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Stalking IS a C-R-I-M-E!

January 7, 2012 3 comments

STALKING IS A CRIME!

“He Was Really Scary…I Had a Stalker”

Me and my mom were volunteering to set up for a dance at a country club. We’d already volunteered a few times, but this time we met a few other volunteers there. There was a woman and her son. So her son kept coming up to me and asking me questions about how to set up the tables and where they kept the food we were supposed to put out, so basically all of the questions the guy who owned the place had already answered. I figured he just needed a friend. I wasn’t creeped out until he started staring at me. I would look at him and he would look away, but right when I looked away out of the corner of my eye I could see him looking at me again. I was kind of freaked out, so after I was done volunteering that day my mom said we could leave. I went to get my coat and he followed me and asked me if I was coming to the dance. I told him no, and he looked like he was very mad at me and he walked away. So me and my mom leave, and I forget about this guy. Then like 2 weeks later I get this phone call, and I answer and it’s the guy I met at the volunteering place. He asks me if I’m busy that day and I tell him sorry I am and he yells at me and hangs up. I never gave him my number and I wasn’t sure how he got it. Then he called later that night and said he was sorry for calling and yelling at me. He asks me if I’m busy the next day. I tell him I’m sorry but I am. He doesn’t say anything and he just says bye and hangs up. So basically he just kept calling me every day and asking me if I was busy. I got sick of him calling and when he would call I would have a family member answer and say I wasn’t home. Then in the middle of the night I was up and I was in the kitchen getting something to drink when I hear a knock at my slider door and I see him standing there with a flashlight. I screamed and then ran to my parents room. My dad gets up and he doesn’t see him and our door was locked so we know he didn’t get inside. I slept in their room and then a few months passed. He calls my house again and asks me why I didn’t let him in. I hang up on him and block his number. He gets another phone and calls my house and he asks why his girlfriend (me) blocked his number. I told him I wasn’t his girlfriend and he needs to leave me alone or I was going to call the cops. He chickens out for a few years. Then I’m in my senior year of high school and he comes to my door asking if I remember him. I tell him that I have a boyfriend and that he needs to go away. He waited outside my school in the parking lot and then he asked if i wanted a ride. I tell him no I have a ride and he gets mad and yells at me. I got a ride from one of my friends and he follows us so she drives around and eventually he gives up. A few days later her tires are slashed. I’m asleep in my room the next night and he breaks open my window and comes inside. I’m screaming at the top of my lungs but my parents are on a cruise and I’m the only one home. I was positive I was going to die. I finally stop screaming because I’m crying so hard and he’s just making it worse by trying to hug me and comfort me and crap and I start screaming for help. He says he’s going to take me somewhere and were going to run away together and while he’s saying his whole plan the cops get there. He tried to run but the cops cought him and then took him to prison. So now it’s years later and I’m married and I found out the neighbor across the street heard me screaming and called the cops when she saw the window broken. I also found out that the guy who owned the country club gave him my address because he said we left stuff there and he was going to bring it to our house. So I’ve never volunteered anywhere besides schools ever since then.

The above stalking victim wrote in her own words what and how her stalker stalked her.  I find that it helps to share with readers real life experiences of victims so just perhaps you will have a better understanding of the devastating effects that stalking have on victims of this serious crime.

As you can see stalking cases are carried out by ex-partners or by someone that you have never had close relationship with, many victims have never even met their stalker. Often a victim’s stalker can be someone known through work, or a friend of a friend or it could be someone you pass on the street. And with the internet as huge as it is, sometimes people never set eyes on their stalker.

One of the main problems is that so many of us are brought up to be polite and kind, and rather to rebuff unwanted attention, we often let it go. We find ourselves in slightly awkward situations and do not make it clear that we are unhappy. For example, with repeated text messages from someone we don’t know well, we might reply politely to one or two. After that we might ignore them, when perhaps the best although not necessarily the easiest thing to do is say that you do not want any more texts. The number of stalking victims are alarming and terrifying.

