Thursday, January 27, 2005

Harassment, Stalking and Other Methods Used By Offenders

If you have ever been in a support group for survivors of sexual violence, you will hear story after story of how offenders attempt to silence their victims. You will hear story after story of how offenders harass and stalk their prey.

One survivor asked me to share her story:

Immediately after Chaya was raped she went to an emergency room. Evidence was collected. The man admitted to having sexual relations with her to the police, but said it was consensual. The woman had bruises on her face, but since there were no witnesses, the case turned into a he said, she said situation.

The problem was that the man that raped Chaya was someone she knew. After assaulting he kept calling her on the phone asking her to marry him.

When it came time to go to court the charges were reduced to harassing phone calls (after the assault). The man got a year of supervision. On the first anniversary of the assault after his supervision was over, the offender started calling Chaya again. Begging her to see him, to date him and marry him.

Chaya fought back the best she could. She saved the messages on her phone that he would leave and went back to court. The man was also stalking her. Where ever Chaya went, he was there. He was convicted of stalking. While the man was in jail, the woman moved far away.

So what happens to survivors of sexual violence who don't use law enforcement and rely on their rabbis to take care of things? How do they get away from their offenders who are harassing them? Stalking them?


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