My girlfriend is being harrassed and threatened

the basics are:

an out of town acquaintance of my girlfriend has been harrassing her with increasingly violent and threatening messages, via phone, internet, blogs… any medium he can find. he also harrasses a couple of her friends to a much lesser degree in his efforts to find her.

it seems this matter began months ago. this asshole liked my girlfriend but she didn’t feel the same regard. being hurt and disappointed is a normal reaction for anyone, but this is way beyond normal and acceptable. it has entered sick and scary territory.

apparently he has a history of being mentally unstable and a side effect of his condition, whatever it is is unknown to me, is some kind of physical reaction, like uncontrolled shaking, which makes strangers feel uncomfortable. he has a great resentment towards society as a result, and most likely towards women. he treated a previous love interest in a similar manner, though a few notches less vile than at present.

my gf has chosen to ignore his persistant calls, which have led to her blocking his number (in which case he will call her friends, who in turn block his calls). she has been hoping he will just stop.
alas, their common circle of acquaintances hear all of his BS and slander against her; she and her few friends who know of the issue have kept silent publicly, but they’ve told him to quit his behavior and leave her alone.

it gets worse.

my gf runs her own business and aside from customers, works alone. on one occassion a few months ago he went there to confront her and by good fortune a family member was also present. he also recorded the incident .the cops were called, but arrived after he had left. no one got hurt physically. the neighboring businesses were aware of the conflict.

he now tries to post on her blogs all sorts of threats and she has just learned he has his own blog, in which he reveals personal information about her and threatens to kill, rape, attack, cut up, etc. i just learned about this disgusting new shit today.

at this point the question is screaming “why aren’t the police actively a part of solving this? why isn’t he in jail or hospital by now?” - this is what i scream inside my head all the time.

unfortunately, her past personal experiences with police have left her distrustful of their usefulness. she’s told me about those times, and i can see why she feels the way she does.

other info is: i am foreigner here, and the others involved are all taiwanese. i’ve never met this man and i don’t think he even knows i exist in her life. thus, i am not a player in this drama.

those are the basics.

i’m writing - with her blessing - because i need to know how i can best support and help her, as well as how she can help herself.

ever since i learned of this shit, i have been encouraging her to work with the police, so they at least have it on record and know there is a problem afoot. i have encouraged her to also let more of her her trusted friends know her situation. i think staying so silent on it is not good.

she doesn’t want to take the low road to post replies to his crap or turn it into a public battle, but she feels extremely angry and humiliated. i agree that he is trying to provoke a reaction. in ignoring him, it seems he goes to further and further extremes. she initially tried to hear him out, as a friend, but stopped as soon as he became unreasonable and crazed.

her family has started keeping evidence of the horrible things he puts online and have contacted his blog host to ban him from their services.

i’ve also urged her to talk with lawyers and organizations that focus on violence against women, for their counsel on ways to protect herself / to know her legal options, etc.

she understands but balks at much of this, in part cuz she is scared and but also because she holds out hope he will somehow stop on his own. i can’t convince her he probably won’t give up on his own. at the same time, i don’t want to frighten her worse with all the possible ugly things that could happen

we are both angry (i am furious) that none this person’s friends seemed to have intervened to to tell him he’s way out of line. same for his family, who are aware of his problems and the crap that has been developing.

i suggested today that she send a copy of his blog threats to his family in hopes they can be persuasive.

but at the end of the day, i am jumping out of my skin to get some police and /or real action and protection. maybe a visit to his residence at the least to deliver the point that he can’t do this , that he can’t make others fear for their safety and sense of well being. she shouldn’t have to feel like hiding. no-one should have to hear these things or feel this way…

i mean, isn’t publicly advocating murder, rape, and assault against an individual against the law in a most serious way?

am i wrong to advocate the police to her?

i don’t want to make any mistake of suggesting she would be to blame if she is attacked, because she isn’t, but how can i help her establish more concrete measures to stop this asshole and stay safe?

