LEWISTON — If being stalked, one should report it to the police and keep details of how, when and where the stalking has occurred, police said.
“She was reporting problems at the (Hope Haven Gospel Mission) shelter involving verbal abuse,” St. Pierre said.
Police recommend those who believe they are being stalked “should document it as well as they can and call the police,” St. Pierre said.
To be a crime of stalking, it has to happen at least twice, police said.
A victim of stalking should write down what happened, when and where, including specific details, such as what the person was wearing or driving and if there were witnesses.
“The more information the better,” St. Pierre said. “We have to establish a pattern this is clearly happening.”
What happens next depends on what the victim wants. Sometimes police will give a suspected stalker a warning to stay away from the other person. Police can also give the victim advice on obtaining a harassment or protection from abuse order.
Other times, victims might not seek anything right away except to report what had happened so a pattern is established. If the stalking continues, it could mean the stalker could be summonsed to court or be arrested, St. Pierre said.
“The biggest thing is I urge them to notify police so we know what’s going on — ‘Robert Smith is following me around and it seems weird to me.’ If it happens again, we have documented evidence,” St. Pierre said.
State Rep. Lois Reckitt, D-South Portland, a former domestic violence expert with years in the field, said if she were in Dobbie’s situation, “I would go to the police. I’d be going right out of the homeless shelter and right into the police department,” Reckitt said.
Elise Johansen, executive director of Safe Voices, recommends anyone being stalked call the Safe Voices helpline (1-800-559-2927), available 24 hours a day.
The line is staffed by an advocate who can find out what is happening and offer resources or other help.
“We listen to what’s happening,” Johansen said. “Then we can discuss safety planning and different options for protection afforded to them by the law.”
Johansen said those who stalk do so “because they have a belief they can use power and control over another person” and “a belief they are entitled” to control another.
On Tuesday, Hope Haven’s announced on its webpage that its staff “is shocked and deeply saddened” by Dobbie’s death.
“The circumstances are horrific, and two little boys lost their mother in an unimaginable way,” the announcement read. “We ask the community to pray for Kim’s boys, and for the family she leaves behind as they face the days ahead.”
In Farmington, where Dobbie lived for nearly two years before moving to Lewiston, friends are also saddened by killing.
“Everybody’s crying,” said Lisa Charles, adding that Dobbie walked throughout the town and was known to many. “She was always, always with her boys and always smiling, no matter what.”
As she did in Lewiston, Dobbie struggled to find what she needed, including housing, Charles said. Dobbie spent much time at the Farmington library.
In Lewiston, Dobbie also spent time at the library with friends. Flick was often there, too.
Flick would walk from where he lived in Auburn to Lewiston, according to family members.
The last time Flick was released from prison, he planned to move in with his sister but, according to a family member, the sister died before his prison release.
That family member offered to let him stay with his family on Field Avenue in Auburn. The plan was that Flick would rent a room at the house until he got his own apartment, which did not happen.
Flick supported himself through Social Security and disability benefits, according to the relative. He spent his days walking Auburn and Lewiston.
What to do if being stalked:
- Domestic violence expert Rep. Lois Reckitt, D-South Portland: If she were being stalked as Kimberly Dobbie reportedly was: “I would go to the police. I’d be going right out of the homeless shelter and right into the police department.”
- Elise Johansen, Executive Director of Safe Voices: Call the Safe Voices helpline, which is available 24 hours a day: 1-800-559-2927.
- Lt. David St. Pierre, Lewiston Police Department: Document what is happening and call police.