BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - The CBS show 'Stalker' has high energy, quick action and plenty of drama. For so many people, what happens on that show is very real.
A woman who did not want to be identified lived the life of a stalking victim for eight years.
"Pull knives on me. Pinned up, choking me. Knife to my neck.
It was eight years of never know what was next, but always knowing it wasn't going to be good. Physically, mentally, emotionally, financially, she was abused at every level. Only part of the abuse was stalking.
"While I was driving to work one day, I saw him in the rear view mirror following me."
It is a similar story from another survivor.
"He would drop me off on campus. He would pick me up and tell me every person I had a conversation with."
Stalking cases can take many forms. It could be someone at work, it could be a friend. Maybe you're dating this person, or maybe you're married to them.
"Those are the hardest cases," said Melanie Fields, a special prosecutor for domestic violence with the District Attorney's office.
"In a domestic stalking case, your partner knows everything about you," she said.
Some of the situations are eerie and absolutely frightening.
Let's say your partner calls you and leaves, what you know is a threatening message.
"Law enforcement listens to the call. It is just a song. No threat, just a song," said Fields.
But you would know he played that song after you got hit.
"You come home and there's a rose across your porch. But you got a red rose every time you got hit."
You are being stalked. It is all about control. And for the victims, it can strip them of everything.
"I didn't even feel like a whole woman," said one woman. "He took so much out of me."
Melanie Fields says in East Baton Rouge alone, just in state court, there are 1,700 cases of domestic violence every year. Some victims, stay victims forever. Silently suffering. Protecting others around them from the horror.
Others though, turn into survivors.
"One day the light went on and it was time to go," said one survivor.
That is the moment every victim deserves to have. That life-saving moment, because the abuser will not change.
"I hid behind a building, watched him leave, and went back to the apartment and got everything I could possibly take," she said. "I was running through that house. Never thought I could move that fast to get out of that house."
The next question for her was where does she go?
"With domestic violence, safety is our number one priority," said Lynne Medley-Long, Executive Director of the Iris Domestic Violence Center.
Iris Domestic Violence Center is one of the places offering a safe harbor. A place to start over. A place that nurtures you back from the brink. Because what was happening to you, shouldn't happen to anybody.
"Those behaviors need to be dealt with. Swiftly. Don't take them lightly. Take them seriously," said Medley-Long.
Because if they are not taken seriously, living in fear can easily become not living at all.
"Unfortunately, stalking is often a precursor to a homicide," said Fields.
That first step is always the most difficult, but you can take it, and the people at the Iris Domestic Violence Center can help.
If you need help, call the 24-hour hotline at 225-389-3001 or 1-800-541-9706.
Don't wait, don't hope it is going to get better. Just make the call and help is waiting for you.