Update: Safety in Volunteerism

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This is probably the strangest post I will have to make on this site, but I feel compelled to explain my recent lack of updates. My foot has mostly healed and I still have been keeping up with my volunteerism, albeit through a different avenue that provides more safety and anonymity. As I have previously stated many times in my posts over the past year, my privacy is of utmost importance to me. However, shortly after my last post in May it was compromised – again – at the hands of a disturbed local man. I never really thought that I would become the target of strangers’ obsession. I find it unbelievable why anyone would have so much curiosity about a local girl who is simply going about her own business in the neighborhood but I suppose anything – even something as innocuous as posts about one’s own community activities – is enough to arouse undue interest in certain men. Earlier this year, I had to elicit the help of the police to identify a former IT technician in my community who somehow got a hold of my personal contact. This man had been observing me in secret for years to follow every single online activity I make. My posts led him to believe that I, a complete stranger, would be able to empathize with his long-time frustration with rejection from women. Fortunately, the police was able to track him down and order a restraint on him. He now has a file with the police. The latest incident is similar in nature and is pure cyber-stalking. There are no physical or sexual threats but simply very persistent contacts from an individual – most likely the same man – who creates various fake accounts to troll me by expressing his fascination with certain aspects of my personal life. To my knowledge, his inappropriate obsession for me, a complete stranger, also led to him to seek out and contact an individual I care about in order to find out more about our relations. I have taken measures to counter this and thus had ceased updates and online activities for the past few weeks. However, because this is a public forum and I am engaging in community services, I will not stop posting updates. I will simply have to be even more discreet about my volunteer outings and posts. Finally, I would like to take this opportunity to raise awareness about harassment. It is a serious and prevalent social issue, and one which many of my female friends and colleagues had experienced personally. This also reminds me of my previous work with shelters and service centres for abuse victims where we had to take extra precautions to protect female workers and clients, including restricting the personnel and services to women only and keeping our locations confidential. Over the past year, this volunteerism of mine has also led me to experience street harassment from drunken men who hound any female in their view, but I never would have expected someone to go to this extreme extent for a complete stranger that posts about her community activities. I cannot stop online trolls, but I’m also not scared of one strange man. It is NOT alright and I will NOT be silent about this. If you’re reading this, know that I’m NOT AFRAID of you and you can keep trolling for all I care. Thank you to everyone else for all for your patient support and understanding.

#socialissue #socialproblem #gender #harassment #communityservice #vancouver #crisiswork #volunteerism #justice #courage もっと見る

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