A very short version of a very long story ..
Almost ten years ago, when my daughter was a few months old, my life started to change. At first I did not realise there was a problem, I thought my husband was being extra protective, just checking to make sure we were okay. Then I went back to work. It was not long before my husbands work rang me to ask if there was a problem at home, he was not turning up at work or was leaving work after an hour and not coming back. I asked him about it he said they are exaggerating, not wishing to rock the boat I accepted his explanations. Then a friend told me they had seem him riding his bike along a path in the park running parallel to were I walked to my daughters nursery. It turned out he was watching and following me each morning. It escalated to him pretending to go out and then hiding in the alley next to the house and watching my daughter and I in the garden (my neighbour saw him from an upstairs window). Eventually I called emergency mental health services in when I realised that, in the middle of a snow, storm he was sitting across the road watching the house.
He was still living with us at that point but I was becoming increasingly worried, mental health services tried to get him an assessment but he refused to attend and when he did attend he made wild accusations. He was diagnosed with a form of paranoia and was prescribed medication. Whilst he took them when the mental health nurses were supervising, once I was on my own with him he threw them away.
At no point did I consider that I was being stalked, after all I was a professional educated woman and he was my husband .. Things like that do not happen to women like me.
I became afraid to take my daughter to my friends house for play dates because he would stand and stare at their house, I stopped taking a bus home from work because he would be watching from the pub on the corner in a parked car. I began to dread the occasions I had to work late because I would have to leave a baby sitter in the house alone with my daughter. Several times I would walk my daughter up to school and he would be waiting somewhere on the route.
In all this time I was offered no help, no one suggested I went to the police and in fact I was told I would have to go to court and get a restraining order on my own and at my own cost.
I allowed this to go on for five years until eventually I moved away a long way away. In hindsight should I have rang the police, absolutely, why didn’t I because like David Coburn and Caroline Santos of UKIP I was ignorant of what stalking really is.
So why I am writing this now it all started with a question to David Coburn as to why he thought the SNP was Stalinist, this was his response
Apparently David Coburn believes that it is Stalinist to arrest people for staring .. I think that it would be a shame for such a man to represent the people of Falkirk.
There was someone else in this conversation and that was Caroline Santos a vocal supporter of UKIP in Scotland .. A veritable one woman cheer leader for David Coburn. You would think a woman would have a different attitude but you would be very wrong. I won’t bother to comment on the tweets you can reach your own conclusion about how seriously she takes the issue of stalking. If you are in Argyll and Bute you can choose not to vote for in her in the General Election.
Today is International Women’s Day the statistics show why is it important to remember that women and girls around the world still need a leg up, a bit of extra help to make their way successfully. Women and some men who are victims of stalking still find it difficult to get the law to act. Ten years ago it was worse now there is help from organisations like ASAS but it is still a struggle for women and for everyone who gets help there are several like me who suffered in silence for years