Sunday, January 23, 2022

Play

Despite a failed attempt in the U.S. Senate, more than 200 business owners call for federal reforms to strengthen election laws, and the U.S. Supreme Court deals another blow to abortion providers.

Play

President Biden gets cheers and jeers as he marks his first year in the White House, the Jan. 6 committee wants to hear from Ivanka Trump, and the Supreme Court rejects another challenge to the Texas abortion law.

Play

Expanded broadband akin to electrification in rural America 80 years ago; small Wyoming grocery store survives monopolization; revitalized Kansas town gets national recognition; and Montana's Native communities look for voter suppression work-arounds.

Ohio Survivor Speaks Out: Stand Up to Stalking

Play

Monday, January 10, 2022   

Nicole Bialko of Columbus is among the one-in-six women who've experienced stalking. And she's sharing her story to encourage other victims to stand up to stalking.

When a relationship that started online turned emotionally toxic, Bialko tried to end it. She said her former boyfriend started harassing and following her, even entering her apartment when she was out of town.

Despite her efforts to ignore him, including blocking hundreds of email addresses and phone numbers, he persisted. So Bialko contacted authorities.

"Trust your instincts, never excuse a red flag," said Bialko. "And if you find yourself making excuses for this individual, feeling unsettled, feeling isolated, maybe what you could do you're not doing anymore, things you enjoyed - there's a problem."

Bialko said she hopes to help other abuse victims free themselves from the fear of stalking. Her advice includes setting firm boundaries, collecting evidence, seeking legal advice about getting a Civil Protective Order, being vigilant about personal safety and maintaining a support system.

Bialko said the police took her seriously, but feels her case was diminished in the courts. In a plea deal, her former partner's charges of felony menacing by stalking; burglary and a protective order violation were reduced to a misdemeanor of criminal mischief.

Bialko said just like physical abuse, emotional and mental abuse is terrifying.

"If you're scared, you're scared out for a reason," said Bialko. "So there's something that individuals doing that's causing you that fear, but there's no tangible evidence. Because I can't show you a picture of a black and blue eye, I don't think it's taken as seriously. "

Caroline Anderson is the communications coordinator with the Ohio Domestic Violence Network. She encouraged friends and family members of survivors to be as supportive as possible and understand that it's difficult for a victim of abuse to simply walk out the door.

"Why didn't you leave sooner? I hate that question," said Anderson. "Why did she stay? I hate that question as advocate. She stayed because she didn't know she was in an abusive relationship. She didn't know how to leave. And leaving is the most dangerous time in a relationship. "

Anderson said most domestic-violence fatalities in Ohio occur when a survivor is in the process of ending the relationship or has already left.

The Ohio Domestic Violence Network can direct stalking survivors to local resources. There also is an easy-to-use chat feature at odvn.org for assistance.

January is National Stalking Awareness Month.



Disclosure: The Ohio Domestic Violence Network contributes to our fund for reporting on Domestic Violence/Sexual Assault. If you would like to help support news in the public interest, click here.


get more stories like this via email
Sen. Kyrsten Sinema, D-Ariz., was elected to the U.S. Senate in 2018 to fill the seat previously held by Republican Jeff Flake. (Flickr)

Social Issues

A wave of new Arizona voters in the 2020 election changed the normally conservative state to one where progressive candidates and ideas have a fightin…


Environment

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers plans to use federal funds for a project to help keep invasive carp out of the Great Lakes. It is proposing using …

Social Issues

Healthcare workers at an Oregon hospital have achieved what they say is a "win" after several strikes in recent months. Nearly 300 workers and …


Pennsylvania has over 300 million square feet of big-box building rooftops, which new research suggests could provide almost half the electricity that these buildings consume if they were outfitted with solar panels. (Adobe Stock)

Environment

As Pennsylvania continues to grow its solar-energy capacity, a new report found the roofs of big-box stores present a big opportunity to increase …

Social Issues

If Iowa wants to create healthier outcomes for its residents, advocates say there are steps policymakers can take right now to make it happen…

Over the course of the pandemic, North Dakota has received more than $350 million in federal aid to help struggling renters, but says it has sent back roughly 40% of that money unspent. (Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

North Dakota has returned a significant portion of the rental assistance provided by the federal government in the pandemic, and groups working …

Social Issues

Nearly 1,200 Hoosiers are about to have some of their student-loan debt forgiven, as part of a multistate settlement with the student-loan-servicing …

Social Issues

After a defeat on Wednesday, Democrats in the U.S. Senate say they'll keep trying to pass voting-rights legislation, and one Wisconsin group wants …

 

Phone: 303.448.9105 Toll Free: 888.891.9416 Fax: 208.247.1830 Your trusted member- and audience-supported news source since 1996 Copyright 2021