Victims must get help that they need and deserve. Until a victim speaks to someone who has been stalked, you never will fully understand how terrifying it truly is. Being stalked is extremely distressing, a victim is used as a plaything for the stalker’s amusement.

Stalking is a serious crime which usually hits the headlines when it’s linked to A-list celebs, but falling prey to a stalker is something that never crosses most of our minds. Stalking is on the rise as both women and men are being targeted by predatory stalkers.

If you are stalked:

First and foremost, have no contact with your stalker.

  • Show no emotion, regardless of how scared or angry you are. Never confront or agree to meet your stalker.
  • Trust your instincts. If you feel uncomfortable reach out for help.
  • Carry a cell phone with you at all times. Keep handy, memorize emergency phone numbers or program them into your speed dial in case of an emergency.
  • Call your local law enforcement and file a report of all incidents.
  • Tell your friends, family, neighbors, work colleagues and employer. All have the right to know what is happening for your safety as well as their own.
  • Try not to travel alone. Always vary your routes to and from work or school, the grocery store and any other places regularly visited. By changing your daily routes, it could make it more difficult for someone to learn your routine. If you run or walk for exercise, always get a friend (buddy) to go with you.
  • Keep evidence like texts, emails, letters and parcels. Record anything that could be proof and keep Stalker and Incident Behavior Log for reference.
  • If you are being followed, try to stay calm. If you’re driving, head for the nearest police department to get help.
  • If you ever feel in imminent danger, call 911.

The more the public becomes aware of the effects and toll that stalking can do to a victim – perhaps the more we will realize that STALKING IS A CRIME and it is NEVER the victim’s fault.

Every day should be an internal check about every awareness. Focusing on just one month a year of any specific cause is so minuet as the EPIDEMIC of assaults on females are off the charts.

STALKING: KNOW IT. NAME IT. STOP IT.

Take care and STAY SAFE!

The Issue of Child Sexual Abuse…

February 19, 2011 Comments off

We Can End Child Sexual Abuse

The ultimate mission of D2L, to end childhood sexual abuse, can only be accomplished by sharing the solution of prevention, awareness and education with more and more people. This, in turn, builds momentum and over time, changes the way our nation and culture cares for, protects and nurtures our children. Being an active participant in the mission to end childhood sexual abuse is one of the most rewarding things we will ever do – and we cannot do it without you. We believe that learning the facts about childhood sexual abuse helps prevent it. Talking about it helps prevent it. Getting involved helps prevent it. The truth is, if childhood sexual abuse can be prevented, it can be stopped. That’s why D2L exists – to empower adults through awareness and to prevent, recognize and react responsibly to childhood sexual abuse.

Child Sexual Abuse Prevention Training

Stewards of Children is the only nationally available program scientifically proven to increase knowledge, improve attitudes and change child-protective behaviors. This revolutionary program is for any responsible adult who cares about the welfare of children. It is also appropriate for youth-serving organizations (sports leagues, day care centers, after school programs, children’s clubs, church groups and more).

Who Uses the Program?

Stewards of Children is for any responsible adult who cares about the protection of children. It is also used by individuals, organizations, businesses, and corporations who:

  • Seek training for staff and volunteers in the prevention of child sexual abuse.
  • Look to enhance their child protection policies and procedures or respond to insurance requirements.
  • Want to lead a community-based initiative and offer prevention training to the community.

What Topics are Covered in Stewards of Children?

  • Facts about the problem of child sexual abuse.
  • The types of situations in which child sexual abuse might occur.
  • Simple, effective strategies for protecting children from sexual abuse.
  • The importance of talking about the prevention of sexual abuse with children and other adults.
  • The signs of sexual abuse so you that you might intervene and be able to react responsibly.

What Outcomes Can Be Expected After Training?