she keeps on with her normal routines, but hoping isn’t going to do a damn thing.

i more and more spend my free time at her workplace, partly to satisfy my own anxieties but definitely to offer a real physical deterrent in a worst case scenario.

what can i do? how can i help?

to this point, i just listen, encourage, and offer my advice.

i don’t want it to someday be too late. maybe this loser is merely a blowhard, but i for one take it seriously. she’s my girlfriend and i love her. and he crossed a very clear line in a very clear way… i am worried for her and i’m becoming worried i might not handle the stress so well myself. i mean, christ, i can’t sleep now for all the nightmarish images that intrude. so if i’ve typed this poorly or it lacks good structure, forgive on that.

Call his mom and tell on him.

This is an extremely frustrating and frightening situation…

AFAIK, the best and only thing you can / should do is to alert the police to all of the idiot’s actions and deeds and provide the police copies of the blog statements and e-mail correspondence received from the fuckwit. Make this report to the police and report all further contacts from the fuckwit to the police. Make the police know that you guys mean business.

Let fuckwit know that the matter has been reported to the police and that the police now have a file on fuckwit and that should anything happen to your girl or her friends or her business, fuckwit will be suspect no. 1. Perhaps notify fuckwit’s family that the police have a file on fuckwit.

Sorry that none of the above is fuckwit-proof… its just the advice that Taiwanese lawyers give in this type of situation.

Sound advise from Forumosa’s own rock steady.

I’d add that you should try and establish one point of contact with the cops. .Ideally someone willing to get out of the office and let said fuckwit know he or she is on his case.

Follow up your complaints a few days later with a query about what was actually done. Make sure your complaints are documentd. No paper then it never happened.


He can’t threaten and harrass her if he’s dead.

Just saying.

Nah, the cure is worse than the disease methinks.


Many of the well-established women’s aid organizations have connections to Legislators and lawyers. They can also put pressure on the police to sit up and take notice.

He does not sound like the type who will either listen to advice or stop on their own. this one is Trouble. Watch him well, and be prepared to act in self defence.

[quote=“Tigerman”]This is an extremely frustrating and frightening situation…

AFAIK, the best and only thing you can / should do is to alert the police. . .[/quote]

Good advice, but not completely true.

Even in developed nations ( :wink: ) such as the US, many people live in fear of angry or crazy people who are repeatedly making serious and terrifying threats against them. What do you want to happen – lock the guy in jail or a mental hospital indefinitely? Have medication forcibly crammed down his throat? (It does sound like he may not be just an asshole, as people have stated, but may be mentally ill.) To do so would mean taking away all of the guys basic civil rights and imprisoning him based on mere statements that may or may not constitute a serious and credible threat of imminent harm. He may just be an obnoxious asshole being a jerk – is that grounds to imprison someone? Even in the US it rarely would be. Most likely he can only be “taken off the street” if he actually physically attacks her (which would obviously seem like way too little way too late), and even then he would only be locked up for a very limited time.

Therefore, what TM omitted when he said the “only thing you can/should do” is to advise her to take all reasonable precautions to protect herself. Of course it goes without saying, but she should always lock her business after hours when she’s alone, never let him come inside to talk with her, be aware of people around her on the street at night, avoid dark quiet streets, carry pepper spray in her hand on her way home at night, and/or whatever they ordinarily advise fearful women. And, you should speak with her frankly, candidly about such advice and get her honest assurance that she will be careful and do such things.

thank you for your advice and ideas

today my girlfriend called one of the women’s groups i found listed in another forumosa discussion, and she made an appointment with a lawyer/legal advisor.

i also made her check that her pepper spray works (tested on a chair, not me . :wink: ), and reminded her of her options should he show up, i.e. keep a physical distance from him, yell to alert neighbors, etc.

we are in taipei, but the asshole lives in taichung (but visits town on occassion or when the need to harrass is apparently too big). she has some concern about jurisdiction - which police branch would be her primary contact and how that would work regarding communicating officially with this jerk? (i say the police station up the street is where she goes to get things done) do the police departments here work well together across municipalities?

as for whether or not he is mentally ill, i don’t know. my concern is her safety. everyone has their civil rights in a society - but what of her right to work and live without fear of attack? it is maybe a debate for another thread. but can someone just freely announce violent intent in both public and private forums without consequences? is this a free speech issue too? what is the law on this in taiwan?

anyway, i appreciate all of your remarks and suggestions, and welcome any further input.

