Actress Jennifer Love Hewitt recently won a restraining order against 62-year-old David Nolte (who apparently isn’t her first stalker) last week.

Sure, this isn’t really news anymore given that it happened last week, but because I’ve touched on celebrity stalkers once or twice here at Celebrity Psychings, I want to comment on it.

Actually, what I want to comment on are a few of the reader comments left at “Love Hewitt Wins Restraining Order Against ‘Stalker'”, the SFGate.com article announcing the verdict.

Although each shows a clear inability to separate good points from stigmatizing theatrics, the good points are still there (in bold, courtesy of me).

They are:

OHMYGOD you think that sick f#ck is going to be detered [sic] by a restraining order? Can’t they do a little more for her safety?

A restraining order is just a piece of paper. It won’t stop crazy. Hire a good security team and hope that he meets with an unfortunate accident.

Restraining orders work when folks have restraint. But for the most part, you’ll have the same crazy MF, newly-challenged to make the most of the 3-5 minute lag/”response” time before the cops arrive. My preference would be to videotape my telling someone they are not allowed at my property nor anywhere around me, then to secure a “police response” order that allows me to quietly call when the fool shows up. You violate MY civil right and you have none of your own to claim.

Like I said, there are some poorly chosen expressions, but each of these comments does make a good universal point: A restraining order probably isn’t going to be all that effective when you’re dealing with a stalker.

Think about it: If a person has gotten to the point that s/he’s actually stalking someone, it’s highly unlikely a piece of paper – regardless of where it came from – is going to make that person suddenly realize, “Oh, wow, you know what? I’d better stop doing this. I could go to jail or something.”

Obsessions don’t work that way.

So, what do you do if you’re being stalked? Law enforcement and judges will provide some help (and I definitely suggest utilizing them), but FOXNews columnist Wendy McElroy puts it best: “Assume responsibility for your own self-protection.” (Interestingly enough, McElroy also points out that restraining orders may actually be not so helpful, given that they enrage some stalkers and most violate them anyway.)

I did some snooping and found a few sites with some good information should you ever find yourself the target of a stalker:

Too, the National Center for Victims of Crime provides criminal stalking laws according to state, and the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence provides state-by-state victim resources.

Have you, or has someone you know, been the target of a stalker? Do you have any additional firsthand advice to share?

Image Source: Wikipedia