FIGHTING FOR JUSTICE


Everyone who is close to me knows I am a fighter. I will never give up the fight for justice against stalking. 

 

Stalking affects millions of people each year. Studies vary but most agree 20 percent of North Americans are stalked sometime during their lifetime. Many people are familiar with famous stalking victims such as Jodie Foster, Rebecca Schaeffer, David Letterman, Madonna, Brad Pitt, and many more.  

 

Hoskins, the man who stalked Madonna, believed she was his wife. Bardo shot Rebecca Schaeffer to death because he wanted to be connected with the young actress forever. Jodie Foster's stalker, who also shot President Regan, was obsessed with her. David Letterman's stalker believed she was his wife. Rolando, who stalked Brad Pitt, dressed in his clothes. My stalker sued me all the way to the United States Supreme Court because he believed he magically created my movie and its title. 

 

Race, religion, gender, sexual orientation, rich or poor doesn't matter—anyone can be the victim of stalking. I’m far from famous and I am a stalking victim. So, what do all stalking victims have in common? Several things. What is happening to them is not their fault. What is happening to them should not be allowed. What is happening to them needs stricter laws and protections in this country. 

 

My hope is for a national stalking registry. I want strict penalties for those who stalk others. I want the courts to listen to victims–no one should have to die because their cries for help are not heard. 

 

As most of you know, we are working diligently on a documentary about stalking and plan a pilot with several seasons. Thank you for your continued support everyone. Stay tuned! 

 



 


OUR FILM LOCATION AND OTHER INQUIRIES

 As most everyone working in the film world knows location is key. In fact, finding the perfect location is a vital part of the pre-production stage. Fortunately, we have a great location. We have our set built. And we have the majority of our crew. The only downside, unfortunately, is that we cannot disclose where we're filming due to security concerns.


Our goal, among many, is to protect the safety and privacy of those involved in the documentary. We want to film as quickly and efficiently as possible, and that means fewer interruptions and a locked-down set.  


We are so grateful to those who support us and this vital film project. We cherish your emails and letters of encouragement.  We hope to make a positive change for victims of stalking, their families, and loved ones. 







BUILDING OUR FILM SET AND OTHER PROGRESS

A huge thank you to Germ├ín, Panchito, and countless others for working so hard to get our film set built. As many of you know I am filming a documentary on stalking and my experience being stalked as a producer, filmmaker, and author.  I'm working hard to get a national stalking registry in place in hopes of helping others who are victims of an obsessional follower. My stalker is what is considered a stranger stalker. I had and continue to have no intimate relationship with this convicted sex offender at all. He is still free to do as he pleases.  I understand that I am taking a terrible chance by speaking out-but I feel it is the right thing to do in order to help others.

It wasn't until the recent times that stalking has been criminalized. At the commencement of the 1990s, one high-profile case brought stalking into the forefront—the tragic murder of actress Rebecca Schaeffer. Her untimely death not only brought public outrage and awareness to the crime of stalking, but it also led to positive changes within the justice system itself. Schaeffer’s death thrust a Hollywood spotlight onto the crime of stalking and prevention. Moreover, it exposed the inadequacies of the criminal justice system to prosecute stalkers and to protect victims.

When more movie stars came forward after Schaeffer’s death with their own stories, stalking was seen as a far bigger threat than ever before. But it wasn’t just movie stars being stalked, a vast number of the public also suffered from being stalked. From the pressure of the media and from the public, the lack of adequate stalking laws and the need for reform finally came to the attention of policymakers around the nation. Finally, someone in power was listening. Sadly, this came far too late for many stalking victims like Schaeffer who had already met with an untimely death.   

Thankfully today, there is more awareness about stalking and stronger stalking laws have been passed in all fifty states. Even so, the problem of stalking remains. Additionally, the majority of stalking laws have proven to be way too broad and ambiguous. Victims often become discouraged by the lack of response by those in the justice system to take the crime seriously. Often, the crime is not reported because victims know the stalker will only stay behind bars for a very short time. In some cases, the stalker will only stay for a few hours--if that. During the time of incarceration, the stalker only has one thing in mind—revenge on the person that put them there. As the rage builds so does the victim's fear.  We, as stalking victims know that most likely a violent event may ensue.  It is no wonder victims live in a perpetual state of fear.

Moreover, prosecutors, and other justice officials face a daunting task of trying to follow a legal entanglement of elements defined in the laws in order to charge stalkers with the crime of stalking. A major problem with anti-stalking laws is that although many are similar in each state, the language and standards for statues in each state vary widely.  Therefore, what would be deemed stalking in one state is contradictory in other. It is no wonder that stalking is one of the most underreported crimes in America. Victims know the battle is uphill for justice. Stalking is rarely treated as a serious offense and often victims are mocked by those in the justice system who feel it is just a nuisance crime. 

 

In his proclamation on stalking in 2013, President Obama summed it up best. “Though stalking can occur in any community, shame, fear of retribution, or concerns that they will not be supported lead many victims to forego reporting the crime to the police.  As we strive to reverse this trend, we must do more to promote public awareness and support for survivors of stalking.”  (Barack Obama, Presidential Proclamation, 2013).