  • Increased awareness of the prevalence, consequences and circumstances of child sexual abuse
  • New skills for adults to prevent, recognize and react responsibly to child sexual abuse
  • Proactive, positive change to organizational policies and procedures
  • Individual commitment to action via a personal prevention plan

How is the program delivered?

Stewards of Children is available in two formats: ONLINE and Facilitator Led. The content of the programs is identical and both include three main sections including video commentary by adult survivors and experts in the field.

How Long Does the Program Take to Complete?

Stewards of Children typically takes about 2.5 – 3 hours. Think about it — in just 2.5 hours, you’ll have the information you need to better protect every child you know. The ONLINE version of the training does not have to be completed in one sitting — you can pause anywhere in the program and pick it up later without losing your place.

 

Dancing with the Stars Pro Shares Her Story of Abuse; “I Was Molested”, Cheryl Burke

February 11, 2011 3 comments

 

As any fan of Dancing with the Stars knows, Cheryl Burke exudes confidence when she’s waltzing, quick-stepping or doing the tango in front of millions.

But for the two-time DWTS champ, life wasn’t always so smooth: As a child, Burke was repeatedly molested by a friend of her family’s – and testified against him in court, helping send him to prison for nearly two decades.

“I’m telling my story,” says Burke, 26, who opens up about the molestation – and other struggles, including physical abuse by two former boyfriends – in her new book Dancing Lessons, (coauthored by PEOPLE senior writer Monica Rizzo). “They’re not secrets. There’s no shame.”

Burke’s abuser was a retired mailman who was trusted and well liked in Burke’s Bay Area community. He would sometimes pick Burke up from school and do odd jobs around her home. The assaults began when she was 5.

After he was accused of targeting other children, Burke acknowledged her own abuse. But, still reeling from her parents’ split when she was a baby, she was wracked with confusion.

“I felt guilty for wanting his love and affection,” she says, calling testifying against him “the hardest thing I’ve ever done … I saw his face and lawyers were asking me these questions and I was like, ‘What am I doing? Did he even do anything wrong?’ ”

Eventually, with the man in prison and years of therapy, Burke came to see just how wrong her abuser was.

Now, with season 12 of DWTS beginning in March, Burke is ready to tell her story. “If I can help just one person,” she says, “for me that’s all that matters.”

Cheryl Burke is now the latest in a long list of celebrities who have bravely told their story in the last year. We hope these stories will help make sexual abuse a more “speakable” issue in our society – for both the millions of survivors that carry their abuse in secret and for the millions and millions of children we can protect from ever being abused.

We look forward to the day when one of the many celebrity survivors comes forward and joins us in our fight to spread the word about how abuse can be stopped to begin with! We can prevent child sexual abuse!

Darkness to Light History, Ending Child Sexual Abuse

February 6, 2011 Comments off

We Can End Child Sexual Abuse

The ultimate mission of D2L, to end childhood sexual abuse, can only be accomplished by sharing the solution of prevention, awareness and education with more and more people. This, in turn, builds momentum and over time, changes the way our nation and culture cares for, protects and nurtures our children. Being an active participant in the mission to end childhood sexual abuse is one of the most rewarding things we will ever do – and we cannot do it without you.We believe that learning the facts about childhood sexual abuse helps prevent it. Talking about it helps prevent it. Getting involved helps prevent it. The truth is, if childhood sexual abuse can be prevented, it can be stopped. That’s why D2L exists – to empower adults through awareness and to prevent, recognize and react responsibly to childhood sexual abuse.

A Brief History

In 2000, Anne Lee, now Darkness to Light’s President and CEO, developed and implemented a strategy for a non-profit primary prevention program with the mission of reducing the incidence of child sexual abuse through public awareness and education. With tremendous community support, over $100,000 was raised and an award-winning media campaign was developed and launched in June of 2001.

