Interview With Victim Of Stalking English Language Essay

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Stalking is a phenomenon perceived by some as part of domestic violence. Basically it is a repetitive sequence of behaviours undertaken by an attacker to cause a state of legitimate concerns about the safety of the victims or their family by a persecuted person. Stalking is repeated harassment, which has various persistent forms of violation of personal freedom and privacy of another person. It is often causing persecuted in anxiety, embarrassment, physical and mental discomfort, a number of health problems - physical and mental, difficulties in interpersonal, and legitimate concerns about personal safety. Stalking consists of: intrusive physical or virtual contacting the victim against her will through persistent harassment phones, text messages or e-mail, watching, tracking, invade the place of residence or in work, tedious and unwelcome handed or sent gifts or flowers, threats, there could be also signs of violent behaviour, destruction of property and various forms of action to the detriment of a person who, in this context becomes a victim.(Brookman et. al. 2010, 367-368)

Following an interview with the victim of a stalker, I decided to focus on this phenomena. I would like also to answer the questions, who are the victims of stalking, and how they are harassed by their oppressors. Another important issue is how to prevent ourselves from become a possible victim of stalker. According to Home Office Study (2000) stalking victim could be anyone - both women and men. In most cases victims are a former partner, who has ended the relationship with partner, who later became a stalker, but the victim may also be a person quite foreign to the persecutor, even accidental, for which the stalker has created an imaginary emotional relationship.(Budd et.al. 2000).

Methodology.

For the purposes of researching project, I have arranged a single qualitative interview with Joanna Wolańska, who was persecuted by her friend, nearly five years ago. The interview was conducted at Joanna's home, on the 15th of January 2011, at 6.30 pm. At the beginning of our interview Joanna was a little nervous, because it was a new experience for her, she had to recall the events of that she still escapes. She was not pleased when I asked if I could record our conversation, and eventually refused interview in the presence of voice recorder. So I decided to write down the conversation in my notebook. I chose that method of researching because specificity of these researching method is considered in direct contact between the interviewed person and the researcher. Both persons can focus on the subjective experiences of the research. The interview is regarded here as an accomplice of the research process. While doing the interview, interviewer can easily interpret experiences of an interviewee and make an expertise. The timing of this test depends on the needs of the subject and ranges from several to tens of hours, so there is no time limit restrictions. During the interview researcher can get information about:

a) the characteristics of the respondent; just a matter of broad personality traits and character, for example, held values, what seems important to him, way of seeing the world and themselves, skills and abilities, feelings and emotions;

b) the facts on current events, or those that occurred in the past;

c) the relationship of the individual events and phenomena in their immediate surroundings and what is happening in the environment further;

Main disadvantages of the chosen method:

Primary and essential condition for carrying out a good interview is to establish contact with the respondent. The link should be on two levels: the intellectual and emotional. The first consists of the fact that the concept and meaning of expression for both parties are clearly legible. he responsibility for this contact shall be borne by the person conducting the interview.An interviewer responsibility is to care for the way of expression, control, understanding words and concepts; as well as care for a positive emotional conversation climate, if it was not unpleasant for the respondent. Achieving these goals depends largely on the interviewer, by his gestures, words, facial expressions, it sets the atmosphere of the conversation. The basis for success in the interview is to create a climate of security. It may be difficult to fulfill these conditions, especially when interviewing for the first time. It is difficult to obtain reliable, comprehensive, personal information's from interviewee , when interviewer has not raised his confidence. Respondent has many reasons to feel distrust of people leaning to sacrifice sometimes considerable portion of time and effort to respond to sometimes difficult, embarrassing questions. Lack of confidence can lead to suppress certain information, the statements escape, brief, contrary to what one thinks and feels, and in extreme cases - to refuse.(Ruane, 2005, 16-29).

Results:

According to the Mullen and colleagues (2009), The wide pattern of behavior - characterized by stalking - consists of calling, sending messages (text and email) receiving unwelcome gifts and flowers, threats as well as an aggressive behavior, following step by step, constant observation and harm. Behavior patterns, which might be described as stalking- they are intended, cause fear (anxiety), lasts at least thirty days, there is at least ten acts within thirty days, cause negative effects on psycho-relational (anxiety, sleep disorders, the need to change the phone number jobs, housing ), persecutor tries to get information about the victim from her family members, friends, acquaintances, colleagues.