Hi mosquitonet,

This hits home since my GF had a slightly similar problem (actually not as bad) a while back. The guy disappeared after we contacted both UK and Taiwan police and let him know that we had. PMs to him from a few Forumosans :notworthy: and his getting banned here may have helped. At the time I also armed her with pepper spray and began training her in basic self defense moves too. I also armed myself. You may want to do the latter two also. BTW, teach her how to use the spray properly. That means not threatening to use it, but actually USING it (it won’t kill him after all). If he shows up, she needs to SPRAY him, not threaten to spray him. (Too many times, victims are afraid to use the weapon at hand and end up having it taken away.) Run her through it like a drill, and when you point and yell ‘there he is!’, have her actually SPRAY (and yell). Several times. It helps condition the response for an actual situation. If you’re indoors, do it near a window, with a fan at your back. Outdoors is better, aiming downwind of course.

I’d like to ask for a bit of clarification. Are both your GF and the prick in question locals?

Now advice: put your complaints to the police in writing so that it’s not so easy for them to ignore. Lay them out in great detail, with times, dates, addresses, and names of witnesses. Put it in a letter, or even postal evidentiary mail (in Chinese). The cops here can easily blow stuff off if it’s given to them verbally, but if it’s a very formal written complaint, my impression is that it will be harder for them to ignore.

Next, make sure you and your GF have the police emergency numbers in your cellphones. And preferably the numbers of some friends who live nearby and can show up quickly. What part of town are you, your GF’s place, and her business in?

That’s adequate reason to take proactive steps IMO.

[EDITED] PM his contact info (and her name) to interested parties and I’m sure some of us will have a chat with him about this, a la ‘the next time you bother Miss so and so…’.

thx dragonbones.
to answer yr question, i’m a foreigner and everyone else in this mess is taiwanese. my chinese language skills are functional but inadequate for complicated situations like this, should i need to deal with cops, etc.
as i wrote earlier, i’m a non-entity to the jerk. i don’t believe he knows i exist, that i’m her boyfriend or that she even has one. not that he’d act any differently.

your self defense tips are wise. i just reviewed a plan of action with my girlfriend, and will help her stay prepared.

she works in a busy part of town, with lots of people walking around. (she still hopes to keep some privacy on the matter, so that’s all i can say for now) her neighbors know a bit of what’s up, esp having witnessed his scene the other month. so, there’s always people within earshot, or right outside the door. her business has big windows so anyone passing by can see inside… the local police station is only a minute down the street, and she’ll add the emergency # to her speed dial.

as for posting his name and info here, i strongly doubt he visits this site. i’ll certainly take up the offer for forumosa reinforcements if need be. we’ll see what happens with her meeting with the lawyer first.

No, that wasn’t the point. The point is a few of us can call him and let him know he’d better stay away from her or else.

Not a good idea. Think about it, if this dude has a screw loose, it aint going to help getting bobarded with phone calls from a bunch of foreigners that seem to understand what he’s up to.

Keep it professional. Get the police involved ommediately. Chase up teh ladder till you are sure someone high enough has your interests sorted.


