Surviving My Stalker
Anna met Marcus while they were both in college through a mutual friend. At the beginning of their relationship, Marcus was attentive, kind, and supportive. Anna felt like the luckiest person in the world to have someone care so deeply about her. Two years into their relationship Anna and Marcus decided to move in together.
Not too long after moving in together, Marcus became possessive. He would get angry when Anna wanted to spend time with friends or family, forced her to share her location, and would get mad when she would turn it off. Eventually, Anna’s friends and family worried about Marcus’s possessive behavior and encouraged her to temporarily move out of their shared apartment, taking some time apart.
She was always one to listen to the opinions of her friends and family, knowing that they had her best interests at heart and wouldn’t ask this of her if they didn’t truly believe it. She told Marcus they needed to spend some time apart and moved out of their shared apartment and in with her parents.
Marcus’s abuse escalated after the separation. She would find him waiting for her outside her work, notes would be taped to her parent’s front door, and unwanted gifts placed on her car. She had to change her number three times just to stop the calls and texts he would send. He’d create fake profiles on social media and request to follow her, new accounts popping up right after the previous one was blocked.
Anna didn’t understand how she had gotten to this point. Marcus had never been physically abusive to her; she didn’t see this coming. She didn’t know it at the time, but the stalking began while they were still dating – when things were seemingly normal between them.
One day, Anna found an air tag underneath her car. She began to fear for her safety and turned to the police to get a protection order against Marcus, hoping to stop the incessant fear she felt each day.
Anna has spent the last year living in fear. It was her mother who recommended she call Friendship Home’s crisis line. She called and spoke with an advocate who talked with her about her situation, letting her know that she can seek a safe, secure, confidential shelter at Friendship Home. At first, Anna was confused. She wasn’t being abused, she wasn’t a victim of domestic violence, how could she use Friendship Home’s services? Her fear of Marcus prompted her to act and check into Friendship Home’s emergency shelter. Her first night in shelter, she sat down with an advocate who explained to her that stalking is a form of domestic violence, and that partner stalking is the largest category of stalking cases.
She stayed at Friendship Home for 6 weeks, safety planning and determining how to go on. She took out a protection order while she was in shelter, and she was able to find housing in a secure and safe apartment outside of Lincoln. After checking out of shelter to move into her new, safe apartment, Anna said that she wouldn’t know where she would be without Friendship Home. They were able to help her gain insight into the trauma she had experienced, guiding her into a life free from domestic violence.