Thursday, January 11, 2007

Cyberstalking,obsessive clients and escorts

Cyberstalking and obsessive clients and escorts, is something that we all need to be wary of.

Unfortunately, this type of behaviour is not always something that you can pick up immediately in an email, on the phone, or even on a first meeting.

An escort friend was stalked by a client, who she had met several times. He started threatening to attack her, and harassed her after a number of meetings. When I asked her what he was like when they first met, she said he was fine. He resorted to waiting outside her house every day, and she eventually moved.

I read on a messageboard about something similar happening, to another escort. The client had broken into her home, and rearranged the furniture. He used to wait outside her home, and monitor who she saw.

I think the risks are high ,for women who work from their homes, and tell their clients that is their home.

I have read about clients who have been stalked on the messageboards. Escorts, have been able to track down where they work, harass them, and call their colleagues, and bosses at work. Some have contacted wives, and been to children's schools.

This applies to escorts being stalked by other escorts too.

There are individuals who lurk on messageboards, who look for victims. I see it on different messageboards, and a number of people have stories to tell,that are unsettling.

It seems to be part of the culture.

You do not have to be part of messageboard culture to be stalked.

These sorts of experiences are enough for anyone to leave the industry.

I have had experience of this, but managed to nip it in the bud quickly.

In one case, I had difficulty with a client who I chose not to see, after a number of meetings. I assumed because of my client's background, his marital status, his upbringing etc, he would not resort to this. Well, I learned something new.

The other case, was a boyfriend who I dumped, who felt by harassing me I would give in.

I found that it was pointless looking for motives from lunatics. The best thing to do is get the authorities involved immediately.

I came across this article on the topic yesterday.

When Karen Allison ended her marriage she knew her husband wouldn't let her go quietly. "He had been abusive," she says, "so I expected him to punish me for leaving."

She was right. Last November, Darlington magistrates court heard evidence of a two-year campaign of harassment Thomas Welsh had directed at Allison since their split. Immediately after ending their relationship, she had been bombarded with sexually explicit text messages and photographs on her mobile phone. Worse was to come. She soon discovered that her details had been posted on a website aimed at cross-dressers and sado-masochists, where she had been advertised as being "available for sexual services". "It was horrific," she says. "I was getting all these disgusting emails and phone calls."

The court fined Welsh, imposed an indefinite restraining order banning him from going within 100 yards of Allison and also banned him from putting her details on the internet.

In the most recent British Crime Survey, published last summer, 8% of women and 6% of men said they had been stalked within the previous year. And 20% of all women are stalked at some stage of their lives. In the case of men stalking women, the harassment usually starts when a woman ends an abusive relationship or rejects the sexual advances of a man prone to violence and jealousy. According to research carried out at Leicester University, more than 200 women leave the UK each year because a stalker has made their lives unbearable; the average length of time that a woman is stalked is seven and a half years.

Cyber-stalking - the use of technology such as the internet and mobile phone - to track victims has increased sharply in the past few years. Many of the offenders are men who are disgruntled and angry at being rejected by their partners. Rather than creeping around outside the victim's home, or following her to work, though, some of these men, as Allison found, post details of their victim on websites containing sexually explicit material.

Others email pornographic photographs and videos of the victim (often taken without her knowledge or consent) to family members and work colleagues

Such men, according to Hamish Brown, a former police officer and an expert on stalking and harassment, fit the profile of the "obsessional stalker" - an ex-partner who refuses to believe that a relationship is over. "These men refuse to give up, however clearly the victim tells him she doesn't want to know. He has this attitude of, 'If I can't have her, no one will'," says Brown

"Simon knew I had been raped when I was 13, although he insisted on calling it 'surprise sex'. He discovered my email address and password and then would subscribe me to really violent rape sites."

Thompson's ex had used a method common to cyber-stalkers - tracing their victim's email address and sending messages from that address containing offensive, pornographic and even libellous material.

According to research by an expert on stalking, Dr Lorraine Sheridan of Leicester University, half of all victims are now harassed via the internet. And despite the image of the stalker as a creepy loner, there is a growing online community to help and support the cyber-stalker's efforts. So-called "revenge" websites, such as Avengers Den and Get Revenge on Your Ex, are becoming more popular, says Sheridan.

These sites are not specifically targeted at men wanting to exact revenge on women (there are women who post on such sites, often describing how they sent advertisements for Viagra, or penile enlargement operations) and there are no figures to give a breakdown on the gender of users. But trawling through them, the majority of those leaving posts seem to be men.

"Whether the stalker harasses his victim by letter, in person or by email is irrelevant," says Brown. "But victims of cyber-stalking have often told me they get terrified of the 'invisible' stalker who is hiding in cyberspace, because he could be anyone and everywhere."

The good news is that cyber-stalkers are more likely to be caught than others, because there is usually a trail of evidence from computers and mobile phones. However, stalkers are usually determined, and often put time and effort into becoming technical experts.

Here is the full article by Julie Bindel of the Guardian

I read this article a few minutes ago, and my heart sank. She was a well respected member of a board that I belong to. May she rest in peace, and my thoughts and prayers go out to her friends and family.

Hooker to the Stars murdered by Virginia Wheeler,Anthony France and Tony Bonnici of the Sun Newspaper.

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That last story is awful, but this is a very common phenomenon--the jealous boyfriend who murders the woman and then makes a fake suicide attempt himself as a way to try to avoid being held responsible. See Theodore Dalrymple's book Life at the Bottom, an interesting book by a prison psychiatrist. The newspaper, of course, reports that he tried to kill himself, but they NEVER succeed in killing themselves, only others.

A common way of making fake suicide attempt is by superficially lacerating the wrists and arms, yet in the year in question only ONE man successfully killed himself in the UK by cutting his wrists, and that was David Kelly, the disgraced (or disillusioned) weapons inspector. Goes to show that while suicide is not rocket science, qualifications in that area may improve your chances.

I feel sorry for the woman's parents and child. Their lives will be really messed up. The guy should be strung up by the balls, but won't be.
James B,

It is tragic.
Wow, too bad about Trudy. Hot chick. I feel especially sad for her daughter.
Too often it's nip, bud, on both sides. My long lasting working relationships are all accidental. We ran into each other and rediscover each other after a long period. So the chance of anything going wrong is minimal.
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