Being a victim of crime is never easy. If you haven’t tried it, don’t. It changes you forever. It impacts the way you look at the world, and react to it. And cybercrime-particularly cyberstalking, is perhaps the worst of all. Because you can’t see or confront your tormenter, it creates a sense of deep unease, and often outright terror.
But what kind of creature is a cyberstalker? What makes them tick? First and foremost they are bullies. Inadequate sexually and socially, they migrate towards the ‘net, where they can enact their deepest fantasies of power and control.
They range from the usual Wannabees to the sociopath-the most dangerous of all.
Which apparently is what I’m dealing with. What is the primary motive for this type of stalker? According to BullyingOnline “Jealousy and envy motivate the bully to identify a competent and popular individual who is then controlled and subjugated through projection of the bully’s own inadequacy and incompetence. When the target asserts their right not to be bullied, a paranoid fear of exposure compels the bully to perceive that person as a threat and hence neutralize and dispose of them as quickly as possible. Once a person has been eliminated there’s an interval of between 2 days and 2 weeks before the bully chooses another target and the cycle starts again”.
Totally lacking empathy or the ability to socialize within normal parameters, these individuals seek out people who appear to threaten their place in the order of things. Competent, capable people, people who refuse to be controlled or to compromise their integrity or system of ethics, become the subject of attack, until safely disposed of.
The serial stalker will often cover up or defend pedophilia, and may in fact be an active participant in such activities. They often have a back up string of carefully groomed females, who are so enamored of them, they would do anything to keep this controlling monsters approval. What is truly sad about this, is the offender doesn’t even see these females as human. They are simply tools to carry out his infantile fantasies, and to act out revenge for imagined slights, on his behalf.
These things are important because online cyberstalking and bullying is increasing, and further, is grossly underreported. If you have concerns that you might be the victim of this type of crime, here are signs of trouble:
– expects you to spend all of your time with him/her or inform him/her of your whereabouts
– refuses to accept “no” for an answer
– isolates you from your friends and/or family
– puts you down in front of your family or friends
– sends frequent unsolicited or unwelcome gifts
– makes offers of unsolicited help
– excessive niceness in the early stages
– use of guilt to manipulate your feelings or to force you into courses of action you feel unhappy with
– extreme jealousy
– frequent loss of temper
– abuse of alcohol and/or drugs
– following you wherever you go
– physical or verbal abuse
– damage or destruction to your property
– talks about violence or is fascinated with themes of violence
– makes your family or friends feel scared or uneasy
And if you want an idea of what your stalker is, and how he lives:
If you’ve been wooed by a cyberstalker, this profile will bring you back to reality:
– lives in a 1-room apartment which hasn’t been cleaned for months – if ever
– has stacks of pornographic magazines in his bedroom area
– has poor personal hygiene
– has poor table manners
– has poor social etiquette
– hasn’t changed the sheets on his bed for months, which are now best described as crusty
– has a bathroom, the state of which doesn’t bear thinking about
– lives on pizza and beer/coke, the remnants of which litter his apartment
– may have an unusual pet (e.g. ferret) which has free run of the apartment
– is either significantly over- or under-weight
– has a small moustache or other facial hair
– has not held down any job for more than a couple of years, probably less
– has no friends
– has no life outside the Internet
Once you’ve established you’ve picked up a cyber stalker, contact your local police department, contact the FBI at www.fbi.gov, and seek support from organizations like WHOA and AWARE. Document any and everything you can that reflects the crime being committed, including chat rooms transcripts, e-mails, logs of phone calls, and any unsolicited gifts. You have to advocate for yourself. The police or federal government can’t possibly do it all for you. Be aware, be safe, and if you are a victim, disengage immediately from the individual. Have ZERO contact. Do not react, simply document.
One in 12 women are impacted by stalking in the US, though I suspect this figure is much higher, and very underreported. Don’t let shame stop you. Chances are, there is little you could have done to avoid someone so intent on having his way. Mine continues to harass and try and damage my work and reputation. No matter how many websites he tears apart, no matter how many times he crashes my machine, or spreads lies about me, I refuse to let him destroy the essential freedom lover in me. He cannot get to where I live, deep inside myself, unless I allow it. I won’t, neither should you.