Tanya's Story: Second-Time Survivor
At 32 years old, Tanya had already survived being a victim of domestic violence. Yet the day she came to one of our Community Program offices, she was facing a new crisis – as a victim of stalking.
When we sat down with Tanya, she told us how a neighbor had begun giving her unwanted attention. At first, he left gifts and notes for her at her home. Then she learned that he’d tried to break into her home while she was gone. The most frightening episode came when he tried to run her down with his car. Tanya told us she had reported all these incidents, but the perpetrator continued to harass her. Tanya was terrified. She’d already survived domestic violence and had managed to move forward with her life. But now, she desperately needed our help to survive a new, frightening situation.
Tanya became one of estimated 3.4 million people who become stalking victims each year. Stalking can happen to anyone, even those like Tanya, who’ve already survived other forms of crime and abuse. What would help make a difference for Tanya was having a place where she could not only tell her story, but find the support she needed to help her overcome this new crisis.
In more than three decades of helping victims of crime and abuse, Safe Horizon has developed both the solid expertise in advocating for children, adults, and families in crisis, as well as a wide range of resources that victims can rely on when they most need our help. Once Tanya told us her story and how she felt she had little success in getting help against her perpetrator, we offered to call the police on her behalf. We spoke with officers about Tanya’s case and within 24 hours, they had arrested and charged her stalker. When the assistant district attorney’s office began investigating Tanya’s case, we supported her in speaking with the office and by helping her navigate the criminal court system so that she could get an order of protection against her stalker.
Tanya wanted to relocate so she could get as far away from her stalker and from their old neighborhood as she could. We helped Tanya find the financial assistance she needed to cover her moving expenses, which would make it easy for her to find a safer place to live.
Tanya thanked our staff by saying, “It means so much that you cared.” And it’s thanks to our supporters that we could be there when Tanya needed not only a listening ear, but a hand to help her become a survivor again over crisis.