Survivors

After the Obsession: Judie

posted: 02/21/14
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Judie
DCI

How has your life changed?

Going through a stalking experience definitely changed my life. As I've said many times before, "Until you are a victim, there is no real understanding of what stalking is or the physical and emotional devastation and impact it has on not only the victim, but also family, friends, neighbors and coworkers."

The day my stalker was sentenced in court my life took on a whole new meaning. For the first time in two and a half years I was ready to go forward and share my story.

During sentencing, Mike Watkis and a cameraman from a local news channel were in the court room and that night my story and the sentencing of my stalker was aired on TV. The following day Mr. Watkis called to tell me that he had received so many inquiries from people wanting to know how I got the police to take action, how did I survive, etc. I went by the studio and picked up all the messages and returned every phone call.

From there my website: End Stalking In America, Inc. was launched.

Over the years I've been given so many opportunities. I am now a Specialist Instructor on victimization, victimology and stalking for my state's Peace Officer Standards and Training Board and I'm still actively involved in training law enforcement. I also have had the opportunity to be featured on local and national television stations as well as radio talk shows. I served on the state Board of Directors for the Association of Threat Assessment Professionals; numerable Violence Against Women Advisory Boards and I am an instructor for the state's Victims Assistant Academy. I've been a presenter at the National Organization for Victim Assistance (NOVA) conference on multiple occasions. I've been honored by countless community organizations and the County Attorney's Office for my dedication and assistance to victims of stalking. In 2005 I was presented with my state's first stalking proclamation from the Governor (one of the first states to declare January as Stalking Awareness Month).

Although I spend a great deal of time educating the public and law enforcement, my number one priority is providing direct and immediate one-on-one assistance to potential or current stalking victims.

When I look back and think about how many times I was told I should move to another state and change my name, I cringe. The best decision I ever made was to go forward, tell my story and spread the word that stalking is a crime and that a victim should not have to go into hiding or be forced into living the life of a fugitive.

I wish for all of us to have hope and faith that the nightmare of stalking will end and that we may all live in peace.

Any recent life events you'd like to share?

During the show you heard me speak about my husband John. Well, in real life there are some things that don't always have a happy ending. Yet, on the other hand sometimes things happen that make you even happier. I guess what I'm trying to say is that after 13 years of marriage John and I mutually agreed to end our marriage and we divorced this year. And yes, I am happy.

Are there any organizations that helped you during/ after your experience?

I owe so much gratitude to a very special organization by the name of Chrysalis. I went through 3 years of counseling (during and after the stalking).

I also owe my life to the officers at the local Police Department for believing me and giving me the continued courage to keep going no matter how hard things got.

Resources That Helped Me:

ANTIDOTE FOR A STALKER (My number 1 recommendation)

Detective Mike Proctor

1. Det. Mike Proctor has written an easy to understand 500 page guide designed to assist stalking victims, victim advocates, law enforcement, educators (his books are used as a primary or supplemental text in some universities), and those who would like to better understand the psychic of a stalker and why he or she applies their form or terror among us. He explains, Stalking History and Stalking Definitions, breaks down stalking laws both in the United States, Canada, the U.K., as well as many other countries in the European Union. His text covers the types of stalkers on might encounter, many of the mental disorders they may exhibit, along with what he refers to as the stalker's bag of tricks - surveillance, harassment, cyberstalking cyberbullying, identity theft, etc. The book also gives the reader a step by step process to follow if you are in fact being stalked. This includes safety procedures. He talks about workplace violence stalking giving the reader the necessary tools to hand this type of predation. Lastly he outlines a stalking protocol for law enforcement to better assist them in the prosecution of any stalker they encounter.

2. The National Stalking Resource Center

3. Office on Violence Against Women, United States Department of Justice

4. Harassment and Stalking - National Organization for Victim Assistance (NOVA)

5. In the European Union (E.U.)

Network for Surviving Stalking

Stalking and Harassment Legal Guidance, Crown Prosecution

Any words of advice based on your own experiences?

***KNOWDLEDGE IS POWER***

***DOCUMENT, DOCUMENT, DOCUMENT***

One of the hardest things for any victim to face is accepting the reality that you are being stalked and that it's virtually impossible to stop a stalker by yourself.

Don't let friends or family tell you they can handle it for you.

Contact organizations that deal with stalking.

File police reports, obtain restraining orders, don't back down.

Above all stop all communication with the perpetrator.

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