Hearing about the recent string of break-ins in Southie quickly brought me back to 2016 when I experienced this firsthand. It happened in the early hours of an October morning as I was sleeping safely (or so I thought) in my bed. I awoke suddenly to see a strange man in my bedroom staring back at me and immediately thought something bad was about to go down.
The stranger offered no comprehensible excuse as to why he was there – but instead walked out of my apartment only to walk back in minutes later. Terrified, I grabbed my phone and dialed 911. I heard the man go into a neighboring apartment, but the police were unable to arrest him due to no one answering the door when they knocked.
The stranger turned out to be a newly moved in neighbor that claimed he was sleep walking (drinking tequila/partying his face off) when this occurred. Although I was not physically hurt – I felt completely violated and angry, especially since this man didn’t think it was a big deal and was furious that I pressed charges against him.
Eventually my case ended up in the district attorney’s office where it slowly died. I tried in vain to reach the assistant DA that was handling my case, only to play phone tag, and to finally be told that they would not be proceeding. For six months leading up to this, I had to live next door to this weirdo while being harassed through the walls of my apartment on a weekly basis.
I spent a lot of time at C6 filing police reports that would ultimately end up as a large pile of paper in my apartment.
While the detective in my case was excellent (I annoyed the hell out of him), I was left confused as to why the DA’s office would just let it go, as if this man had done nothing wrong. He was able to come into my apartment uninvited, waltz into my bedroom, and harass me without consequence. How was this possible? I had never fully understood why people (especially females) didn’t report crimes, but now I had a direct insight into why.
It took a while to move on from this experience, but I do have some tips if this does happen to you:
*Be prepared to hear some infuriating things: I was told by a police officer I should “get a big boyfriend” (thanks – noted). If you’re female you will hear the sentence “single female living alone” a lot (sorry, I’m independent and live alone? #sorrynotsorry).
*If you have questions, do call the detective assigned to you – and always return their calls if they call you – they are busy with tons of cases, not just yours.
*If you run into the person/people that broke in do not start screaming at them or beat the hell out of them (tempting I know). This will only get you arrested which is not a good look.
*Keep copies of any/all police reports relating to your case – you may need them later.
And lastly ….
*Be your own advocate- no one can stand up for you the way you can. Don’t be satisfied with being victimized.
Be safe out there, Southie! Here are some other helpful tips!