During the interview my interviewee referred that she was being observed, followed, she received thousands of text messages, which caused her to change her current lifestyle just to free herself from her pursuer. Joanna stated, that her stalker was a young man, who she met on meeting in the pastoral ministry. Year later she met him again when she was attending on additional lessons on the university. He proposed her to escort her to the students hostel after the lessons. She agreed, because she had not even think it leads her to the edge of breaking down. Sometime later Joanna started to have a regular meetings with that young man. After an about half a year of their relationship, she started to consider, that something is going in wrong way. Her man started following her everywhere, wanted to spend every single minute with her, did not want to give her even a little of privacy. Joanna has decided to finish the relationship, because as she stated during the interview "he started to scare me as he started following me step by step, he did not understand that I do not want to see him so often"(Appendix 1, q.5, l. 1-3). She tried to understand the whole situation, but she could not find any clue about her boyfriend's strange behavior. Some authors refers that stalkers may be either psychotic people, who have or have had mental disorders or schizophrenia. Stalkers who are persons without mental disorders, exhibit a variety of personality disorders such as borderline personality disorders or narcissistic personality disorders and behavioral problems typical of depression or impaired adaptation. (Mullen et. al. p. 84-86) Stalker has a distorted self-esteem, strongly dependent on the person who abandoned him. The rejection by the object of affection cause feelings of shame and humiliation, which reduces his self-esteem. To compensate for this feeling and to achieve the previous status quo stalker is trying to exert control over the life of his victim. This leads to overlap and to seek continuous contact with the person submitting the proposals, send letters, gifts, arranging meetings. Further contacts with the beloved allow him to recover the balance and return to the previous level of self-esteem. It should be noted that the stalker is not always guided by considerations emotional, emotional, often the main motivation to come into contact with the victim is merely a desire to oppose the decision of separation, which took the other side. Termination of the relationship causes the idealization of his relationship and the desire to rebuild. Joanna stated, that her boyfriend did not want to agree with her about an end of their relationship, he was sending her messages, trying to persuade her to start their relationship again. He arranged accidental meetings with her, making her feel siege and frightened of him. Joanna said ". I stood in the corridor, he walked behind me, and then held my hand. He did not want to give me peace" (Appendix 1, q. 15, l. 4-5), (Heckels, Roberts; p.366-378)

According to Heckels and Roberts in "Handbook of Crime" (2010), everyone could become a victim of stalking. Stalking most often affects people linked by family ties or create an affiliate link. However, the victim can become anyone, and the stalker may be even a stranger to the victim. The victim of stalking are mostly people aged between 18-29 years old, because the people in this age are most focused on finding the right life partner. The result of these searches is splitting up the relationships, which causes the resistance of those abandoned. Stalker is motivated by the fear of rejection, revenge, conviction of suffering injustice. He does not accept the rejection and is continuously trying to regain a partner. When her story started, Joanna was 20 years old and she was "(…) a jolly kind of girl, always smiling and self. I started relationship with him. I remember that I really wanted somebody to be with me and I agreed because I thought that is nice to have company and spend time together."(Appendix 1, q.2, l. 10-13)

According to the research published in "Stalkers and their victims" book by Mullen, Pathe and Purcell (2009), The most common cause of stalking behavior is to break of the existing relationship by one of the sides, or a denial of its establishment. Rejected people will not accept this fact in the message, trying all available means to regain the favor of his beloved / lover. Stalking is also a way to "offset accounts" for their grievances and wounded pride. Individuals persistently harassed by ex-partners initially diminish the importance of the problem, then try to get along with stalker. But that does not produce the desired results, because the basic principle is the stalker's, "I want ". The victim did not stop to think what the next stalker's move will be and how to avoid it. Do not go out, quits his/hers job and avoids people. Exhaustion, and often depression starts to appear. Harassed person blame begins, builds up in the aggression and the desire to get rid of a stalker at all costs.(p. 69-76)

