Guess who made #brunch this morning?! #homemade #crepes with #nutella and #creamcheese. We also made #whippedstrawberrycream to go on top and had #bacon and fresh #strawberries #bananas and #pineapple. So delicious!
Guess who spends their Friday nights playing #SettlersOfCatan in #German? These awesome #nerdfighters! :)
It’s definitely spring at my house! Lukas bought me this beautiful bouquet of flower for no reason whatsoever :) #spring #flowers #bouquet
We didn’t drive all the way to Leamington just to get fresh Paczki…. No of course not… #paczki #fattuesday #heaven
Check out this awesome dessert spread we had for Marianne’s shower! Thank you mostly to @chricuck for providing most of it! I only brought the brownies lol. #dessert #bridalshower #wedding #bridesmaid #cheesecake #brownies #fruittarts #meringuepuffs #strawberries #mellon #chocolate #kiwi #blueberries
Had such a wonderful hosting Mariannes bridal shower today along with her other amazing bridesmaids. Everything seemed to run smoothly and fun was had all around :) I even got this nifty pin :) #bridalshower #bridesmaid #wedding #bestfriend
I apologize for the language above, but it is left whole to show a rather ugly point.
So: My ask box is closed now.
And I’m doing something very, very, very rarely do, and my friends have been begging me to do about this whole thing since day one: meet it head on.
The above ask was sent in by my stalker. This is why my ask box remains closed.
Maybe it is time to show what stalking really is and does.
Imagine getting messages, the type of which make the above seem mild and sweet (add in sexual threats, death threats, and vows to be up to this forever), any time you have any ability for anyone to contact you.
Every day. At times multiple times a day, sometimes in a stream of messages that clog your inbox.
And when you never once address that, they start contacting your friends, your sister, your parents. Your brother in law. Your infant nephew/godson.
Threatens them consistently. Sends them packages. Sends them postcards. Looks up their private info and parades it in front of them.
For 5.5 years.
Things that thus far haven’t helped: An arrest. An international warrant. International attention. Stays in mental health facilities. Nothing deters this behavior.
Stalking is one of the crimes that takes the victim out of the equation, because of how likely it is that being in it exacerbates the situation. And if we do nothing and let the world exist like this, we are enabling a kind of malice that could threaten the very positive and at times powerful ways we exchange ideas and connect to each other.
The Internet is the wild west, and at some point the cavalry’s gotta come in, here.
The FBI has been amazing but are limited by a foreign nation’s wish to completely ignore a situation that has been proven many times over to exist.
I can only be so defiant in private while balancing the need for my and my family’s safety.
You may think, “I’ve seen her at LeakyCons, she’s not affected by this at all!” Never make an assumption by the strength someone is able to project that they are unaffected. And never assume that someone who doesn’t give her life over to something negative completely - disappear from the internet, etc - doesn’t deserve just as much peace and justice as those whose lives lose major functions because of this activity. There is sometimes a paternalistic rise in compassion that rises to meet the level to which a person has been affected. If we start judging that way, we forget that no matter the victim and no matter the effect, the crime is the same and it must be stopped.
So there you go. A glimpse into my life.
If you wish to stand against stalking, please reblog; and as a bonus, please add your own thoughts about the necessity that a country’s law enforcement agency (in this case New Zealand’s) starts to take this seriously.
A New Zealander’s thoughts:
Unfortunately, this situation isn’t simple. We have extradition laws. For a crime to be classed as an extraditable offence it must involve conduct that would be regarded as criminal in New Zealand, with a penalty of at least one year’s imprisonment.
I don’t pretend to know a lot about New Zealand law… but I’m not convinced that there is a crime here that carries a penalty of one year in jail under New Zealand law. We recently introduced legislation meant to protect against cyberbullying, but the penalty appears to be three months. Stalking, as far as I understand it, comes under the Harassment Act. If this is deemed to be civil harassment, then a restraining order would need to be put in place, and the penalty for breaking those restrictions is only six months. If it is criminal harassment, then the penalty is two years… but I think it might not be defined as such because of the distance between Melissa and the stalker.
It is a very real possibility that New Zealand law would have to be change before our law enforcement could take further action. That would obviously take time… and I believe it would also require public interest in the case. So far, this has barely been reported in New Zealand news. I don’t know any New Zealanders who know of this aside from myself.
So that’s the first step, I think. New Zealanders need to hear about this.
To be clear:
It is considered criminal in New Zealand. She was arrested for criminal harassment in December of 2011.
Instead of prosecuted she was put on a deferment program. One of the terms was that she not contact me or anyone involved, and not go on the Internet. The program ended that March, and the very next day she was back to every behavior that had gotten her detained.
We have been absolutely vigilant about recording and passing on each correspondence. Screenshots, dates, printouts, emails, copies, etc. I have heard reasons for the silence such as:
-there’s some sort of new person starting at the NZ police department and they’re not up to speed yet
-we have to wait and hope we don’t anger them by suggesting how they do their jobs, or they won’t prioritize this case
-it’s common for a case to be deprioritized if the victim is not from the same country (which I feel incredibly naive in this day and age).
I don’t know how much of that is true, as that’s the bits of hearsay I can remember from two additional years after the arrest. The news of the arrest came on the night before Christmas eve in 2011, and I was staying with my mom, and we enjoyed such a happy night: not because someone was incarcerated but because it seemed the best result. She would get help, I would be left alone, this would all stop.
Not so much. So when she picked it up we thought surely they would just rearrest her and perhaps this time go through with prosecution or a stricter program.
It has not happened.
Nothing has happened to my knowledge since the warrant was issued in July, either. That warrant was issued by America, not NZ, and is just basically a stop on her entering the country without being arrested.
So, absolutely, it has crossed the line into criminal and has been recognized as such by NZ authorities.
I am kept in the dark about a lot of the details, because this isn’t Melissa Anelli vs. Stalker, this is United States v. Stalker. I’m not the bringer of charges so I get told what I need to get told and that is it. I don’t know why action hasn’t happened: I know that good people must work for New Zealand law enforcement. I won’t accuse them of purposeful lackadaisicalness, just a failure to recognize the very real and very harmful effects something like this has on a person.
I don’t know what has to get done to bump it to the top of the docket. I’m up for trying anything at this point, including just holding my breath and jumping into the pool here to get it under the right eyes.