Does your wife, girlfriend or ex regularly blow up your phone with needy, hostile, delusional and menacing texts, emails and voicemails?
Does your ex or a woman in whom you have no romantic interest “accidentally” turn up whenever you go out?
Are you being stalked by your ex, your girlfriend, wife or a woman you never dated, but who has developed an obsession for you nevertheless?
Do you know that men are just as likely to be the victims of stalking as women?
If you’re a woman, is your partner’s ex stalking you?
Do you know that many of your girlfriend’s, wife’s or ex’s nuisance, clingy, possessive, angry, threatening, Internet searches, social network, text/telephone/email and/or destructive behaviors qualify as stalking and harassment?
Do you know that many women often use Family Court and negative advocate attorneys to stalk and harass their ex-husbands and/or fathers of their children?
Do you know that stalking and harassment are abuse?
Do you know that stalking and harassment are a form of domestic violence?
Do you know that stalking and harassment (and cyber-stalking and cyber-harassment) are crimes?
Counseling with Dr. Tara J. Palmatier, PsyD
Dr. Tara J. Palmatier, PsyD helps individuals work through their relationship and codependency issues via telephone or Skype. She specializes in helping men and women trying to break free of an abusive relationship, cope with the stress of an abusive relationship or heal from an abusive relationship. Coaching individuals through high-conflict divorce and custody cases is also an area of expertise. She combines practical advice, emotional support and goal-oriented outcomes. Please visit the Schedule a Session page for more information.
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I can only cite IL law with any real experience or knowledge…
720 ILCS 5/12‑7.3 Stalking
(Just a quick search…no other interest in this website).
DOCUMENT! DOCUMENT! DOCUMENT!
The only way to prove stalking is with documentation from the victim.
Been there, done that. Stalking is easy to do and States Attorney’s are reluctant to prosecute for two reasons:
-LACK OF DOCUMENTATION! (Am I clear on this yet?)
-Lack of timely reporting. “It happened when?” “Is there a Police report or other real proof it actually took place?” Then it is hearsay and I (attorney / cops / courts)can’t use it.
Cell phone records (your own and the kind that the Police can get through historical pings and subpoenas), recorded conversations (follow the law on this), Police reports, hospital records, sworn affidavits from your counselor, doctor, etc., her tollway (I-Pass, EZ-Pass, etc) records, court transcripts, your kids school (Teachers) use it all.
Make a Police report and follow up with the responding officer. Better yet a Detective or supervisor. No excuses. Occasionally the Police get swamped with “stuff” and it may take awhile. Be persistent and polite when you follow up.
If your local cops won’t help then take your case to the State’s attorney (DA in some places) and push. Remind them that their job is to prosecute criminals, not decide to blow something off because a conviction is iffy.
I’m looking forward to an article from you on your DV training, dominant aggressor profiling and mandatory arrests. Anecdotal evidence that you have arrested women in the past does not discount the reality of your anti-male training and procedures and resulting disparity in arrest statistics. I’m also curious how you can look yourself in the mirror each morning and tell yourself that you’re just doing your job.
Dr Tara Palmatier says
Mark is not responsible for the harm you suffered by your local police department.
Yes, there are many men who get a raw deal from the cops in domestic cases, but there are also law enforcement officers who are fighting the good fight. Personally, I don’t want to alienate police officers who understand the problem and are trying to do something.
You were disrespectful toward Mark while I was taking his call last night. I, for one, am grateful to Mark for all that he does and grateful that he called and shared advice regarding how men can best protect themselves in these situations.
There’s an anything goes atmosphere in the AVfM chat room and a lot of insults are sometimes hurled around. I don’t want that carrying over to the S4M chat room. It is not okay to be disrespectful to callers in the S4M radio chat room. First, it takes a lot of courage to put yourself out there and call in. Second, it puts me in an awkward position.
I felt horrible for Mark last night and didn’t know what to do. I didn’t want to alienate either of you because I like and respect both of you. I know why you feel and think the way you do about police, Denis, and it’s valid. Mark has also been through his own struggles with an abusive wife and is trying to help other men as best he can.
There are other police officers who listen to the show and participate in the chat room. One of them let me know how disappointed he is that I let the insults continue in the chat room. He is right to be disappointed with me.
I can’t follow everything that goes on in the chat room when I’m listening to and speaking with a caller. If I pay attention to one, I lose track of the other.
I like and respect you, Denis, and I so appreciate your support. Please know that. The bottom line is that Mark didn’t deserve to be treated that way last night.