According to an interview, and to conclude it, I found some useful advice how to deal with stalker and how to prevent ourselves from being harassed:

If you do not want to continue to meet that person, say "no" as soon as possible, procrastination can be read as an encouragement; lack of interest must be expressed in a clear and direct way, in other way stalker can interpret your behavior in an inappropriate manner; avoid excuses like "not now", "give me some time," I'm not ready, "we're just friends" - it will create the impression that any relationship is a matter of time or a matter of removing certain obstacles; detach from the stalker with any contacts; no excuses, do not take the blame, do not apologize that you cannot reciprocate the feelings; let him/her understand that you expect a reasonable response, if possible, try to arrange a situation in which the other party feels that a decision about separation is being made by him/her.(www.aware.org/stalking)

Conclusions:

Stalking refers primarily to people who know themselves. It can be assumed that with increasing number of "loose relationships", where breakups are more frequent, the number of stalking acts will increase. Well-functioning marriage - especially sacramental - seems to be natural remedy for stalking behavior. However, in the case of dissolution of marriage disturbed behavior may also take place. Stalking can be also seen as a dysfunctional relationship between fan and a star (music star, film star , sports star, etc.). We believe that showing the internal mechanisms of stalking phenomena, should especially emphasize the addiction (emotional and affective) aspect from harrassed person, and thus indicate the need for treatment by the perpetrator.

Bibliography:

Budd T. Mattinson J. Myhill A. (2000) "The extent and nature of stalking: findings from the 1998 British Crime Survey" Home Office Research Study 210.

Heckels V., Roberts K. "Stalking and Harassment" in "Handbook on Crime" (2010), edited by Brookman F, Maguire M, Pierpoint H, Bennett T.; Willan Publishing;

Mullen E.P, Pathe M., Purcell R. (2009); "Stalkers and Their Victims". Cambridge University Press;

Ruane J. M. (2005); "Essentials of Research Methods. A Guide to Social Science Research". Blackwell Publishing;

Stalking. www.aware.org

Dominika Wrobel.

Applying Research

Appendix 1.

Interview with the victim of stalker.

How long were you harassed?

Good question. Now the situation continues to be stable, if I had not moved from the town where I lived. I left everything there. The beginning was completely innocent. I never thought that a person like me, who goes to church, prays and moves freely in the street can become the worst nightmare for another man. The whole situation until I moved, lasted two and a half years.

How did it start?

It started when I moved out from my hometown to study. I lived in the belief that everyone has a impact on my life. Meeting this man was something entirely natural for me. Every day we meet the mass of people in our life, and nobody harasses to someone. At least no one normal. Then the parents asked me how did it happen that someone started following me? Well, the first year on university I passed relatively peacefully. For the second year I started to develop my interests, to focus on what I really want to do in my life. Undertook additional lectures that interested me. I met him there. Even though I paid no attention to him. After our second or third meeting, he offered to escort me home after evening lectures. I agreed. I was then a jolly kind of girl, always smiling and self. I started relationship with him. I remember that I really wanted somebody to be with me and I agreed because I thought that is nice to have company and spend time together.

Who was the stalker? Do you know him?

Stalker was a person whom I met in pastoral ministry. The boy, who, like me was going to the additional lessons. He was interested in philosophy, just wanted to pass a high school diploma.

How would you describe his behavior?

I saw that he was watching me. He paid attention to how I looked, what I was wearing, what I wrote during the lecture. But then there were no signs of further events.

When have you realized that something is wrong?

After a half year of our relationship. He started to scare me as he started following me step by step, he did not understand that I do not want to see him so often. That I have my own life, and he has his as well. I did not understand the whole situation..

6.) Has the stalker used any of your friends to maintain contact with you or obtain any information about you?

Yes, especially when I moved out. Friends reported me that he asks about me. By the end I told him that I would never go back to college, to the city, and we will never meet again.

7.) When you broke up with him?

As I moved out of the big city, a journey to my hometown has become difficult. I decided that I'll spend all the time at home. Only then I felt safe.

8.) Whether it was a difficult decision?

