Note: Please know that stalking is not just something women can be subjected to. Men can also be victimized in this way. If you are a man, please change the pronouns accordingly. This article is adapted from a book, which addresses women. But this type of abusive behavior is also applicable to you, as well.
When a couple is not getting along, both must recognize that the value of the relationship is greater than the conflict at hand. A primary tool in conflict resolution is to identify the problem. You are then to attack the problem together, rather than attacking each other.
Many unhealthy relationships lack this critical component. Instead, they resort to power and control, which manifests itself in many ways. It takes forms that can be very subtle and difficult to pinpoint. Typically, an abusive partner will attempt significant control by exercising problematic behaviors. One of them, that is sometimes used, is stalking.
Stalking is similar to spying. The stalker may follow his victim to her activities or while she’s running errands. He doesn’t trust her and is insanely jealous. If I can’t have her, no one can, he thinks. Most people think that stalking is limited to relationships characterized by separation or divorce. But stalking happens also in marriage relationships. It applies to many couples —even Christian couples —where the husband is insecure. Often the wife has no idea that the stalking is occurring.
Technology Helps the Stalker
Technology has opened the door to some new ways of stalking one’s partner. There have been cases of a stalker purchasing a GPS transmitter and hiding it in his victim’s car. This way he can track her with his receiver.
Computers are also utilized in stalking. We counseled a man who had filed for divorce. Yet he had more information about his wife after their separation than he did before.
When I confronted him, I determined that he had made contact with her in a chat room. Pretending to be a sympathetic female shoulder to cry on, he was able to find out her salary on her new job. He was also able to find out who her friends were, who she was seeing, and what she and her date’s were doing. This information fed his jealousy. It was necessary for his wife to get a restraining order. She then had to move to a safe place in another area for her own protection.
Tracing Through Records
We once counseled a woman whose life was in jeopardy. As a result, she had moved from California to the Midwest. Within 30 days her former husband traced her to her new address on his computer. His first search was of the California Department of Motor Vehicles records. Most states require individuals to register their vehicles and transfer license plates within 30 days of moving to another state.
This man was also able to search for and find her address through the utility companies. Listed below are some of the searches a partner may utilize to find a partner who has moved to a safe place. Victims should be aware. It’s important to use extreme care when it is necessary to keep there whereabouts secret.
You can be traced through:
- Department of Motor Vehicles
- Utility companies
- Social Security Number
- United States Postal Service
- Telephone company
- Credit reporting agencies
- Drivers License Bureaus
Stalking is the most difficult slice of the power and control wheel to deal with. That is because law enforcement can’t arrest until the damage has been done. We recommend that the stalking victim seek an “order of protection” or a “no contact order.”
If one of these is in place and the stalker refuses to honor it and keeps calling, the victim should get an answering machine that records the unanswered phone calls and keeps a record. If the stalker drives by her home or workplace or follows her in her daily routine, she needs to report and record every conversation with the police department. She needs to ask for names and badge numbers to document the call on the tape. This should include the time and date of the infraction. There should be an extensive paper trail for the victim’s protection.
This article is adapted from the book, Angry Men and the Women Who Love Them: Breaking the Cycle of Physical and Emotional Abuse. It is written by Paul Hegstrom, published by Beacon Hill Press. This book is written by a former pastor who battered his wife. Facing a charge of attempted murder and a prison term, Hegstrom got the wake-up call he needed. With professional help and a struggle with spiritual issues, he began the lengthy process of healing and recovery. Through a thorough examination of the psychology behind various types of abuse, along with true examples from his own life and others, Hegstrom points the way back to wholeness and freedom.
— ALSO —
The following is a related article we encourage you to read for further protection:
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Filed under: Abuse in Marriage