In His Sights: one woman’s experience of stalking

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Under the pseudonym Kate Brennan, a real woman tells her true story of being stalked for thirteen years. In His Sights starts just before Kate meets her stalker, continued through the story of their relationship – a romance that lasted a couple of years, and ends today – at which point we know from the first chapter she is still being stalked.

Her stalker is unusually tenacious. He’s wealthy, so he can afford to hound her as long as he wants by paying others to take all the risks and do all the dirty work. Her case is unusually chilling, and the first person narrative makes her life so vivid you may find yourself checking over your shoulder. In fact, the book could have a triggering effect if you’ve ever dealt with a man like “Paul.”

Paul is charming, successful, wealthy. He seems to be a progressive thinker and feminist ally. Kate meets him through some relatives who don’t seem at all like they could be part of the dysfunctional family that breeds people like Paul. And Paul is going through a trauma when Kate first meets him, which causes Kate to misinterpret his erratic behavior and refusal to share for coping (they are in fact a sign of his mental condition).

Kate is a smart, educated woman who supports and agrees with many tenets of feminism. She’s dealt successfully with addicts and dysfunction in her own family, so she’s not naive. And yet she finds herself being stalked. She’s very frank about the red flags she missed in hindsight, but she also makes it clear that even if she’d picked up on the flags, there’s no guarantee it would have prevented the stalking. The book exposes the flaws in assigning blame to the victims of stalkings, and in suggesting if women are smart enough or strong enough, they’ll avoid men like Paul.

In His Sights goes on sale August 5, 2008.

Comments

  1. sbg says

    The book exposes the flaws in assigning blame to the victims of stalkings, and in suggesting if women are smart enough or strong enough, they’ll avoid men like Paul.

    I consider myself smart and strong.

    I also consider myself very, very lucky to have gotten out of a relationship veering quickly toward abusive. It was only in hindsight that I recognized all the symptoms for what they were … and assigned them to HIM, and not to me “being stupid” for falling for him in the first place. If he hadn’t lived somewhere else, I do wonder what would have happened. It wouldn’t have been nearly so easy to escape – as it was, he knew where I worked and when he swung through town, he’d stop by and/or call and email me repeatedly.

    None of that was my fault in any way, shape or form.

    (I get so angry with the victim-blaming.)

  2. JupiterPluvius says

    I read this book on your recommendation, and I was blown away by it. Powerful, eloquently written, scary as hell.

  3. Jennifer Kesler says

    SBG, that’s just it: bad people aren’t labeled. They can be very subtle and sneaky, and rationalize a lot of stuff and use your strength and compassion against you. Anyone who imagines themselves immune is in la-la land.

    Jupiter Pluvius, it certainly has that effect, doesn’t it? I found it intensely emotional.

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