A few months ago I talked with Liana Mauro about her experience being stalked and what she’s doing about it now. Her annual fundraiser, Share the Love, is coming up next Wednesday (the 6th of February) and I’d love to see you there with me! (Click here for tickets! Details of the event are all below)
Since that article in October, Liana wrote one of her own, bravely showing her ongoing emotions about how being stalked has affected her and how she made it through. The whole article is great–give it a read!–but here’s one of my favorite parts:
“The repetition of being told that I would get through it, that I had someone who believed in me – in what I was fighting for, in who I am, and in who I would be as a result of this experience – that got me through it. Friends who didn’t care what time it was but would come over in the middle of the night because I was too scared to sleep or just needed someone to be there while I cried. Having someone sit by my side who didn’t tire of hearing me cry, get angry, ask why, take long walks in silence when I needed to be silent, sprint with me when I needed to sprint, and then do it all over again. Having someone who allowed me to experience everything I was feeling without judgment but with encouragement, gentleness, and belief in my path. Being told that when the case was closed that my process wouldn’t really be over and that it was okay. Being told over and over that it was all okay. Being reminded to breathe. Gosh, we need these people! Please be this kind of friend, mother, sister, lover, and father. Don’t say ‘let me know what I can do’, GO and BE with these people – with anyone who’s hurting for that matter. Sometimes the pain is too deep to ask for help and it’s really comforting to know that you aren’t as alone you may feel. BE with people who are hurting. Especially the people you love.”
That’s what this fundraiser is about. Few of us understand domestic abuse and stalking as much as we could, or as much as we might need to if a close friend experiences it. This is a great chance to become more aware and raise money for a great nonprofit at the same time.
But . . . this fundraiser also happens to sound like it’s going to be a lot of fun!
When, Where, What
- It will be held at the Molotov Lounge (719 W. 6th Street, Austin, Texas 78701) from 6:30-10:00 PM.
- Tickets cost $20, drink specials will be going all night.
- Catering provided by Carmelo’s Ristorante
- Live music by Abe the Assassin
- A “silent auction” where you can bid for a lot of great things donated by Austin businesses, artists, and others. Here’s a list of some of the items available.
Texas Advocacy Project
All the proceeds go directly to Texas Advocacy Project, which gives free legal services to victims of stalking, domestic violence, and sexual abuse. We all know how complicated the law can be, even with normal, daily things. For someone whose life has been turned upside down by a manipulative abuser or stalker these free services are extremely helpful. Access to legal services is one of the few things proven to decrease domestic violence rates, and TAP receives a significant amount of its funding from direct donations every year. You can help by just coming out and having some fun :)
Just a few harrowing stats about stalking for ya:
- 76% of intimate partner femicide victims were stalked by their immediate partner. That means there was a period of time where the woman’s partner was monitoring, controlling, tightening their grip, threatening, and manipulating . . . SEVENTY SIX PERCENT of women who are killed by their immediate partner were stalked before – we need better and quicker protection for them, and more awareness of the resources.
- 54% of femicide victims reported stalking to police before they were killed by their stalkers. They reported it but didn’t get protection in time (or they didn’t push for protection out of fear, love, or promises from their partner).
- 46% of stalking victims fear not knowing what will happen next.
- 46% of stalking victims experience at least one unwanted contact per week.
- 11% of stalking victims have been stalked for 5 years or more.
- 29% of stalking victims fear the stalking will never stop.
- The prevalence of anxiety, insomnia, social dysfunction, and severe depression is much higher among stalking victims than the general population, especially if the stalking involves being followed or having one’s property destroyed. (“The Toll of Stalking,” Journal of Interpersonal Violence, 17, no. 1 (2002):50-63)
(most of these stats come from the Bureau of Justice Statistics Stalking Victims Survey from 2009 and 2012)
One last quote from Liana
“In the short-term it’s easier not to do anything about it because you just want to move on with your life. What I recognized was that in not fighting, I was implicitly telling him that he could go do it again and get away with it. I was determined that if I could stop him from doing this to just one more person I would undergo however long it took to do it. I recognized that, as with everything, we have a choice – to live in fear and be quiet, or to stand up and tell the world that it’s WRONG and that there is absolutely no shame in what I went through . . . I refuse to be quiet about this.”