Stalking Victims Need Marsy’s Law Too – Angela’s Story

We receive stories from crime victims almost every day. Some are positive—examples of how the criminal justice system worked the way it is supposed to. But more often we get stories that are heartbreaking or horrifying. Here’s one of the recent stories we received from a supporter that shows just how much work we still need to do to fix our broken criminal justice system to make it work properly for crime victims: 

Hello – in the interest of January being National Stalking Awareness Month, I would like to share my story with anybody who will listen about my 18-month long odyssey through the order of protection AND prosecution system. I had to fight to get an order of protection and then when it was violated two weeks later (after a 4-hour hearing), I was put through the most shameless victim-blaming imaginable. I have spent thousands in attorney’s fees. Because my ex-boyfriend/stalker has access to money, he has managed to buy appeal after appeal thus putting me further and further into hell months later. As I write this, the charges of violating the order of protection are pending appeal after he was convicted by the jury after an 8-hour long trial.

This is the abbreviated version of abuses of the justice system and how little say I have had even though I did everything “right.” Now, the appeal is sitting with the judge for a ruling that could make or break whether doing everything “right” was really worth it. I have been in court seven times since I filed for my order of protection. This does not include the time that I have had to meet with the prosecutor and my private attorney. If the judge orders any additional hearings for the appeal for the violation or to obtain a new order of protection, that number will only increase.

Angela M.