My name is Kat Duesterhaus, and last year I became one of the 15% of women and 6% of men who will be a victim of stalking in their lifetime.
The definition of a stalker is a person who harasses or persecutes someone with unwanted and obsessive attention.
My gut told me something wasn't right from the beginning. After finding the second penny I had been convinced, so I hung an old camera phone in a window that looked onto my doorstep. The phone was running an app called Manything, which records audio and video when triggered by motion.
I sat alone and afraid in my apartment on August 8th, 2016, just like I did most days during that time. It was my 31st birthday. When I saw on Facebook that 314 friends had wished me a happy birthday, I realized how isolated I had become.
And something happened- for the first time I was more pissed off than I was afraid. So I went back over every email Manything had sent, and I came across one that showed someone at my door. I recognized this person, and I had suspected them. The police had already spoken with them over the phone.
Now that I was certain though, and because this person’s profession, I had to consider I was not only being watched outside my home.
The computer security consultant I hired reported finding indicators of remote access technology RATware on my router, which would have enabled someone to access my video camera, microphone, and anything on my phone itself.
I'm not going to mention which government agency wanted all my electronic devices as evidence, but I will say that it became very difficult being off the grid when the new devices I purchased became evidence as well. For over a month I struggled to keep my new business running from the public library within their daily computer time limits.
Because at that point I was spent, I mean literally. Having a stalker is expensive. I calculated that over 10% of my 1st year earnings from Social Butterfly Agency went to fight my stalker in 2016.
And the time! Six months of my life that were taken from me.
In the end, the electronic trail went cold and the single photo captured by the $2.99/month Manything app, was the best evidence any of us could come up with. The image wasn't clear enough for the prosecutor to want to pursue a conviction.
To my knowledge my stalker hasn't visited my apartment since the police contacted them last year, although this person does still contact me on social media. Experts say it is unproductive to try reasoning with a stalker, so I don't respond; although I do send the detective in charge of my case a screenshot of the contact add to the evidence in my case file.
If you or someone you know is a victim of stalking, please contact your local police department. Here are 5 tips for dealing with a stalker based on my own experience:
#1 Notify your local authorities at the first sign of a stalker.
#2 You are your biggest asset, so keep a log of all the stocking incidents and preserve any evidence left behind.
#3 Read Gavin De Becker’s “The Gift Of Fear” to “understand the difference between "fear" and "worry", and trust your gut feelings (a.k.a. intuition).
#4 Tell your friends and family- don't isolate yourself.
#5 Be patient but persistent with law-enforcement. Stopping a stalker can be a long and drawn out process, but don't give up!
For additional resources, please check out the links accompanying this video.
18min video for Law Enforcement- https://youtu.be/Q2BHO8eXvxA
The Gift Of Fear by Gavin De Becker on Amazon- https://www.amazon.com/Gift...
Manything App https://manything.com
Treasure Coast Private Investigator-
DRISCOLL INVESTIGATIVE CONSULTANTS LLC
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Kat Duesterhaus is a survivor on a mission to inspire and empower women of all ages through digital content and public speaking. Find Kat on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat, & LinkedIn as @KatDuesterhaus 😺
Visit SocialButterflyAgency.com or KatDuesterhaus.com for more information on Kat and Social Butterfly Agency. For speaking engagement availability please email firstname.lastname@example.org