Survivor Story: He Repeatedly Broke into Her House to Watch Her Sleep at Night

Submitted by: *Gina, Survivor

According to the Stalking Resource Center, stalking is commonly linked to intimate partner violence. Approximately 60% of female stalking victims and 45% of male victims reported being stalked by someone they were currently seeing or had dated in the past. Because stalking is used as a tool of control or to discourage the victim from making multiple attempts to leave, it is also common for it to begin while the victim is still with the abuser. This makes it particularly difficult for the victim to exit.

After a victim does leave, abusers often continue stalking to intimidate them and maintain control over their lives. The father of Gina’s second child was arrested multiple times during their relationship. Following a violent attack where he threatened to kill her while she was on the phone with 911, Gina moved out. He reacted by breaking into her house to watch her sleep at night and raised false allegations, causing her to temporarily lose her children. Find out what happened when Gina decided to fight back.

Gina’s first abusive relationship happened when she was 19 years old. The man who abused her was ten years older than she was. He was alcoholic and abused Gina verbally, physically, and financially. Around the time she found she was pregnant with their son, he started hitting and choking her.

He was arrested on many occasions, but he made Gina tell everyone that she was bipolar and exaggerated everything that happened. One time when she was six months pregnant, they were fighting. During the argument, it turned physical. He bent her arm behind her back, told her that he was going to break it, and then put a gun to her head.

After an assault that led to an emergency hospital visit, Gina moved out. The man who abused her responded by breaking into her house to watch her sleep.

Gina managed to call 911, but he thought it was only a friend. While she was still on the phone with the dispatcher, he yelled into the phone that he was going to kill her. He then threw her to the floor and started kicking her in the back.

Andrea started bleeding and feared that she was losing her baby. He rushed her to hospital, but when they got there, he would not let her talk to the nurse. Instead, he made up a story about what happened, denying her an opportunity to say anything. When they got home, the door had been kicked in by the police. They were dispatched following the 911 call and were trying to find her, but he and Gina were at the hospital when the police came. He beat her again after they got home as punishment for the door being broken.

Shortly after this assault, Gina moved out but continued to date him. They lived separately, but the abuse continued when they spent time together. Soon, she was able to buy her first house. He was so jealous and angry over her being on her own that he started stalking her at night.

He would come over after she went to bed, remove the glass from the back door so he could unlock it, and let himself in. After he was inside, he would sit at the end of her bed and watch her sleep. Gina found out two months after it started happening when her neighbor told her that his car was always there.

When her stalker made false allegations against Gina stating she was hurting her children, they were taken away, and she attempted suicide.

Unaware of what had been happening, she told the neighbor that he never stayed overnight. Gina decided to install a security system and ending up recording footage of him trying to get into her house. This went on until her son was two years old.

“I lost both of my children for about four months because he said that I had threatened to hurt them. When my children were taken away, I attempted suicide. I was lost, and I didn’t know what to do or why it was happening to me.

“He repeatedly violated the protective order. Finally, I found the strength to document the stalking by using cameras to record activity at the front and back of the house. I also recorded phone calls and saved the text messages he sent.

“This helped me get my kids back, but it didn’t end the drama. He continued to threaten me and constantly made false accusations about me. Attempting to co-parent with him was difficult, but my son finally turned 18 this past year.

“That was just the start of domestic violence for me. Two marriages that followed were also violent, and I almost didn’t survive one of them. I was quick to get out of both.”

*Name has been changed to protect survivor’s identity.

**If you or someone you know is being stalked, consider creating a safety plan. In addition to working with law enforcement and informing people you trust about the stalking behaviors, using a safety plan can help increase your personal safety. In case of emergencies, always call 911 or your local authorities.

**If you or someone you know is in an abusive relationship, there is help. You can visit the Break the Silence website at www.breakthesilencedv.org, chat with one of our helpline advocates at 855-287-1777, or send a private message through our Facebook page.

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