Alina De Guiseppe was paralyzed with fear and grew paranoid with the repeated calls and texts.
One woman from Kent went through a horrible phase of being gaslighted and manipulated by her own partner. According to Mirror Online, 24-year-old Alina De Guiseppe became a victim of online harassment by her partner, Anthony Clarke, for about a year and a half.
The incident came to light after the authorities traced the number back to Clarke. Appearing at Maidstone Crown Court, Clarke admitted to the crime and was handed 20 months suspended sentence. Judge Recorder Ed Burge QC claimed that he had: "escaped going straight to prison by the skin of your teeth".
Addressing Clarke, he said, "The mental anguish that you needlessly inflicted on her can only be guessed at. But you were in a relationship with the defendant and you were gaslighting her by sending vile and abusive text and Facebook messages, threatening violence.”
The court ordered the guilty man to undergo rehabilitation sessions and mental health treatments over the next two years.
Speaking of the horrific series of events that began in 2019, Alina stated that she received relentless phone calls and texts from various numbers and social media accounts. Initially, the unknown number claimed to be from a girl who wanted to expose Alina and her family for doing her wrong.
“In the beginning, I tried to figure out what they wanted and who they were," said Alina. With no other option in sight, Alina blocked the number. However, that did not stop the disturbing texts and phone calls. It went to the extent of her receiving calls even at work.
The more she blocked the numbers, new numbers began popping up and there was no end to the threats. One horrible message stated, "I promise that if you keep ignoring me you will regret it." While one threatened to throw acid on her face, another message listed the names of her relatives and their addresses. It stated that they were all watched.
Alina was paralyzed with fear and did not even have the courage to step out of her apartment. I would stare out of the window sometimes looking for anyone suspicious or a car hanging around. Even now if I feel like someone’s walking behind me I will get paranoid I am being followed," she said.
As the harassment continued, Alina began suspecting her partner Clarke, even though he faked concern. Additionally, Clarke discouraged Alina from reporting the incident to the police. He told her that it would have adverse effects on her mental health.
However, Alina confronted Clarke and put her doubts on the table. “The last time he got quite upset, he made me doubt why I asked him. He would do everything to throw me off the scent," said Alina. Eventually, the authorities were involved and the truth came out.
It was shocking to the woman. "We planned to settle down and have a family. We did everything together. It was hard to realize someone you believed loved you and cared about you would do this," she said. She added, "He knew how fragile and vulnerable I was and he took advantage of that completely.”
Alina began dating Clarke when she was 18. The couple made their relationship official when she turned 19. “He was very charming, very confident and would flirt not just with me but other people. I was quite young, 18 at the time, and I liked the attention. I thought it was great," she said.
However, in the years that followed, the couple faced a lot of ups and downs. “We broke up a few times. If I would get attention from other people he would be suspicious. At the beginning I didn’t think too much of it, I just thought he was being caring," said Alina. Clarke began controlling such that Alina could not even plan an outing with her friends without his permission. Despite the issues, the couple continued to be together.
As a result of the court order, Clarke is barred from contacting Alina directly or indirectly.
Cover Image | Source: Getty Images (Photo by Basak Gurbuz Derman)