Home > Stalking > What Can You Do If You Are Being Stalked?

What Can You Do If You Are Being Stalked?

January 20, 2010

STALKING IS A CRIME!

Once you’ve been a victim, you know how life-destroying stalking can be.

What Can You Do If You Are Bein g Stalked?

There are no easy answers to this question. First and foremost, you should always think about your safety. Here are some other things to consider:

  • Report the stalking to your local law enforcement agency. While officers may not have enough evidence to arrest the stalker, it is important to develop this “official” record of the stalking behavior. If a law enforcement report is made, the information may become public.
  • Some stalkers believe there are hidden messages within conversations they have with their victims that encourage them to continue the stalking. Some experts suggest that if your stalker is a former intimate partner or someone who believes you want to be in a relationship, you must be clear and firm early on about wanting to end the relationship. The longer the relationship goes on, the harder it is for the stalker to get the message that you are not interested.
  • If the stalking has continued for a long time, some believe it is best for the victim to cease all communication with the stalker. Instead, let the “system” communicate with him through a law enforcement officer, probation officer, or through a protection order.
  • A protection from stalking order may or may not be effective in ending the stalking. These orders may be most effective if issued when the stalking behavior first begins. They also appear to be most effective in communities where violations of the order are taken very seriously by law enforcement, prosecutors, and judges. If these situations do not apply to you, you may want to consider whether a protection order will help or hurt your situation. Call your local domestic violence/sexual assault programs in your state/county for further information and for a brochure explaining how to get a protection from stalking order.
  • In some situations, further contact between the victim and the stalker, tends to encourage the stalker. Therefore, if you can, try to avoid the following:
    – mediation
    – joint therapy
    – shared custody
    – face-to-face child exchanges
    – protection orders (which will require a face-to-face hearing)
  • Keep a log of all stalking behaviors, including the following (see Incident Log below):
    – date of incident
    – times and places the incidents occurred
    – description of stalking behavior
    – witnesses to the incident
  • If you believe you may be in imminent danger, develop a safety plan, taking into consideration the following:
    – critical phone numbers, such as law enforcement, friends, domestic violence or sexual assault programs
    – critical phone numbers and contact information for other important people or services you may need after reaching a safe location, such as neighbors, attorneys, prosecutors, medical care, child care, or pet care
    – keep a reserve of necessities in case you have to leave your home quickly, such as a suitcase in the trunk of your car or at a friend’s house; include money, medication, toys or items important to the children
    – consider having important documents such as passports, immigration documents, birth certificates, and social security numbers readily accessible
    – alert people who may be part of your safety plan, such as law enforcement, employers, family, friends, neighbors, or security personnel
  • Consider whether any of the following measures would help decrease or prevent some of the dangers connected to stalking:
    – installing solid core doors with dead bolts
    – changing locks, securing all spare keys
    – installing outside lighting
    – trimming bushes and vegetation around your residence
    – identifying locations that may be safe for you, such as police stations, residences of family/friends, local churches, or other public places
    – getting an unlisted number or, if you have financial means, using a “dummy” answering machine connected to your published phone line. The private or unlisted number can be reserved for close friends or family and the stalker may not realize you have another line
    – varying travel routes and other routines
    – limiting time walking or jogging alone
    – informing a trusted neighbor about the situation and, if possible, giving them a description or a photo of the stalker, asking them to call law enforcement if they see anything unusual
  • Sexual assault and domestic violence programs may be able to provide you with additional help and information. The Stalking Resource Center can also provide you with information on stalking.

If you are in danger, call 911.


INCIDENT LOG

Use this log to keep a record of stalking incidents.

Date:_____________________________
Time:_____________________________
Place:____________________________________________________________________________________________
Witnesses:________________________________________________________________________________________
Description:_______________________________________________________________________________________
_________________________________________________________________________________________________
_________________________________________________________________________________________________

Important Phone Numbers

Crisis Hotline
Law Enforcement
Prosecutor
Prosecutor Address
Case #
Friend
Neighbor
Day Care
Emergency Healthcare

Take care and STAY SAFE!

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