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This chapter is from the book

The Victim's Side

It is important for victims to work with law enforcement and advocacy groups to develop a safety plan and then methodically build a case. Keeping the victim safe and obtaining the best evidence to prosecute the criminal are priorities. A stalker's behavior is obsessive and can escalate suddenly at any time, making deterrence and criminal apprehension difficult. Often the most dangerous time for a victim is when he or she tries to leave to get help, because a stalker feels threatened by the notion of the victim being inaccessible and this can trigger an escalation in violent behavior.

The good news is that law enforcement agencies are more sensitive these days to victim needs and the dynamics of these dangerous relationships. Laws are changing to reflect the seriousness of these violent crimes. Responding officers and investigators are better trained to build these cases from a behavioral approach as well as a technological approach.

Prosecutors are on board as well, but the reality is that these types of cases are still difficult to prosecute. Typically, these infractions occur over time and in various jurisdictions. Each single incident can initially appear to be benign. A single occurrence of behavior does not often constitute a crime, and even when a pattern of behavior is established, the crime is often a lower-level misdemeanor, which results in very little jail time, if any at all. It is not uncommon for these cases to take months and sometimes years to prosecute, and when a conviction is won, the jail time is not necessarily significant given what terror the victim has endured.

  • It is our sincere hope that you will never become part of the history of victimization.

One of our goals in writing Cyber Crime Fighters: Tales from the Trenches is that by detailing cases, we help readers recognize specific behavior patterns and steer clear of the person exhibiting them before the situation escalates into a dangerous one. We want you to understand that other educated, level-headed, intelligent people have fallen victim to cyber stalkers and predators because they did not recognize those patterns. History, as the saying goes, repeats itself. By sharing all these stories, it is our sincere hope that you will never become part of the history of victimization.

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