Jenny made friends with Sally at the school gates. Then things took a sinister turn.

This story discusses stalking. 

When Sally first moved to Australia, she was on the lookout for new friends. She quickly struck up a connection with a mum at her daughter's school — Jenny. She seemed funny, bright, and keen to help Sally learn the ropes of the new school. 

"Not knowing anyone else I was very grateful for the friendship," says Sally. 

Jenny was a little unusual, says Sally. Blunt, honest with her opinions, but accepting of Sally's when they differed. 

"We had children of similar ages and laughed about being a parent and the joys of the juggle."

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As time went on, Sally made new friends, within the school, as well as neighbours and work colleagues. But, this seemed to upset Jenny.  

"I noticed her being vocal with her opinions about my other friendships and her disdain for anyone else," says Sally. "I didn't mind this, as she had always been honest and vocal with her opinions and I was happy to accept this and continue on as any adult does, with other friendships."

As Sally's career progressed, her free time dwindled, meaning everyday interactions with anyone become more difficult. Still, she caught up with Jenny on the phone and at least once a week in person too. But, that didn't seem enough for Jenny.


"You think you're so perfect don't you?"

The text message came out of the blue one evening, followed by a string of others with similar sentiments. 

"Obviously shocked, I asked what this was all about. The response was 'Never mind, you must think I am obsessed with you'. I replied that it hadn't even crossed my mind."

They spoke the next day, but neither mentioned the messages. 

"That night, the messages came through again and this continued for a few weeks until I confided in another friend of what was going on."

Turned out, Jenny had been telling other women at the school to stay away from Sally, that she was Sally's only friend. 

"I decided to ignore any text messages and talk only in person to Jenny. This was met with great hostility."

Jenny's aggression became personal, yelling at Sally in public. 

"You think you are so perfect, with your perfect family and perfect hair," Jenny screamed. 

"I remember backing away and collecting my children and going home in shock," says Sally. 

Later that afternoon Sally received a call that Jenny had fallen and been taken to hospital, and could she watch her children for a while?

"Of course, I said yes and her children came to my home while she was taken to hospital for an X-ray. Jenny's mother came to collect the children and apologised for her daughter's behaviour. I felt it was a warning. She looked at me and said, 'You don't have to be friendly with her', and she left."


After Jenny left hospital, the messages stopped. 

"I thought maybe she was feeling unwell, and this led to her fall and now she will get some help. We spoke a few times, and she told me she needed to leave her husband due to violence. I asked If I could help her with her move and she said, 'Yes please'."

Sally gathered a small working group to help Jenny move while her husband was away. But when they got there, nothing was ready. 

"Nothing was packed, no effort had been made to move at all, she had not found another place to live and she said she had changed her mind. 

"The next week I received text messages… saying that she never wanted to move and she had no idea why I came over to help her pack and move out.

"That was the final straw, and I messaged back to say, our friendship was taking up too much mental capacity in my life. I needed a break."

A sinister turn. 

Things were quiet for a while. Jenny wasn't at school pick up or drop off. And Sally started to relax. She hadn’t realised just how much of an emotional toll their friendship had been taking up. 

Then, there was a knock on Sally's door. It was her apartment complex manager. Apparently Jenny had applied to move in, and put Sally's name down as a reference. 

"I said I knew her but currently we weren't speaking. Over the next weeks, I saw her car drive past my home many times, and presumed she was moving into the complex. I felt sick, but also, the complex was large and I had no say as to where she lived."

Then things took a turn for the worse. As Sally walked towards her car, she saw Jenny's car parked next to it. As Sally approached, Jenny took off. What Sally found almost knocked her off her feet. 


"My car tyre had been stabbed with a knife, and the knife was still present. That afternoon, she drove past me, and slowed down, yelling out the window, 'Merry Christmas to you and your family'."

Then the text message started again. Why wasn't Sally speaking to her? What had Jenny done wrong? She loved Sally like a sister. 

"She said, 'I am your children's aunt' and wanted visitation arrangements made. I had containers of pre-made meals left at my doorstep with notes saying, 'So you can feed your children'. 

"I went into my child's classroom to find her talking to my child's teacher. She was constantly parked outside my home, my garden gate was constantly opened, soft toys were left on my doorstep, and she would walk behind me in and out of school."

"You have a stalker."

When Sally noticed Jenny was following her in her car, she decided to drive straight to the police station. 

"They helped me construct a message to her that read 'You do not have my permission to contact me in any way, if you do I will file a restraining order'. I sent the message with the police officer next to me and Jenny replied. He looked at me and said, 'You have a stalker'.

"They told me to record her, and they couldn't do anything if it wasn't physical or if I wasn't in a relationship with her."

The text messages continued. 

"I blocked her number. I informed the complex manager and she let me know that she had cameras in the complex if I needed to provide anything to the police. I installed a lock on my gate and made sure to park my car in the garage each night."


Jenny got a new number and continued sending messages. The final message came from Jenny's eight-year-old son, a recorded messaged of his mother yelling at him. 

"Jenny was yelling at him, telling him how much she hated him, how she has no friends because of him, that he should die. I contacted child services and the school and provided the information."

Never really over. 

It's been three years since the intense stalking, and Sally still gets the occasionally message from Jenny. 

"Sometimes, she will approach me out of the blue and say a random comment like 'Holiday time, I know where you will be', and then walk away. She has been to my work and asked to see me. She contacted my boss's wife and told her I was having an affair with her husband."

Sally has since found out Jenny has stalked other women in the past.

"I learned that she is a stalker, that her mental health issues likely mean she will never stop. That she is possibly violent and the only thing I can do is to stay out of her visual line of sight. 

"I have reported her, filed reports and also been to a psychologist to deal with the stress of the situation. I'm still scared to be honest. Even though it's been three years, she never really goes away."

Feature Image: Getty. 

If this has raised any issues for you, or if you just feel like you need to speak to someone, please call 1800 RESPECT (1800 737 732) – the national sexual assault, domestic and family violence counselling service.