[quote=“mosquitonet”]your self defense tips are wise. i just reviewed a plan of action with my girlfriend, and will help her stay prepared.

she works in a busy part of town, with lots of people walking around. (she still hopes to keep some privacy on the matter, so that’s all i can say for now) her neighbors know a bit of what’s up, esp having witnessed his scene the other month. so, there’s always people within earshot, or right outside the door. her business has big windows so anyone passing by can see inside… the local police station is only a minute down the street, and she’ll add the emergency # to her speed dial. [/quote]

do not rely on other people in the busy city for ‘passive’ protection. how many times have you seen TV clips of some guy getting wasted while bystanders looked on with their slack jaws extended?

make sure you can look after yourselves, even if it means buying a taser or a cattle prod. very useful IF you use it first.

In situations like these, two things always come to mind

Is the guy doing this because he is unstable or because he thinks he can get away with it?

Will reacting to him encourage or will he stop after a good beating, telling his family (shame seems to work here in Taiwan), getting a restraining order, or simply ignoring him

Whatever you choose just make sure it gets done right

Tell your girlfriend to tell him she now has a foreign boyfriend. Also have her tell him that she only dates foreigners now since it ruined it for all Taiwanese men.

Just kidding, or am I…?

i agree with HG to keep it a matter for police and lawyers.

where can one buy a taser in this town? are they hard to get? my girlfriend mentioned it and then urodacus just suggested it…

to react or ignore? well, she’s done the ignoring route thus far and he just gets worse. our plan is that any actions/reactions will be via police and lawyers. setting up that structure now.

as for me personally, today i snapped a little from the worry and stress. trying to find a way to balance my vigilance with my concern. i guess just being prepared is the best route since his behavior is out of my control.

What happened next?

Hey dude, sounds like a worrisome situation. If it helps at all, these are a few comments and suggestions:

  1. Often the police here only react to a proven threat, e.g. an actual attack. If it is just a shouting and shoving match between you and the jerk over his offensive threats, then the police are just as likely to be on his side as yours, because he can communicate with them better, and dealing with a foreigner is a big hassle for them.

2)Overall, the police would prefer to do nothing. They will give you the “yadda yadda” face to face or on the phone but won’t formally register the complaint or take meaningful action.
You might get the police to act if you can get them to formally register a complaint. This would get the case on record, and then if something happened police would have to explain their lack of preemptive action. Being aware of this, they might actually do something. How to do this? I would recommend getting a lawyer that worked for you for money, so they will focus on your case. A womens’ group NGO lawyer might be spread a bit thin and have more serious cases on her/his books. Try and get someone with lots of criminal law experience, as they will have some connections with the cops.

  1. The police might act if they feel pressure from above and the possibility of loosing face: Maybe you can involve the Foreign Afairs Police and your country’s consular affairs people at the de facto “embassy”. Comunicate by registered mail, where the recipient has to sign his/her name. CC all copies to everyone else, so everyone knows that everyone knows what’s going on. Leave a huge paper trail and keep at it relentlessly. Then everyone knows that they have to deal with you until they take some action. Think realistically about what you want them to do, and ask them very clearly to do it. If they don’t do it, ask them in another letter to explain their lack of action.

  2. Never be rude or overly frustrated with the police, and never criticize them or Taiwan. It could backfire.

  3. Have your interviews with police with your lawyer present.

  4. If none of this works, you can try some guangxi. The best bet is a lawmaker - a member of the Legislative Yuan. You can petition them by phone and letter. Find out who the lawmakers are for where you live, where your GF works, and where her family lives in Taizhong. Send a letter and follow up with a call. If one agrees to see you, dress formally, be supernice, and bring them a very nice present, scotch, XO, Japanese apples etc. Basically, you are begging them to help, so behave as such. If your GF can cry at the meeting for a long time, I mean really cry, it puts “face pressure” on the lawmaker to show some results, or seem ineffective or cold. Having your GF’s family members there too, especially mama and papa, can help. If a lawmaker calls the cops, there is a much higher chance they will do something.

  5. If the cops don’t get you results, you could try going to the press with your dossier of names, dates, events, etc. Maybe a journalist would be interested in doing a “foreigner seeks justice” story.