By Nikki Goeser, Author Denied A Chance
January is National Stalking Awareness month. As a victim of stalking, I wanted to share my thoughts with you. My stalker never threatened me or my husband. However, he turned out to be extremely dangerous. He murdered my husband in front of me. I learned the hard way that a man does not have to threaten you or show signs of violence before he can be considered dangerous. I also learned that being left defenseless because of poorly created laws is the worst thing possible for someone being stalked. It is a feeling of utter helplessness that I would not wish on anyone.
I am a handgun-carry-permit holder but, because of the laws that existed in my state back in 2009, I was not allowed to carry my permitted gun for self-defense into the establishment where my husband and I were working. It was in this “gun-free zone” where my stalker found my husband and I, and where he shot my husband six times in front of everyone there. I learned that signs on doors that say “no guns allowed” are only respected by law-abiding citizens while murderous predators could care less. We were defenseless. A place like this is where a violent stalker will be able to harm their prey easily.
I have done my fair share researching advice given by organizations dedicated to helping women deal with a stalker. One great piece of advice that is given is to inform your family and friends about the stalker, who they are and what they are doing. If you feel threatened, you should also inform law enforcement by calling 911 and possibly seeking a restraining order. I would like to point out that when seconds count, the police may be minutes away and restraining orders are only a piece of paper.
Most advice suggests the woman may need to change everything about her life – residence, job, phone number, email – and adopt a new routine, install new locks and an alarm system, among other changes. Personally, it makes me mad that a woman would have to alter her entire life for any reason other than a positive change.
While this advice may indeed be helpful and can be important, I feel one key point is missing and it may be the best advice that could possibly be given to anyone out there dealing with something as horrendous as stalking. I’m taking it upon myself to say to you, as a stalking victim who survived, what most of these organizations will not.
You have a basic human right to defend yourself and your family. I would highly advise anyone being stalked to go take a handgun carry permit class and go through the legal steps to carry a gun for self defense. In these classes you will learn gun safety, defensive mindset, shooting skills and laws with regard to justifiable self-defense.
If these organizations want to truly help women protect themselves, I don’t understand why this advice is so taboo. Why is it not a viable option that is given to women along with all the other options? Not all stalkers are violent but plenty are. Carrying a gun does not make you invincible but it does give you a fighting change at survival when you may need it most.
I personally would want every tool at my fingertips if I was dealing with something I was not sure which tool would fix. With 6.6 million adults being stalked in the United States each year and 1 in 6 women being victims of stalking in their lifetime, I think this is advice that needs to be given.
Individuals of course can best decide for themselves what strategy to take in how to best protect themselves but why is this not even directly given as an option? It certainly should be. I believe women should be empowered to protect themselves and those they love most.
Editor’s note: While many victims of gun violence become gun-banners after her incident Nikki became a tireless advocate for Second Amendment rights. She tells her story in her book Denied A Chance which is available here. Please take a look.
See Nikki’s story featured on Investigation Discovery’s new hit series OBSESSION: DARK DESIRES, airing Tuesday, February 25 at 10/9c. For more information, please visit InvestigationDiscovery.com. DISCLAIMER: The views expressed this in piece reflect the writer’s personal opinions based on her experience and do not represent the views of Investigation Discovery.