The wheel spins on and on

Words By Anonymous

Content warning: depictions of stalking, recurring trauma, an intervention order


I was, and still am, a victim of crime.


Wednesday. I spent my morning at court speaking to clients. A client visited the office asking for me by name. I spoke to him on Monday. He said I had paperwork for him – but never mind, he can come speak to me at court. No one had told him where I would be. He left the office in search of me. My coworker at reception had a feeling. Tell me when you’re done so I can walk you back. Not wanting to bother anyone, I went back by myself, but my coworker accompanied me for lunch.


After lunch, the client came back. Insisted that I was a lawyer, and that I would be helping him with his case. He had been told to go away. He left, returned within fifteen minutes with a new story. 

I am now his partner, so would my coworker call me out to the front to speak with him, or else he will call my number. Again, he was asked to leave. 

Then, the final, most confronting time – he banged on every door in the foyer, rattling the frame. On the CCTV, he was attempting to enter by force through the staff-only door. 

I am now his fiance. The office pressed the duress alarm, and called the local police station. He was asked forcefully to leave, and we locked the doors. My entire office could see him roaming around near the staff car park, out on the street across the office, back to the court’s car park.


In my line of work, vulnerable individuals such as this perpetrator would benefit from leniency and referral for support services. If he had not harassed me, I would be helping him at court. 


The police officers asked if I wanted an intervention order. I didn’t know. I was too busy shaking out of my skin to even hear the question. No order was made on my behalf, nor was I asked for a statement or a report. When I called again four days later, the tiniest police entry was made and the process of tracking down the police officers who spoke with me on Wednesday was a thirty-minute quest. The constable over the phone asked for more identifying information than the first responders on the scene when the incident happened. 


No crime had been committed, on paper. 


It was uncharged. It was done while the individual was intoxicated. He came in proximity to my person. He knew where I worked. He came looking for me at work. Police attended the scene of the crime and could not apprehend the individual. In the eyes of procedures and the law, it was no crime at all.


I suffered no crime, even if I was a victim. I was impacted by an individual’s actions through no fault of my own and there was little protection that I could apply for. The police could only advise me to take out a personal intervention order against this stranger through the court. What would this process be like? An online application with my identifying details and a paragraph detailing why I need the order. My name would be shared with this perpetrator, even if the court could hide my address and phone number, for procedures and fairness are the foundations of our justice system. An individual must know what crime and who are accusing them of criminal activities. It was a legal essay, if a legal essay was a piece of court evidence protecting me from real and probable physical violence and stalking tendencies of a stranger who is not in control of his mind or actions. 


Surely this must be it. An essay, and I would either be rejected or accepted. I need not fear rejection. Even if no crime had occurred, this incident was worrying. I would then be invited to the witness box to give evidence once again why I need a civil order restraining someone else’s movement near me or the place I work. There is no case and I am testifying for my safety, accused perhaps of fabricating or exaggerating the events.


Violence is a sluggish, stretching band that allows little escape. I am paranoid, jittery, cautious, unreasonable – with luck, perhaps I can laugh about this in a year. Unmoored, I felt grossly violated, apart from my usual agency and with no way to recall it back to me. I am wandering around in a loop. The way out is shaking like a shower wall – shapes I could see, but never clear enough, with no map to show me how to get out or even walk away.


The author Anonymous

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