Thursday, February 11, 2010

Disgust And Outrage

That's what I felt when I saw this on the news this morning:
"The Florida woman killed by a man who had allegedly stalked her since her Hooters waitressing days had tried to get an order of protection against him, but a judge refused the request.

"Former Hooters waitress could not get an order of protection against him. Alissa Blanton, 23, of Cocoa, Fla., was shot and killed on Monday in the parking lot near her new job at an AT&T call center in Orange County, Fla. Police said her killer, 61-year-old Roger Troy, fatally shot himself immediately afterward.

"About a week before she died, Blanton asked a judge for an order of protection against Troy, whom she said had been stalking her for two years. Despite the evidence she presented -- her petition contained more than 70 pages of harassing e-mails Troy sent to her -- Brevard County Circuit Court Judge Dean Moxley said he didn't have enough information to rule on the petition."
Seventy pages of documentation wasn't enough to convince the judge that a protection order was justified? Then again, when I reported my concerns about the man who eventually raped me, I was told Mr. Pillar-Of-The-Community would never do such a thing, and I would get in trouble if I continued to slander him.

Not that a piece of paper would have changed Ms. Blanton's outcome or mine. Documentation and protection orders are due diligence, nothing more. A friend who was murdered by her husband had a protection order against him at the time.

When it comes to putting protection orders in their proper perspective, nobody says it better than LawDog.

It gets worse, though. What really got me going was the "advice" given by one Dr. Michael Welner, represented as one of America's top forensic psychiatrists:
"'Let me put it this way: in the movies, you see people run and hide. Well, if you feel you're in danger, then you've got to run. You can't stay where you are. I'm not suggesting people panic, but if they believe there's a danger and the local authorities are not resolving that danger, then you have to leave for your own safety,' Welner said."


Uprooting your life and moving somewhere else is no guarantee the stalker won't follow. Current technology and electronic public records make it very easy for stalkers to hunt down the objects of their obsession. Local governments put personally identifiable information out on the internet with no concern about or responsibility for how easily it can be misused. Just check your local county assessor's website to see how much information is freely available that a stalker could use to locate and break into your home. I've tried to keep certain people from getting my home address. It's impossible.

"Run and hide" punishes the victim while protecting the stalker.

But the worst thing about "run and hide" advice is that it reinforces the mindset that you are a helpless victim. That you can't possibly protect yourself. That you have no choice but to cower in fear while you wait for somebody else to save you.

Betting your life that others will save you is a potentially fatal error. Not even being right outside the police station is any guarantee they will stop the bad guy in time. You have to be your own first responder.

The tools and skills to defend yourself are readily available.* You need to have the will to put those tools and skills to use. If you're one of those pathetic creatures who says, "I could never hurt a bad guy," or even worse, "I'd rather be (raped, killed, fill in the blank) than hurt a bad guy," then get some help to see yourself as something besides a brainwashed, worthless piece of crap.

Get a gun in a useful defensive caliber. Learn how and when to use it properly. Learn other skills and tools for when the overlords force you to go disarmed. Practice, practice, practice. Live in Condition Yellow. It's not that hard. My horses have taught me more about relaxed awareness than all my training classes.

And decide where the line is in the sand that says "it's go time."

Go ahead and gather your documentation. Get a protection order. If it's denied, document that. A good paper trail will support your self-defense plea if you ever do have to stop the threat.

* I will admit that living in certain locations can put you at a real disadvantage. I was living in Chicago when I was raped. I will never again live in an area that utterly denies me the right to defend myself. But that's not running and hiding.


Anonymous said...

It's hard to protect yourself with paper. Best to meet an enemy with cold steel and hot lead than with paper.

People need to understand that the predators in our world don't care about the law, orders, or the paper that their written on. They will understand force. Use force. You are your own protector.

Black Ice said...

If I had the money, I'd post this in a full-page ad in every major newspaper, and run it as a commercial on every TV and radio station.

Far too many people will never realize the truth of your words until it's too late.


Anonymous said...

I'm so sorry that you were victimized. No one deserves that, but at least you've now taken steps to preclude that from ever happening again. You overcame, learned lessons, and got your sh-- together.

As they say, "you go, girl!"

jselvy said...

As far as I'm concerned, restraining orders should be treated like deer tags. They make the kill legal.

Rob Taylor said...

Too many people think the government can protect them when they need it. We need tos tart teaching people that cops are there to arrest people after crimes are committed.