DEAR ABBY: My family is dealing with a concern similar to "Trapped in Louisville." My teenage son is dating a lovely girl who attends a neighboring high school. She is being harassed by a boy who attends her school, rides her bus and lives in her neighborhood. I'll call him "Willy."
Willy has refused to honor repeated requests by the young lady to leave her alone. He makes unwanted advances toward her at school, follows her home and trespasses on her property.
The young lady's mother is not around during the daytime, due to her career. Her father is away defending our country. If my son becomes involved, I'm afraid there could be violence. I don't know what to do.
There are no witnesses willing to get involved. How do we get solid proof so Willy will not cause her harm? Who can we tell so that this will stop? We don't want to make this problem worse than it already is. Willy has threatened retribution if he gets into trouble over this. -- DEEPLY CONCERNED IN LAWRENCEVILLE, GA.
DEAR CONCERNED: It is time for the young lady's mother to pick up the phone and inform the police that her daughter is being stalked and threatened. Read on:
DEAR ABBY: I read the letter from "Trapped in Louisville" with mounting alarm and a horrible sense of deja vu. She's the high school girl being stalked by a classmate who calls her once or twice every hour. When her family got call blocking, he bought a cell phone and continued to call. Now he does it from the homes of his friends.
Abby, I am a university professor in a small coastal town. Our university is still in shock from the kidnapping, beating, rape and murder of a sophomore student in her dormitory. The student who admitted the crime had been pestering the girl for dates, despite repeated rebuffs. After he killed her, he called her parents and said, "I've murdered your daughter."
During the police investigation, the girl's father said, "There was a boy who was stalking her, but we thought that had gone by the wayside."
I disagree with your advice that "Trapped" should speak up to her stalker or have her parents call his. They should go straight to law enforcement NOW.
Although the girl fears her stalker will call her a racist, this has nothing to do with race. Her family should not try to handle the situation on their own. -- CONCERNED EDUCATOR, UNIVERSITY OF NORTH CAROLINA
DEAR CONCERNED: I stand corrected. My deepest sympathy goes to the family of that unfortunate woman.
Readers, there are laws against stalking in all 50 states and Washington, D.C. There are also laws against stalking at the federal level. Stalking is abusive, anti-social, sick behavior. It is not a compliment to the victim, and it is not benign. Stalkers are addicts, and the substance to which they are addicted is their prey. That is why stalkers should be considered dangerous and the police should be notified when stalking occurs.
Good advice for everyone -- teens to seniors -- is in "The Anger in All of Us and How to Deal With It." To order, send a business-size, self-addressed envelope, plus check or money order for $5 (U.S. funds only) to: Dear Abby, Anger Booklet, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, IL 61054-0447. (Postage is included.)
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