The White Ribbon message means a lot to a Whanganui woman who was "attacked, hounded and haunted" by a man she had gone out with.

She fought back tears as she told the Chronicle her story.

In one of the worst incidents, Daphne (not her real name) was living in Wellington at the time and she and the man were arguing when he slammed her against the wall and told her he could snap her neck with his hands.

Her sister had rung the police, who arrived quickly "and dragged him off me".
For six years this man stalked her.

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"My house was entered on a regular basis at night when I was asleep. Things were moved, and I was followed."

Sometimes she would find cigarette butts, where the man had been, and once he used her toilet during the night.

She was constantly scared, and started to think she was going crazy.

Finally she woke one night to find somebody touching her face. The next day she told the police about what was happening.

She was granted an emergency protection order within 12 hours, but it was appealed, and the appeal was heard in the High Court. Daphne had run out of money for a lawyer so she spoke on her own behalf.

"Then I was faced with men in the court, and smart alec lawyers on his side."

When it was her turn to speak her stalker arrived in court at that moment and stood up behind her. She asked the judge to dismiss his appeal.

After a week reading evidence he agreed, and the protection order was made permanent. That was three years ago.

To feel more secure, Daphne moved to Whanganui but she says: "The scars are there — I still keep my door locked during the day, and I don't go out at night. There's always the fear that he might turn up."

Even going to yesterday's White Ribbon rally in Majestic Square felt dangerous.

"I don't often come to things like this, because people have cameras and that scares me.
"Women who meet these people need to be aware that if these men show any kind of violence, spoken or hinted at, they need to walk away straight away.

"They need to know there's a zero tolerance of violence against women."