We need more law enforcement folks who get it and want to help. That’s not going to happen if they’re insulted and blamed for the transgressions of other officers.
My apologies to Mark and other law enforcement officials who were listening last night and viewing the chat room. For what it’s worth, a lot of men who’ve been burned by the family court system also hate all psychologists, particularly female psychologists, too. I understand why and it is what it is, but it still stings when you’re actually trying to help and set things right.
Again, I have nothing but respect for you, Denis. But I also have a lot of respect for, Mark. Can we please touch gloves and remember what’s important. Namely, helping men who are caught in these nightmares.
I’ll try to behave better, but my conclusion is the same. Police are not trustworthy because they wear a badge. They are human just like the rest of us and they earn their trust individually. Any unknown police officer should be viewed with extreme caution by men and with initial distrust.
Does Mark recommend men call police for help when they are being abused by their wives? This really should be debated.
Funky Monk says
I called the police on my ex-wife twice, the first time for property damage and the second time for assault. She was given a warning for the first incident (to which she paid no heed) and was charged with three counts of assault for the second incident. I had half-expected the police to charge me for the assault since I assumed the law was biased toward women, but the officer was just and even gave me a vote of confidence in caring for my then 7-month old son.
A lot has transpired since that fateful night in June 2010 but I now have sole custody of my son and exclusive possession of my home, and it was all made possible because of the righteous actions of one police officer.
Thank you Dr. T. Denis is venting. I get it Denis. There is no need to try to push and see what reaction you can get out of me. Won’t work. Give up now.
As far as the behavior in the chat room, it is kind of like every bad cop and donut joke I have ever heard. You just nod and move on. Roll call discussions in LE can get ugly. Fast.
Article is in the works. Taking a lot more background and “stuff” to get it right.
Maybe Carrie Underwood can write a ballad about this one:
I’m thinking what the comments would be like if this was a man who had attempted to break into his ex-lover’s house to do God knows what while his ex fled the house to get away from him.
Just take a moment to imagine what you’re thinking about the man in that scenario. Yeah.
Psychopath. Potential murderer. Abuser.
Do we think the same things of the good Doctor?
From a different article:
“She made an unbelievable error in judgment and nobody understands why, and unfortunately she’s passed away,” Moodie told The Associated Press. “She had her issues – she had her demons – but I never lost my respect for her.”
The testamonials by her patients are pretty good. Apparently, she was fairly high-functioning. I did find the info on back taxes, home foeclosure, and the defrauding an innkeeper charge interesting.
Some time ago I was dating someone for a number of weeks that seemed great at first on a number of levels, then a number of differences came out of the sort that indicated, to me, we were probably incompatible. Nothing dramatic, just that we probably weren’t all that well suited to each other, definately not yet & likely never (she wanted a lot of kids right away, I wasn’t that interested at the time/yet; she like to party & drink & more to excess, I didn’t & never did, etc.).
About when that realization started sinking in, where a healthy relationship would naturally lead to drifting apart but on amicable terms (which had been common to my experience), I noticed she took a liking to doing some things I disliked (like a way she liked to nibble on my ear–I told her I didn’t like that but she did & she persisted–BIG “Red Flag” & I knew I had to get out). As I must have been emotionally backtracking as I was coming to the realization we weren’t compatible enough, she began a number of lovey-dovey sorts of things (coming over dressed very racy, etc.).
As this began I amicably, I thought, ended the relationship unequivocally & made that very clear — at one point shutting the door in her face when she came over. Then she started calling & saying some guy she knew wanted to invite her to a sauna & other thinly veiled threats designed to get me to intervene & sweep her off her feet like a jealous boyfriend might. As an ex-boyfriend I wasn’t inclined to take that bait. Actually some of the manipulations were rather transparen & off-putting.
Weirdly, her best friend was a neighbor & she began to pass along the same sort of threats–that the dumped girlfriend would stray if I didn’t call, I should send flowers (apologize), etc. To which I didn’t object (I’d say things like, ‘she’s a big girl & can take care of herself,’ etc. to the threats about straying…which only prompted a different tactic, more or less instantly…from the friend!!).
Actually, it was when I noticed this girlfriend could not mention her boyfriend the MD surgeon intern & how much: a) money he’d make & b) how much she loved him — with “money” plus “love” ALWAYS joined in the same breath, that I knew the personality was trouble. Birds of a feather thing.
