With January being National Stalking Awareness Month, one El Dorado Hills woman is reaching out to the community to raise awareness on cyberstalking and cyberbullying, and to provide support to victims.
Alexis Moore gave up everything when her ex-husband starting cyberstalking her. Her home, her dog, even her car. She began writing journals, marking every time she was assaulted. Her first journal was dated Nov. 5, 2004.
When she went to law enforcement for help, she was “overly referred,” she said — Department A said to go to Department B, Department B to C, and C back to A. A hotline was “closed due to lack of funding,” though she thought the claim was dubious. “There were no direct support agencies,” she said. There were shelters, but no support units.
The most help she got from law enforcement was a large video camera and an audio recorder from the District Attorney’s Office — not ideal for her situation.
“I reported a minimum of 100 stalking and cyberstalking incidents to the (El Dorado County Sheriff’s Office) and was left behind humiliated, terrified and living in fear right here in El Dorado County,” Moore said.
In 2006, she was told to stop reporting incidents. “Now, I’m really alone,” she recalled feeling.
Her last physical journal was April 14, 2007. She began keeping her journals as Excel spreadsheets and founded Survivors in Action in El Dorado Hills. It began as a virtual agency, with Moore putting up her Excel template for others to keep track of how they were being cyberstalked and cyberbullied — something that would help in court, Moore said. When, what, witnesses, the outcome and phone numbers all had a space to be filled.
With that and other tools on the Website, it’s unlikely that a victim “can’t get to the finish line,” Moore said.
Times have changed with how EDSO works with victims, too. “The Sheriff’s Office today is doing great things compared to when I was a victim. Detective Nolan Tracy, who is lead of the stalking and domestic violence unit,” she said. When Moore was a victim, she had a dozen different officers and deputies who would give her a business card and leave the case at that.
“In fact I have personally worked with (Tracy) and I am very impressed to say the least. When I reported stalking and cyberstalking incidents from Nov. 2004 forward, I was humiliated and even laughed at and told not to report any more incidents,” she said, having to figure out her own “mechanisms for survival.” This was “something that I vowed would not happen to another victim and why when Sheriff D’Agostini took the helm as sheriff I made it my mission to ensure victims of abuse, stalking and cyberstalking had the best response they could from our local department.” A call to the non-emergency hotline went from only getting voicemail to having a specific deputy assigned to a case.
“The sheriff has kept his pledge to help victims and I can attest personally and professionally that the EDSO has responded far better than ever before and that is something that I am absolutely so grateful for because they are the first responder and a victim’s first line of hope and defense,” Moore said. “For high-risk stalking victims this could be a matter of life or death as I know it was for me.”
Tracy noted he and EDSO Crime Analyst Christina Novello give elementary and middle schools presentations on cyberbullying in order to curb the behavior — what cyberbullying is, what works, what does not work and what to do if someone is being cyberbullied. For the cases themselves, “We do work hard on them,” Tracy said.
Now with a book published, “A Parent’s Guide to Cyberstalking,” and her story having aired on “Stalked: Someone’s Watching” in December 2011, Moore has the resources to help other victims, including a second book tentatively set for 2015 and a gala to fundraise for Survivors in Action later this year.
For more information on Survivors in Action and for resources for cyberbullying and cyberstalking, go to survivorsinaction.org.