In 2002 “7 Steps to Protecting our Children: A Guide for Responsible Adults” was created and Time, Inc agreed to place ads in various magazines they publish. In 2003 the documentary Childhood Stories was produced by the award-winning team of Breslin-Dunn. The documentary details the stories of four adult survivors of sexual abuse from various backgrounds and life experiences.

In 2004 we began work on an interactive sexual abuse prevention training program, called Stewards of Children, a 2 1/2 hour training program for adults. And, CNN began running Darkness to Light public service announcements nationally. These pro-bono ads were designed to increase awareness of the prevalence and consequences of child sexual abuse and to drive viewers to educational materials. CNN is still a significant supporter today and countless organizations and individuals have found us because of an ad they saw on CNN.

In 2006, Stewards of Children ONLINE was released as a web based version of the “live” or facilitated version of the training program.

Today we have more than 2,500 Facilitators who teach the program in 48 states and 10 additional countries and more than 200,000 copies of the Stewards of Children curriculum have been distributed and the program is also available in Spanish and Icelandic.

Other Noteworthy Accomplishments

Gracie’s Choice

Darkness to Light partnered with Lifetime Television on the issue of child abuse. The lifetime original movie, Gracie’s Choice, stars Anne Heche, Diane Ladd, and Kristen Bell. The movie was orginally aired in 2002.  “Gracie’s Choice” on Amazon

Darkness to Light Featured in Parenting Magazine

“Are you doing all you can to protect your child from sexual abuse? The standard advice is wrong: Here’s what it takes to really keep kids safe.” By Jessica Snyder Sachs Preventing the Unthinkable

Article Printed in October, 2003 Parenting Magazine  www.parenting.com

Darkness to Light Named as Noteworthy Public Awareness and Education Campaign by the Department of Health and Human Services

Darkness to Light was recognized in a report released April 2003 called Emerging Practices in the Prevention of Child Abuse and Neglect. The report stated “Darkness to Light is a noteworthy public awareness and education campaign in that it shifts the responsibility of child sexual abuse prevention from children to adults.

Utilizing common sense messages for adults and parents, the public service announcements and advertisements center around preventing situations from happening, recognizing signs and reacting responsibly. The initiative also follows up their media message by providing a hotline for information and referral to local resources, and is developing a training and education program for educators, the faith community, and physicians on recognizing and responding to signs of child sexual abuse.”

McGruff™ Names Stewards of Children 2007 Crime Prevention Program of the Year!

The National Crime Prevention Council has named Darkness to Light their Crime Prevention Program of the Year for 2007. The McGruff Crime Prevention Award for Excellence was presented at the National Conference on Preventing Crime in Atlanta on October 4th.

Federal Grant from Health and Human Services Allows for Training of SC Department of Education

With the partnership of the South Carolina Department of Education and a federal grant from Health and Human Services, 20,000 educators were trained by Darkness to Light, making SC the first state to train teachers state wide.

 

Risk Assessment of Stalking and Safety Plan Suggestions…

January 23, 2011 Comments off

What is stalking?

While legal definitions of stalking vary from one jurisdiction to another, a good working definition of stalking is a course of conduct directed at a specific person that would cause a reasonable person to feel fear.

Stalking is another form of Power and Control; in reality it is mental abuse.

Stalking is serious, often violent, and can escalate over time.

Risk Assessment

Questions to ask a victim:  Has anyone ever:

  • Followed or spied on you more than twice?
  • Made repeated, unwanted phone calls to you?
  • Stood outside your home, school, office?
  • Left unwanted gifts or items for you to find?
  • Vandalized or damaged your property?
  • Repeatedly threatened you/those close to you?
  • Showed up at places you were for no apparent reason?

