By Ox Drover
Dr. Sherry L. Meinberg, an educator holds the “world’s record” with the FBI for being seriously stalked for the longest time—forty years!—by a combination of her first and second husbands, who brutally beat her and almost killed her. Even after 17 years in a mental institution for the dangerously insane, her first husband, who had written her letters every day of his incarceration, came after her again, and found her.
Dr. Meinberg’s book promotion says:
Research now tells us that one in twelve women in the USA, and a growing number of men, will be stalked at some time in their lives. Over one and a half million adults are stalked annually, with the vast majority of victims being the average, normal, everyday citizen. Could one of your family members or friends become a victim? Could you? Find out what to expect, and how to protect yourself and loved ones.
When Dr. Meinberg was first being stalked, there was no such thing as a “stalking law” and police considered a man beating his wife a “domestic affair” that they should not interfere with. It was only in 1990 that the first stalking laws were passed. At this time there are federal anti-stalking laws as well as state anti-stalking laws.
Fortunately, Dr. Meinberg survived these devastating attempts to take her life and shared the things she learned about being safe from stalkers in two books. The Bogeyman, Stalking and Its Aftermath is the actual story of her life on the run and how she coped with these terrifying experiences. Her second book concerning stalkers is Toxic Attention—Keeping Safe from Stalkers, Abusers and Intruders.
The first order of business in a campaign of showing that you are serious about protecting yourself is a TRO or Temporary Restraining Order. Although this is just a “piece of paper,” it puts the police on notice that the person should be kept away from you and that they can instantly arrest him.
However, Gavin DeBecker, in his book, the Gift of Fear, states that at times he advises his clients, who come to him for help with their safety, not to get a TRO, as sometimes as the order infuriates the stalker and makes the stalker only more intent to harm the victim. So the advice to “get a TRO” is not universal, and depends on the individual stalker. Research mentioned by both Dr. Meinberg and Mr. DeBecker shows that about 75 percent of ER visits for DV victims, or DV murders, are after the initial separation from the abuser by the victim, and the great majority of those killed were stalked before the murder.
Though she does not use the terms psychopath/sociopath, Dr. Meinberg does describe in Chapter 6 of her book the traits of the “warning signs for potential danger,” which include all the descriptions of a psychopath.
In addition to Dr. Meinberg’s book, Diane Glass, a nationally syndicated columnist for the Universal Press Syndicate, who has first-hand experience with being stalked by her ex-boyfriend for years, published a thin volume, Stalking the Stalker–Fighting Back with High-tech Gadgets and Low-tech Know-how. I found this little volume somewhat helpful as well. It is filled with excellent advice on various high-tech gadgets and ways to use them, as well as just common sense applications of lower –tech things to help you.
A man named “J. J. Luna” is the author of How to be Invisible. This man gives practical advice on how to live in such a way (legally) that you are not traceable by a paper trail to where you actually reside. Though I am not sure why Mr. Luna, who is not apparently being stalked, wants to live in such a way that there is no paper trail to find him, nonetheless he gives some interesting information on how to keep your property out of your name, but still in your control. I found the book very interesting if a bit sinister, but since the things it advises are not illegal, and are quite easily and cheaply accomplished and are also some of the things the private investigator advised me to do, I think this book might also be helpful to others who are being stalked or worry they might be.
Those who deal with psychopaths who are likely to stalk us (not all are likely to stalk) need, I think, to at least be prepared for how to defend ourselves both physically and legally from stalking. None of us, I think, should totally discount the potential for violence that some psychopaths do have. Once you have seen this violence in a psychopath, do not calm yourself by discounting what you have seen; it might be a fatal mistake.
I have chosen to live cautiously, but not to live in terror, of my son. I think that realistic caution is something that all of us should be aware of.