 

MY INTERVIEW WITH STRICTLY STALKING

Stalking has serious effects on victims--it can also prove deadly.  Moreover, the physiological and psychological effects are long-lasting and often so damaging it's hard to describe. When you are being stalked there is no more normalcy. No more carefree life. Instead, there is only checking and rechecking locks, peering into your rearview mirror, examining faces in a crowd to make sure your stalker isn't there. If that isn't bad enough, as in my case, my stalker began a smear campaign. This is only just one of many terrorist tactics that victims must endure. In short, it is life-destroying and often victims are revictimized by a complacent justice system. 

Here is my first interview with Strickly Stalking. Please share it with others. 

Click HERE to listen.  






UPCOMING TALK SHOWS AND PODCASTS ABOUT MY EXPERIENCE AS A STALKING VICTIM


Recently, I appeared on the first of many scheduled talk shows and podcasts concerning stalking. This is an important issue that has adversely affected me for several years. As many of you know, I was the victim of stalking by a convicted child sex offender felon--a pedophile with whom I had absolutely no romantic relationship. Like most stalkers, mine is a vexatious litigant who abuses the court system as a way to keep in touch with his victims. My stalker sued me for trademark infringement over my book, movie, and production company title all the way to the Supreme Court of the United States. Thankfully, he lost his appeal but not before causing me and many others great harm. 

While completing my Social Justice degree and earning certificates from Harvard University, I was tasked with writing an in-depth thesis on the topic of criminal law and stalking. The subject matter wasn't difficult because I was a stalking victim. I knew the majority of stalking statutes have proven to be way too broad and ambiguous. Additionally, prosecutors and other justice officials face a daunting task of trying to follow a legal entanglement of elements defined in the laws in order to charge stalkers with the crime of stalking. A significant problem with anti-stalking laws is that although many are similar in each state, the language and standards for statues in each state vary widely. Therefore, what would be deemed stalking in one state is contradictory in another. It is no wonder that stalking is one of the most underreported crimes in America. Victims are well aware that the battle for justice is all uphill. Stalking is rarely treated as a serious offense and often victims are mocked by those in the justice system who feel it is just a nuisance crime. 

Moreover, victims are discouraged by the lack of response by officials in the justice system to take the crime seriously. Worst yet, from personal experience, I knew that victims have another worry when the crime is reported. Often the perpetrator isn't apprehended for long. The stalker, during this brief incarceration, has only one thing in mind—revenge on the person who put them there. Often, this causes an escalation in violent events against the victim when the stalker is released. I can understand why victims remain silent. I did several times out of fear of retaliation. It is hard to articulate what it is like to be silenced out of survival. But I refuse to be silent any longer. 

I am sharing my stalking story and how a complacent justice system allowed it to continue.  I have found peace and a sense of freedom in the ownership of my voice. By speaking out, I hope to empower others to come forward. To tell their stories and to work with me in the battle for stricter laws.

My first appearance will air on July 21, 2020. I'll post links soon.

QUICK TIPS ON STAYING ORGANIZED WHILE WRITING

One of the most important tools a writer can have is a productive workspace. Your space doesn't have to be fancy or formal, it just needs to work for you.

Your writing space could be anywhere--even in your garage. I keep a mini traveling office in my car. When my children were small, I would write while I was parked outside their school waiting to pick them up at the end of the day. In a short time, I was able to sneak in a lot of valuable writing time. 

Wherever you decide to designate as your writing space, make sure it's comfortable and convenient. Keep organized by cleaning your space daily. I like to wipe down my keyboards at the end of the day and dust the top of my desk with a fresh hint of lemon. Inside my desk, I find it helpful to have similar items grouped together. For example, my pens are in one section, sticky notes in another and so on. Everything has a place grouped into a specific category.

I have a Jane Austen calendar I keep on my desk for appointments. On a nearby wall, I have my spreadsheets, and computer print-offs pinned to a corkboard.  Mondays, I review tasks, record important dates, and set writing goals for the week. I use colorful folders, highlighters, and sticky notes. I try to keep my desk free of any clutter and toss unnecessary items clogging up my space. A tidy office is a productive office. For me, the more clutter I have the more reduced my focus is.

I also recommend having great tools. A thermos or USB cup warmer is helpful to keep tea or coffee warm. Digital highlighters are helpful as well as Smartpens. Keep everything charged by having a charging station nearby. Music is very helpful to some.  YouTube is a great resource with many choices so you never get tired of the same playlist.  

I hope you find these tips helpful. Happy writing everyone.  



NEW BOOK PROJECT


I've been a bit behind on blogging recently due to undertaking a large and exciting project. The research into my subject matter has been a rewarding and yet a tremendous effort. Not only is this the largest manuscript I have ever written, but the most fulfilling as well. So please bear with me kind readers. I shall have something to present to the world soon.