ‘follow’ list. He has to unsubscribe himself. Fat chance of that! (Refer to the list of possible reasons above)
The funny thing is that when this man was questioned by the police he claimed that I was the one who continued to make contact with him. Hmmm….NO!! (Note: women also stalk and harass. This is not just a male thing)
Whilst I love to engage with my audience, the delivery of my blog articles is fully automated. I have more than 7000 followers across all of my social media sites but I can only imagine that he is sitting at home and getting excited every time a blog update pops into his inbox. Apparently I have ruined his life so why would he be interested in mine? (I should add at this point that I was once married to this man)
Other blogger friends have their weirdoes who follow them and have problems too. What makes mine different is that my stalker has served a sentence of two hundred hours community service for his crime of harassment and stalking. Yet he continues.
I feel NOTHING for him.
And I don’t care about his life. I don’t care in the same way that I don’t care what the uncle of Joe Blogs who lives in Kansas is doing.
They say that the best revenge is a good success. I am not out for revenge (I truly DON’T care) but as my arrogant, narcissistic stalker will no doubt be reading this as may your own arrogant narcissistic stalker, I want to point out that I am getting on with my life.
I plan to spend at least one year in SE Asia and I have finally launched my online course the Smash the Pumpkin project. I wonder what my harasser is doing. Oh yes; he is sitting in front of his computer waiting for his weekly email from me!
- I will not stop blogging
- I will not close down my business
- I will not stop writing
I will live MY life MY way
- I will continue to inspire and to encourage others
- I will continue to bring you articles about my travels
- I will believe in myself and not in the crap that I was fed during the time that I was with this man
Stalking Awareness now has its own campaign week allocated to it in the national social calendar along with Quit Smoking and the National Walk to School Week. Domestic violence and especially emotional abuse has been running as a storyline in the British radio drama, the Archers which has raised awareness and the domestic violence laws in the UK have recently been improved..
There is much more understanding about the effects of coercive control and things are slowly improving in favour of the victim survivor.
We, the survivors, are not the ones who should be adapting our behaviours. We should not have to change our names, or move home or relocate to a different continent.
We can however take steps to protect ourselves – you could carry a personal alarm – this small one fits in the palm of your hand– and you should always be aware of your surroundings.
Can you identify with the issues in this article?
If you are reading this and you are a rational human being do you think that it is fair to subject a person to unwanted and uninvited attention?
Can’t you accept that no means no? I don’t love you anymore actually means I DO NOT love you anymore. Or maybe you subscribe to the school of thought that says that women invite rape because of how they are dressed or maybe you think that it’s fun to pull the legs off a daddy-long-legs?
And what does your current partner think of your obsession if you have one? They can’t be happy with the situation – or perhaps you have also manipulated them and undermined their self confidence? Are they aware that you have a criminal record for HARASSMENT? That should be a red flag in anybody’s book. Leopards don’t change their spots nor can you teach an old dog new tricks.
- I started blogging as a means of communicating my situation to friends and family when I was too stressed to tell them what was happening in my life.
- I started travelling because I had always wanted to experience new cultures and traditions and to know what it was like to feel free.
- I continue blogging because of you, my audience, you who contact me by email, Facebook, personal message or who enter your comments at the end of my blog articles. You – my reader – who asks me what the chicken buses are like in South America or what fried crickets taste like.
- I continue travelling because I love the lifestyle and the freedom. I no longer have to think up excuses about why I forgot to record Coronation Street or explain why………..!
And on a travel related not, I can fit most of my life into my Osprey Farpoint 55 which I LOVE and fits me so well I don’t feel restricted or confined in an emergency – I can’t recommend this bag highly enough – you can find out for yourself at this link
If you have been affected by online harassment or cyber stalking or any of the issues raised in this article, do drop me an email or comment in the box below.
If you are that person who is carrying out the online harassment and stalking online – then stop it right now. For your own sake and for those around you. Get a life and be happy.
And if you are a survivor of domestic abuse and as a consequence you have low self-confidence or low self-esteem, my online course may be able to help with that.
The Smash the Pumpkin project is an online course which is especially relevant to anybody who is a survivor of domestic abuse (although not exclusively for survivors of domestic abuse – it is suitable for just about anybody who likes a challenge). The course has been revamped following input from my clients and has more opportunities to connect.
The new-look course is now out and is back with even more features and benefits.
Click on the box below to get more details about the course or contact me by email at firstname.lastname@example.org if you want further information.