Safety Plan Suggestions for Victims of Stalking

  • IF YOU HAVE AN EMERGENCY, CALL 911
  • Do not attempt to negotiate with a stalker, do not have any contact or communication.
  • Telling a stalker ten times to leave you alone is nine times too many, be consistent.
  • If you have an order of protection, carry it with you at all times, keep extra copies.
  • If you think you are being stalked, call the police.  Make sure each incident is reported to the police, keep the complaint number and obtain a copy of the report.  Immediately begin to keep a behavior log for your case.
  • Allow an answering machine to screen all of your phone calls and save the messages.  Save any letter(s), emails, text messages, packages or gifts from the stalker.
  • Vary your routes to and from work or school.  Inform your building, office or campus security guards that someone is stalking you.  Travel with a companion whenever possible.
  • Keep your windows and doors locked securely at home and in your car.
  • Obtain a cellular phone for use outside of your home and in your car.  You do not have to have service or a contract with a cellular company to dial 911, just be sure to keep the cell phone charged.
  • Install deadbolts (one keyed AND one keyless) on every exterior door.  Have your existing doorknob locks changed as well as any existing keyed deadbolts and keep extra keys.  Secure windows with safety devices appropriate for the type of sliding glass door or window.  If possible, install a motion sensor light and an alarm system.  Keep lights and a radio or television on at different times.  Don’t sleep near a window and keep your shades drawn.
  • Tell trusted family members, friends, neighbors and employers that you are being stalked.  Provide them with a photo and description of the stalker and any vehicle information they he/she may drive.
  • Obtain an unlisted phone number or a phone number in someone else’s name.  Use a pager and give the number only to close family members and friends that WILL NOT have contact with the stalker.
  • If you feel that you are being followed, drive to a police or fire station.  Do not drive home.
  • Install wide-angle viewers and positively identify all visitors before opening your door.  Have a “peephole” installed on exterior doors and use them before opening your doors.
  • Visually  check front and rear passenger compartments before entering your vehicle, check your tires and vehicle for damage.  Always park in well lit areas.
  • If you have children, notify their schools of the situation, provide a photo and description with explicit instructions in writing.
  • Maintain a private post office box if your residence is confidential.
  • Obtain Caller Id, order a complete blocking of your phone number to ensure your number is not disclosed.  Utilize anonymous call reject or call blocking.  Notify the annoyance call bureau of harassing phone calls.  After you have filed a police report, you may be eligible for call tracing.

Take care and STAY SAFE!

Stalking IS a C-R-I-M-E!

January 5, 2011 Comments off

STALKING IS A CRIME!

“He Was Really Scary…I Had a Stalker”

Me and my mom were volunteering to set up for a dance at a country club. We’d already volunteered a few times, but this time we met a few other volunteers there. There was a woman and her son. So her son kept coming up to me and asking me questions about how to set up the tables and where they kept the food we were supposed to put out, so basically all of the questions the guy who owned the place had already answered. I figured he just needed a friend. I wasn’t creeped out until he started staring at me. I would look at him and he would look away, but right when I looked away out of the corner of my eye I could see him looking at me again. I was kind of freaked out, so after I was done volunteering that day my mom said we could leave. I went to get my coat and he followed me and asked me if I was coming to the dance. I told him no, and he looked like he was very mad at me and he walked away. So me and my mom leave, and I forget about this guy. Then like 2 weeks later I get this phone call, and I answer and it’s the guy I met at the volunteering place. He asks me if I’m busy that day and I tell him sorry I am and he yells at me and hangs up. I never gave him my number and I wasn’t sure how he got it. Then he called later that night and said he was sorry for calling and yelling at me. He asks me if I’m busy the next day. I tell him I’m sorry but I am. He doesn’t say anything and he just says bye and hangs up. So basically he just kept calling me every day and asking me if I was busy. I got sick of him calling and when he would call I would have a family member answer and say I wasn’t home. Then in the middle of the night I was up and I was in the kitchen getting something to drink when I hear a knock at my slider door and I see him standing there with a flashlight. I screamed and then ran to my parents room. My dad gets up and he doesn’t see him and our door was locked so we know he didn’t get inside. I slept in their room and then a few months passed. He calls my house again and asks me why I didn’t let him in. I hang up on him and block his number. He gets another phone and calls my house and he asks why his girlfriend (me) blocked his number. I told him I wasn’t his girlfriend and he needs to leave me alone or I was going to call the cops. He chickens out for a few years. Then I’m in my senior year of high school and he comes to my door asking if I remember him. I tell him that I have a boyfriend and that he needs to go away. He waited outside my school in the parking lot and then he asked if i wanted a ride. I tell him no I have a ride and he gets mad and yells at me. I got a ride from one of my friends and he follows us so she drives around and eventually he gives up. A few days later her tires are slashed. I’m asleep in my room the next night and he breaks open my window and comes inside. I’m screaming at the top of my lungs but my parents are on a cruise and I’m the only one home. I was positive I was going to die. I finally stop screaming because I’m crying so hard and he’s just making it worse by trying to hug me and comfort me and crap and I start screaming for help. He says he’s going to take me somewhere and were going to run away together and while he’s saying his whole plan the cops get there. He tried to run but the cops cought him and then took him to prison. So now it’s years later and I’m married and I found out the neighbor across the street heard me screaming and called the cops when she saw the window broken. I also found out that the guy who owned the country club gave him my address because he said we left stuff there and he was going to bring it to our house. So I’ve never volunteered anywhere besides schools ever since then.