Then I moved hundreds of miles away with the job….and somehow she tracked me down & gave an impassioned plea that she ‘loved me’ — but with the unmistakable embedded value that since she loved me I was honor-bound (or whatever she thought) to reciprocate her “love” back. She gave the guy friend’s invite to the sauna another shot too. Even with tactics so transparent it was an emotional conversation. Fortunately distance & respective committments kept us far apart & she gave up the chase.
I really can’t imagine what would have happened if we’d been geographically close. A “bullet dodged” no doubt.
I had a situation here in Australia with a neighbor making death threats, throwing rocks and generally harassing me and my family. I have collegues in local law enforcement that were basically powerless to intervene. This guy new the limits of local police power. The situation escalated when I found rocks this guy had thrown next to my 4 year old daughters sand pit in our yard!
I came very, very close to doing something to this scumbag that would have resulted myself being incarcerated for a long time! My wife actually stopped me from taking the law into my own hands. If my daughter had been injured… Well you can imagine what any father would likely have done in those circumstances!
Instead I documented EVERTHING this guy did. Then I had him served and got him in front of a Magistrate. I had photos, witness statements, and police reports. I was surprised at how easy it was to take an Apprehended Violence Order (AVO similar to a USA restraining order) out against this guy. Once I had the orders against him, I had him arrested for breaching the AVO! One trip to jail fixed his problem! He moved out of the area after he was released from jail!
I’m so glad I did NOT take the law into my own hands! It took time and persstance, but in the end justice prevailed!
Hi Dr. T.
Sorry for getting angry last night. Mark sounds like a nice guy but he was being less than honest and giving bad advice to men.
There is good reason for men to distrust cops. When I told my wife (in front of witnesses) that I wanted a divorce, she insisted that she couldn’t live with me anymore. She called the cops and children’s aid and moved out that day. The cops were nice but they tried to keep me out of my own home and prevent me from collecting my documents and seeing my kids. I held firm and they relented because they were wrong and trying to violate my rights. I collected my documents and even helped pack things up for the kids.
I went to hire the best lawyer in town, but not good enough. A week later I tried to arrange to see my kids and serve court papers on my ex. Even though she was avoiding all contact, I had notified her in writing that I would be arriving to do so. When I arrived at the doorstep, she and her father were crying behind the door that they were afraid and insisting that I leave the papers on the doorstep. I told them that my lawyer had advised me that I couldn’t do that. The threatened to call the cops and I said okay and waited for the cops to arrive. Two cops in a cruiser arrived in a manner of minutes. The big cop ran up to the door step and was immediately in my face demanding that I leave in a very threatening manner. I explained that was there serving papers. He told me to leave them on the doorstep or give them to him. I told him that my lawyer advised me that I couldn’t do that. So big cop goes in side to speak to my crying wife and I spoke with the other cop who agreed with me and eventually I served her the papers. When I went back to my car to leave, big cop comes over to me and asks to see my license and insurance. I gave them to him and he argued with me that my insurance was expired. I told him to look again at the dates. He was wrong.
A few days later I got a phone call from a woman from the same police station asking that I come in for questioning. I told her that I would not unless I was under arrest and accompanied by a lawyer. She threatened me that “all my wife had to do is say she’s scared and I will never see my kids again.”
Another encounter with a cop was because I was always recording every interaction and my wife and the cop considered it to be harassment. The cop insisted that I was not allowed to record private conversations without agreement from all parties. I told the cop that I was recording everything for self defence and that there are no laws against it. Eventually, the cop relented because he was wrong. He should have already known the law, but he was trying to be a white knight and taking his advice would put me at risk.
That’s the worst of my encounters, for the most part the cops were nice, but they also gave bad advice and/or were deliberately lying.
When my wife vandalized my car and I went to the station and reported it, the senior officer was very understanding that “hell hath no fury like a woman scorned”. He was one of the minority of cops who didn’t lie to me and actually tried to understand the situation rather than control it.
Onto advice for men who need help. Well, if you are living with a woman in a mandatory arrest state and you phone the cops in a he said/she said situation, you are going to jail. The vast majority of domestic calls are without evidence and cops are not judges, so they just do their job and arrest the man. Why would a man call the cops for help when they aren’t there to help but rather to arrest him?
There are some good cops who try to do the right thing but they all receive the mandatory training on anti-male bigotry and they all are obligated to do their job in mandatory arrests. All cops are like that. One should always follow orders from a cop, but advice from a cop isn’t worth crap because they are not obligated to tell the truth or actually help. That is not their job.
