My name is Rebecca O'Neal. I'm a stand up comedian based in Chicago, host of television's One Night Stand Up on WCIU The U, 2 weekly shows at Laugh Factory Chicago, and the longrunning Cole's Chicago open mic. After 10 months in court and almost 2 years enduring stalking, harassment, and threats of rape and murder - TODAY (Sept 13, 2017) I finally got an extended order of protection against my stalker!
In researching a piece I'm writing to help illuminate this process for other people who need help, I learned that of women who are murdered by their stalkers, 1/5 are murdered within 2 days of receiveing an order of protection; 1/3 within the month. (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18523113
This man has threatened violence against me - and himself - so many times I've lost count. So I need to get out of town and to safety AS SOON AS POSSIBLE!
I haven't been performing - which is my sole source of income - for the weeks leading up to my trial, so as to hide from my stalker who has shown up unwelcome to stalk me at my home and shows numerous times. Other comedians who witnessed him were among my witnesses in court. I've moved 3x and changed my phone number 5x, Google Voice number twice.
The harassment included: broken out the front window to my apartment a month after police witnessed him threatening me and throwing rocks at my house; threatened me with rape and murder on the phone with descriptions of what I was wearing, where I was performing that night; left voicemails in the middle of the night with just breathing and distorted carnival music; threatened suicide and to hurt me so violently he was involuntarily commited for 72 hours; made me jump out of a moving car; set up fake OkCupid profiles to get my new number over and over until I wised up; posted I had free tvs on Craigslist; posted my location, name, and number on Backpage as if I were a prostititute; chased me outside of shows including Chicago Underground Comedy at Beat Kitchen. It goes on and on and on.
I'm leaving this up for a week or two to hopefully raise the money to cover my move to an undisclosed location, a few months rent until I get a job and get in the groove of a comedy career in a new city, and to cover my costs while still living here and planning my move.
The Chicago comedy community has been amazingly supportive with rides to and from shows, couches to crash on, their testimony in court, and more! I'm sad to be leaving my hometown and a comedy scene that I love for this reason, but I cannot describe the feeling of freedom from this burden finally being lifted.
I've lost $1000s cancelling shows just being afraid to leave the house. I've struggled to stay functional in a career that takes place at night while afraid for my life. And now I can move on.
Any help would be INCREDIBLE! I'm looking forward to the next chapter of my life!