Stalking awareness month: Victim shares her story

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WINCHESTER, Ky. (WTVQ) – January is stalking awareness month.

A University of Kentucky professor says one in six women and one in seventeen men are stalked nationally.

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Latoya Gordon lived a normal and happy life with her son. In 2016, she started seeing a man and quickly noticed some problems.

“It was his way or no way,” said Latoya Gordon.

Gordon ended the relationship one night.

The next morning, the man showed up at her house calling her, knocking at the door, and throwing rocks at her window to get her attention.

She opened the door and let him in.

She says the man attacked her 3 year old son and grabbed his throat.

“He told me and my son if he didn’t stop crying he would snap his neck,” said Gordon.

Gordon says he let her son go and then raped her.

“I feel like it was a lifetime movie and I was playing a part,” said Gordon.

Gordon says he stalked her after the attack.

He called her repeatedly, his family members called her, and he changed profiles on Facebook to see her.

“I was very paranoid,” said Gordon.

Gordon told her mother and police. She says her stalker was in jail for only a year.

Gordon says her stalker hasn’t reached out to her since he was let out. Today, she advocates for laws that would give crime victims more rights and she tells people if something happens, never be silent.

A professor at UK’s department of behavioral science says there are four types of stalking strategies.

The strategies include surveillance which is when the stalker is watching the victim. Intimidation is when the stalker threatens the victim. Interference is when the stalker attacks or sabotages the victim. Life invasion is when the stalker is constantly contacting the victim.

The professor says you should always tell someone what’s happening and save any evidence you can.

“When you’re silent it empowers the stalker and dis-empowers the victim,” said TK Logan, UK Professor.

TK Logan says more women are stalked than men and in many cases stalkers and the victim know each other. She says most stalking cases come from a domestic violence relationship.

Logan reports that half of the woman who are stalked for the first time are 25 years old and younger. On average, people are stalked for two years.

According to the Fayette County Sheriff’s Department, there was 25 felony charges from 2017-2019. Many of the cases included 2 year prison sentences.

According to the Lexington Police Department, there was 38 stalking charges in 2019 and 28 charges in 2018.

Resources and information are below:

http://www.cdar.uky.edu/CoerciveControl/sharp.html

http://www.lexingtonprosecutor.com/victim-resources/