About a year and a half ago, I had not only a cyber stalker, but a real stalker. This person did not see it this way–he just did not understand that his violent actions frightened me, and so therefore there was no way he would engage me in the dialog he was seeking.
I filed several cases with the police department. One time, I asked the woman on the phone to email me my case number instead of dictating it because I was in my car. Apparently, the city doesn’t do that. The city also doesn’t let you fill out paperwork online. To file for a restraining order, you go to the building across from the courthouse. To get victim’s assistance, you go to a building which I never visited, but sure isn’t close to the courthouse. To speak with investigators, there is a building by Ed Bluestein Blvd. way off of 183. To follow up with cases, you go to the police station off of 7th Street.
I pressed charges because this person was reading my email without my knowing it. Even though we have logs of his IP address accessing material only available in those emails, they never prosecuted. Even though he ALSO vandalized my property, found where I lived without me telling him and repeatedly came by unannounced, was physically harmful to me, and lied ON THE STAND about all of it. They never caught him because they have a log of other psychos to take care of, and since he wasn’t choking me like I heard from another victim at the courthouse, it was essentially “case closed”.
Guess what? You can’t fill out the paperwork to catch these bozos in your spare time. You have to do it when they are open. So even though YOU were victimized and YOU are doing everything you can to keep yourself safe, it is a bureaucratic nightmare to do so. Imagine driving around from office to office just to do something that would take a few hours online. I felt victimized twice. I felt angry that I paid taxes at all, because my government is supposed to protect me, and I had (and still have) nightmares about this person. What happened to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness?
Why am I telling this story? Because Whurley’s gathering ideas for the city of Austin’s website. And my idea is that the city should make it easy to make people feel safe. Driving around during business hours, filling out paperwork, and writing all sorts of case numbers down when you are afraid to park your car in front of your house at night is ridiculous. Websites make geography obsolete. If I could have filled out this paperwork at home or on my lunch hour, I would have been finished sooner, which would have meant quicker restraining order and more safety for me.
Please vote for my idea. A lot of women aren’t as lucky as I am.