MALAYSIA: A man who has relentlessly stalked and harassed Malaysian photographer Acacia Diana for an extensive period of eight years is now poised to face charges in a court of law.
This individual, who has consistently bombarded Ms Diana with offensive messages via social media since 2016, is finally facing charges under the recently enacted Section 507A of the Penal Code.
On 12 July, Ms Diana disclosed on her Instagram account that a social media user had been harassing her for years.
The accused individual reportedly created around 30 social media accounts to stalk her and even trailed her to her studies in Britain.
Despite being apprehended in London, the accused managed to evade custody.
The distressing situation has left Ms Diana with lingering feelings of insecurity, making her feel far from safe.
She then seeks reassurance by pursuing an interim protection order to ensure that her stalker stays away from her.
Overcoming stalking trauma and inspiring others
According to a report by Malaysian media outlet The Star, she expressed that an underlying fear of being watched and discovered at any given moment haunts her.
She also revealed that she considered self-harming due to feeling hopeless about the situation she faced.
“I know that the legal process is going to take a long time, so I’m mentally preparing for that,” she added.
Ms Diana, who is currently residing abroad, expressed her gratitude for the support she received from numerous compassionate strangers during her challenging times.
She stated she will seek protection not only for herself but also for her loved ones.
She added, “I will always be vigilant and cautious because of this.”
“When I posted my story, it was a desperate cry for help, I was at my lowest low that week as he did not stop harassing me with lewd texts.”
According to Ms Diana, it first started when she had a travel blog in 2016.
The man began with unsettling comments, later approaching her at a restaurant a year later to express appreciation for her work.
Since then, he started stalking again and even intruded on her house in Malaysia when she was studying in Britain.
That did not stop him as he went to Britain to find her and Ms Diana found out he also enrolled in one of her classes.
The stalker had been spamming Ms Diana on social media with lewd texts, explicit images, his feelings for her, and a note which is believed to be written with blood, stating he “needed” her.
According to Ms Diana, the man’s most recent attempt to contact her was on 21 July, when he expressed his affection for her through a tweet.
Following her tweets regarding her stalker, a lot of victims have reached out to her with similar stories.
With the stalker now facing legal consequences under the newly instituted Section 507A of the Penal Code, Ms Diana is encouraging fellow victims to take action, report their experiences, and remain resilient in the face of adversity.
It’s going to be a long road in the legal process, but I just want to tell other victims out there to file that report, take action, and to stay strong.
— Acacia Diana (@ShaFoShizzle) August 9, 2023
The recently implemented Section 507A in Malaysia has been meticulously designed to tackle the menace of stalking head-on.
It explicitly outlines that any individual who persistently engages in acts of harassment, driven by the intention to instill distress, fear, or alarm regarding another person’s safety, is unequivocally committing an offense.
In the event of a conviction, this offense is met with stringent consequences, including a potential maximum sentence of three years of imprisonment, a monetary fine, or a combination of both penalties.