According to Page Six, Superstar Taylor Swift was being stalked for three months by 29-yr old Mohammed Jaffar. He had been allegedly hanging around her Tribeca condominium since December, including waiting on the building's roof. According to court documents, the obsessed man attempted to get a face-to-face meeting with the singer several times until he eventually managed to gain access to the building. On two separate occasions, he rang her buzzer repeatedly for 60 and 45 minutes, respectively. In addition to showing up at her New York city building, Jaffar also rang her management company 59 times over the course of about three weeks, from January 27 to February 16.
Jaffar was busted March 6 on stalking and burglary raps and is being held on $20,000 bond. Judge David Frey signed off on an order of protection against Jaffar, barring any contact with the pop star.
It's been almost 30 years since Hollywood was rocked by the murder of actress and model Rebecca Schaeffer by an obsessed fan. 21-yr old Schaeffer was gunned down in front of her home by Robert Bardo on July 19, 1989. He was able to track down her address in the nascent internet age using the services of a private investigator.
Since that terrible tragedy, California has enacted several laws to help address this dangerous situation. Some protections include restrictions on the motor vehicle database, increased criminal stalking penalties and even a specialized unit of the Los Angeles Police Department designed to deal with such crimes.
Stalkers are also a problem for average citizens who do not have the advantages of security firms and private bodyguards to protect them. According to statistics compiled by John Carroll University:
- Persons aged 18-24 years experience the highest rate of stalking.
- One in 6 women and one in 19 men in the United States have experienced stalking during their lifetime.
- During a 12-month period, an estimated 14 in every 1,000 persons age 18 or older were victims of stalking.
- 13 percent of college women were stalking during one six to nine month period.
- Approximately one in four stalking victims reported some form of cyber-stalking such as email or instant messaging.
- 46 percent of stalking victims felt fear of not knowing what would happen next.
- 66.2% of female victims of stalking were stalked by a current or former intimate partner.
- 31 percent of the women who are stalked by an intimate partner are sexually assaulted by that partner.
- The average duration of stalking is 1.8 years.
The National Center for Victims of Crime has a brochure for those that believe they are being stalked and offers resources to deal with the situation effectively. When it is time to consider a restraining order as part of an overall safety plan, you can contact our firm for a free and confidential consultation.
Photo: Paolo Villanueva on Flickr licensed under CC-By 2.0