I’m 53, I have been stared at, followed, stalked, and plain harassed since I was 18. I do not think I’ve ever had a job where I was not subjected to some kind of sexual harassment.
About three years ago, a man, roughly 60 years old, moved in next door to my home. He began initiating conversation which I rebuffed and never participated in except to nod, smile and excuse myself. The behavior escalated to stalking, waiting in front of my house in his car, and more conversation, following me down my driveway and asking inappropriate things, such as: was I happy being married?
Finally, I told my husband and avoided ever going to the front of my house. My husband and I decided to get a restraining order after the stalker came into my front yard, startling me while I was watering plants. The signing judge was great, issued the order, and was sympathetic. The stalker got a pro bono lawyer from some “community ” group funded by the county and appealed. I appeared on my own, mistake, even though my county web site emphasizes victims can appear on their own.
The judge, (really, referee), was rude, couldn’t understand what the problem was, and proceeded to label me as having “issues.” The restraining order was overturned. Shocked, my husband and I went home and put our home up for sale. We sold our home of 22 years, without a yard sign in a matter of days and quickly moved.
We live only 6 blocks away but I recently saw our old “neighbor “, as I was taking the garbage out, I ducked behind a retaining wall, he didn’t see me. Can you ever imagine a scenario where a court referee, man, a stalker, man and a lawyer, man literally hold court to decide your feelings of personal safety?
Location: Minneapolis, MN
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