January 13, 2017
After divorcing her husband, Shellane Green spent the next two years living in fear. There were constant phone calls and texts from her ex. He followed her around, waited outside her job and slashed her tires. He broke into her house and threatened her family. Eventually, he killed her.
January is National Stalking Awareness Month, and Brittany Jackson wants to share her mother’s story with the hope of saving others from the same fate. Stalking is not just a nuisance, she said, it can be deadly. “It led to my mother’s murder. It was a very scary situation, but we didn’t know that it would lead to this," she added.
According to the Stalking Resource Center of the National Center for Victims of Crime, 7.5 million people are victims each year. “People need to recognize the seriousness of stalking behavior in a relationship,” said Annetta Nunn, community outreach coordinator for YWCA Central Alabama. “You should never ignore stalking; it’s not something that will just go away.”
The majority of victims are tormented by someone they know. Studies show that 76 percent of domestic violence victims killed by their intimate partners were stalked by the perpetrator. In addition to phone calls, texts and showing up where they’re not wanted, stalkers have used listening devices, social media, cameras and global positioning devices to keep tabs on their victims. “My mother kept saying, ‘Watch your surroundings, I don’t know what he will do,” Jackson said. “We were terrified.”
It’s been nearly six years since Green – a mother, daughter, grandmother, friend, nurse and Army reservist – was murdered. Please heed her daughter’s advice. If you or someone you know is in danger, seek help:
- If you’re in immediate danger, call 911.
- Trust your instincts. If you feel unsafe, you probably are.
- Call the YWCA’s 24-Hour Crisis Hotline at 205.322.4878 for help with safety planning and other resources.
- Don’t communicate with the stalker or respond to attempts to contact you.
- Keep evidence. Write down the date, time and place of each incident and report it to the police. Keep emails, text or voicemail messages, letters or texts. In Alabama, there must be a documented pattern of behavior to prosecute stalking.
- Tell family, friends and co-workers about the stalking and seek their support.
- Alter your routine. Have a friend or family member accompany you when possible.
- Alert the security staff at your job, school or place of worship.
To get involved with the YWCA or to support our programs, click here.