I’d like to believe that cops are better than that and they don’t judge people based on gender, but they do and men have good reason to distrust them and be fearful. My experience with police has been that they have been active enablers and abusers by proxy for my wife.
Dr Tara Palmatier says
Hi again Denis,
I appreciate your apology. Thank you. It means a lot.
Reading about the experiences you had with your some members of your local police department makes me so angry. And I know there are a great many more men out there with similar or worse experiences with the police.
As you say, there are good cops are there. We need to figure out how to identify them and then somehow work toward changing this insanity.
“We need to figure out how to identify them and then somehow work toward changing this insanity.”
The only way to identify that person is trustworthy is to get to know them personally, that is not possible with police. I’m still waiting for more than “we hate it” from Mark regarding mandatory arrest policies. Who is this “we” and why don’t they speak up about it and tell us all the details?
Had an ideation that maybe at least one of the Herman Cain accusers is a PD stalker. The fact that she hired G.A. suggests that the one that held the press conference might be. As much as G.A. This latest accuser was definitely in some creepy behavior like going to a political rally after more than a decade passed to confront him about it. There seem to be eye witnesses to at least one of the incidences but I wonder how many, if any, of H.C’s accusers are high conflict personalities?
Great show Dr. T. Won’t make me sleep well at night to think how my wife fit into your descriptions if I eventually have to seperate from her but I do appreciate the eye opener.
Reading Denis’ comments I’m reminded of a remark a coworker said: ‘Ignorance & stupidity don’t get the credit they deserve.’ My experience with police, I’ve had some neighbors & a friend of the family, is mixed & polarized — some are very good (reasonable & observant) & a significant proportion are on ‘power trips’ & seem to enjoy the authority for its sake.
Recording is always a safe plan when done right — especially if/when one has the applicable laws at the ready & can produce them (e.g. a 3x 5 card with the statutes summarized). In many [not all] jurisdictions one can legally record an in-person conversation without telling the other parties…but…cannot do the same via telephone. People, cops included, confuse these distinctions.
To my understanding, phone calls can ALWAYS be recorded if there’s an indicating “beep” and/or one informs the other party immediately they’re recording it. That alone can put an abuser on their best/better behavior. Thing is, one need not actually be recording anything — if the other party thinks you are, they tend to behave.
I knew of a case where a spouse (man) was going to return the kids to the ex…who called to schedule a pick-up time. The guy sensed something in the ex’s voice & noted a variation from the usual pattern & called his lawyer who advised him to not only record the entire transaction but to videotape it by setting up a camera across the street in a car or have a friend operate the camera from an indisputably lawful public location. He did this.
THEN, when the ex came for the kids he sent them out the front door, remaining inside and almost totally hidden — and too far to engage in direct conversation with her. All caught on film. The ex filed a harrassment complaint regarding a fabricated interaction that the video showed could not possibly have occurred. Such false complaints–enticing the police to act as accomplices to a criminal act–are serious crimes. The police really don’t like that, even by “helpless” & “weaker” females.
Also, calling 911 when your spouse is on a screaming fit has some benefits. If the spouse is truly out of control, in the next room, etc. one can express one’s concerns about one’s safety or that of the kid(s) with the sounds of the spouse ranting in the background getting recorded. Many jurisdictions will provide copies of the call/transcripts on request (might include a fee). When the police arrive & hear the ‘ranter’s’ clearly different version from what was heard on the call, the abusive spouse’s credibility suffers. Curiously, this is legal — even though the police are recording a “conversation” in which one party might not know is being recorded.
A recent court decision notes it IS legal to record police in the conduct of their duties, at least in public: http://www.ca1.uscourts.gov/pdf.opinions/10-1764P-01A.pdf Again, if one is confronting a manipulative abuser (e.g. to serve papers) having a confederate on the sidewalk, a legal public location, taking video can prove extremely valuable.
Legally obtained video/audio, for example, can be posted on YouTube, one’s personal website, etc.
The biggest problem with recording secretly is that it is not admissible as evidence (in my jurisdiction anyway). For abused men to be taken seriously, evidence is required but the only admissible evidence is injury or witnesses. Even if you have an injury, she’s going to claim it was in self defense so unless you have credible witnesses (which is very unlikely) there isn’t much one can do.
RE Inadmissible–secret recording.