He did not understand what is happening, why cannot I seeing him, talking, could not even hear me until the end.

9.) Where can the victim of stalking seeks help?

At first I thought that someone sees it, he would see someone with whom I lived then, that people on the street will help me. After they saw me the way replaces, extends his hand, draws on the strength, makes us a hug, a using the strength of each other. But nobody reacted, unfortunately. After half a year I was at the police. Policemen responded smiling. I described them all and the matter had to go to the prosecutor's office. By the way my testimony was receiving advice like "Let the lady make an appointment with him for coffee, " and the question of whether to heal.

10.) Have you received help from the police?

Unfortunately, after two weeks when I came there to withdraw the case from prosecution - the boy continued to walk behind me, sticking out of my window, I was haunted by text messages. Then, when it occurred to me that this is a dangerous thought that just happened that the police did not react. If they get him in jail, then after some time, stepped out of it, he would come straight to me, because he knew where to find me, and I would be accused of wasting his life.

11.) What happened later with your case?

I went to withdraw my case because I was afraid that something will let him know that I was at the police. The whole situation is really hard to describe here. I do not understand the mechanism of action unless the perpetrator, but these are dangerous people to the extent that they did not know what they're doing, probably did not even know what to think.

12.) How does this whole situation has affected your life?

It sometimes happened that I was thinking about it nonstop. I wondered what to do. I tried to live a normal life. I went to a psychologist. I did a Barchelor degree in college and started a Masters year. Then I decided it is time to get some rest and recharge. I decided to go back to my home town, I thought I get back there just for a while. I was looking for work, but people started to scare me. In the past I thought that life is good, that people are basically good. Now I wonder how many more will have some unpleasant surprises and what to do with people similar to my persecutor ...

It is horrifying that although it happened to me more than 5 years ago, and only in 2008, I learned what it is called..

13.) Were you able to count on the support coming?

Yes. My parents helped me. Though I think they probably do not really understand the whole situation. I never think anything like that I did not survive, although it was extremely hard and depressing situation, I knew I have to find a way out of that sick situation.

14.) Has the stalker continued to harass you?

I changed my phone number, I put all the old acquaintances, and later I moved out to another town. He had no possibility to find me in my new place of life, because the only persons who know where I live, were my parents, and If they want to visit me, they did it in extremely careful way, to prevent me from being found. But I think, that he was doing all he could to make any contact with me.

15.) Why are you think so?

Some time ago, after I moved out, changed my phone number ,sometime later I went to college, to apply for a leave of absence. It was already half a year after breaking contact with him. Briskly walked to the university, where I wrote an application for leave of absence. When I was standing in queue to the secretariat, I saw he went to college and came up to me, smiled and said "hello Asia" as if we saw an hour ago or two. Then he began to say something, asking about me, how am I doing…

16.) How do you felt?

As I saw him I was horrified. I stood in the corridor, he walked behind me, and then held my hand. He did not want to give me peace. What did I do? People saw it, some people looked up, but nobody did nothing.

17.) Do you still have contact with that man?

No. Although recently, I saw that he posted his data on a Facebook. I was terrified when I saw him. I immediately changed my data. The Internet is a place, where is easier to deal with the stalker.

18.) In what words would you determine yourself after those five years?

Now, after five years I can say that I'm scared, people often terrifies me, I have problems with conversations, meetings, meeting new people. I still think about that when someone sees me, will soon start following me. It changed my attitude to the newly met people, especially guys.

Dominika Wrobel

Appendix 2.

Interview questions.

How long were you harassed?

How did it start?

Who was the stalker? Do you know him?

How would you describe his behavior?

When have you realized that something is wrong?

Has the stalker used any of your friends to maintain contact with you or obtain any information about you?

When you broke up with him?

Whether it was a difficult decision?

Where can the victim of stalking seeks help?

Have you received help from the police?

What happened later with your case?

How does this whole situation has affected your life?

Were you able to count on the support coming?

Is the stalker continues to harass you

Why are you think so?

How do you felt?

Do you still have contact with this man?

In what words would you determine yourself after those five years?

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Dominika Wrobel

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