Only the rich and the famous are stalked! This is far from the truth! Rachel Cassidy CEO of the ‘Stop Stalking Now Foundation’, herself a victim of stalking, in her book “Stalked: The Human Target” dispels this belief; stalking is very prevalent and is experienced by a shockingly high proportion of the population. She not only relates the stories of celebrities like Dancing with the Stars judge Mark Wilson, but also those of ordinary people who have been targeted, harassed and bullied.
In this well researched book, the author explores in depth what constitutes ‘stalking’, its close relationship to bullying, its effects on the victims and the havoc which is wreaked by the perpetrator. This unwanted constant obsessive attention, relentless harassment or persecution is recounted by the victims in this book to not only illustrate the chilling cumulative effects on theirs and others lives, but also their courage and their determination to carry on with their lives.
By including the perspective of a stalker convicted of his crimes, the author provides some balance. However, many questions are left unanswered. How did he keep it secret? Would he do it again to someone else? What was the effect on his family? Does he have any real regrets for the anguish he caused his victim?
The range of behaviours listed that are typical of stalkers is quite ‘eye opening’; criminalizing these behaviours has curbed stalking. However, because of the nature of the crime, the author points out that effects of these laws are limited. Since the first anti- stalking law was passed in California in 1990 many other countries have criminalized stalking. In the Appendix 2 Ms. Cassidy details the legislation passed by various countries.
If you have been stalked or know someone who has had this crime perpetrated upon them, this book is an excellent resource. The chapter ‘If You Are Being Stalled’ provides valuable information on remaining safe and acquiring professional assistance. The comprehensive resource list and Further Reading chapter at the end of the book are invaluable to victims of this hideous crime as well as to those dealing with bullying, cyber-bullying or harassment.