THEN record in the open, or (better), make clear that the other parties were informed. Then put away the recorder. If things get emotionally intense people very often forget they’re still being recorded…and they say things helpful to the person doing the recording. To my knowlege, if the other parties are informed that is sufficient; ongoing display of the recording apparatus is not required.
I’ve been advised by a number of people to record ALWAYS — then take notes to get one’s own facts straight. This is surpisingly important — even smart, honest victims mess up the facts here & there despite one’s best efforts. Its human nature. Recording then taking notes & making whatever references work for you really helps. For all the lying the abusive party does, one’s own mind WILL play tricks on oneself. This is a good way to avert that. This is no different in principle than taking notes in college lecture, then later reviewing & re-writing them neatly to reinforce the lessons.
I’ve know of people that have recorded, or videotaped, encounters then posted the content on-line via a private (password protected) webpage. Depending on the content, sharing that with the abuser’s allies, or the abuser, etc. can be very influential as, most people find anticipation more axiety-provoking than the revelation of the recording would be. Depending on the content, this can be a very dirty legal tactic — especially if it leads to the abuser’s support network to wither before their eyes (wars are fought on more than just one battlefield). That can be influential, making them more accommodating, or, could provoke a useful reaction (i.e. its not without risks of unintended/unanticipated consequences).
Also, take a lesson from negotiators on complex projects: SCRIPT key issues & statements. If the other side has hinted at a latent problem (aka a specific event by the abuser) a direct question puts them on notice & defense…but…an off-handed remark presented as a well-known statement of fact, especially if dropped in a very heated/fast-paced discussion matter-of-factly, is very often accepted & responded to in kind, or at least not denied as such a presentation very often slips right under the other’s defenses/facade. This can prompt tacit, if not overt, acknowledgement of a situation, event, etc. as the other party is too focused on other matters to realize the trick. This can occur once, or as a pattern. E.G.: Asking an abuser if they ever hit you is sure to lead to a denial, but, if a related & emotional topic is being discussed in earnest (heatedly) and you slip in a remark like, ‘…like last time when you decked me…’ the abuser may very well remark in kind, ‘…yeah, you deserved then and your asking for it again now!’ and that could pop out without conscious awarness (at least until too late for them). Again, SCRIPTING specific topics, event/date, event/weather, etc. etc. factors prepares one to slip mention in at opportune times. This works. I got my abusive ‘other half’ to concede she shouldn’t have hit me ‘while I was holding our toddler son’ (implying hitting would have been ok otherwise); I don’t believe she even realizes the import of what she said, or, that she said this. That’s one bit of material archived for future use–and, by the way, its on magnetic tape which in many places IS admissible due to the inabilty to conceal tampering there.
When a series of lies need to be exposed, addressing various specifics in fine detail in a disjointed manner also helps them weave an impossible picture–which exposes the lies — follow the model of a person having extreme attention deficit disorder & jump around topically. An abuser/liar will typically weave their lies to fit the moment & usually don’t have the capacity to keep the full picture in mind…and that is exploitable. Having a prepared script allows one to jump among topics, dates, etc. without getting lost in the contrived confusion. This is the fodder of the typical courtroom drama, where a key witness, etc. is exposed by that one (or more) significant technicality that shows the whole story cannot add up.
Something like this just happened in my situation: the abusive partner was adament that a player on my team said & did such & such in the game vs. off the field. She described him by name & number (on the uniform) as chunky/fat with tatoos visible on his arm — that is actually two different people. The name number combination is a skinny guy; the tatoo’d guy is the fat one. How she combined these two distinct people into one hybrid I have no idea…but it illustrates her credibility in reporting historical incidents realtive to who was involved/present and is easily verified/refuted.
THIS illustrates a corrallary: when you get the other party stating a refutable lie/error, it really helps to keep them talking & repeating it — that reinforces & cements the inconsistencies you can use later.
All of which illustrates that, if it can happen to the other it can happen to you. So, record anyway if for no reason but to ensure you keep the facts, and keep’m in proper perspective.
I’ll add – in my state unknown recordings of another person are also inadmissable, but that does not mean you cannot type them into a Word doc, word for word, dated, (removing all emotional suggestion, such as “She angrily said…” or “She seemed stressed,” etc.) and claim you did so from memory.
The one with the most and most accurate documentation usually (in my experience) gets the upper hand…and no, that person was not always me.
Dates plus times plus verbatim minus emotional suggestion…like Ken said, if for nothing else than to keep yourself sane and facts straight, which will lead you to make more sound decisions when dealing with crazy and her entourage.