The above stalking victim wrote in her own words what and how her stalker stalked her.  I find that it helps to share with readers real life experiences of victims so just perhaps you will have a better understanding of the devastating effects that stalking have on victims of this serious crime.

As you can see stalking cases are carried out by ex-partners or by someone that you have never had close relationship with, many victims have never even met their stalker. Often a victim’s stalker can be someone known through work, or a friend of a friend or it could be someone you pass on the street. And with the internet as huge as it is, sometimes people never set eyes on their stalker.

One of the main problems is that so many of us are brought up to be polite and kind, and rather to rebuff unwanted attention, we often let it go. We find ourselves in slightly awkward situations and do not make it clear that we are unhappy. For example, with repeated text messages from someone we don’t know well, we might reply politely to one or two. After that we might ignore them, when perhaps the best although not necessarily the easiest thing to do is say that you do not want any more texts. The number of stalking victims are alarming and terrifying.

Victims must get help that they need and deserve. Until a victim speaks to someone who has been stalked, you never will fully understand how terrifying it truly is. Being stalked is extremely distressing, a victim is used as a plaything for the stalker’s amusement.

Stalking is a serious crime which usually hits the headlines when it’s linked to A-list celebs, but falling prey to a stalker is something that never crosses most of our minds. Stalking is on the rise as both women and men are being targeted by predatory stalkers.

If you are stalked:

First and foremost, have no contact with your stalker.

  • Show no emotion, regardless of how scared or angry you are. Never confront or agree to meet your stalker.
  • Trust your instincts. If you feel uncomfortable reach out for help.
  • Carry a cell phone with you at all times. Keep handy, memorize emergency phone numbers or program them into your speed dial in case of an emergency.
  • Call your local law enforcement and file a report of all incidents.
  • Tell your friends, family, neighbors, work colleagues and employer. All have the right to know what is happening for your safety as well as their own.
  • Try not to travel alone. Always vary your routes to and from work or school, the grocery store and any other places regularly visited. By changing your daily routes, it could make it more difficult for someone to learn your routine. If you run or walk for exercise, always get a friend (buddy) to go with you.
  • Keep evidence like texts, emails, letters and parcels. Record anything that could be proof and keep Stalker and Incident Behavior Log for reference.
  • If you are being followed, try to stay calm. If you’re driving, head for the nearest police department to get help.
  • If you ever feel in imminent danger, call 911.

The more the public becomes aware of the effects and toll that stalking can do to a victim – perhaps the more we will realize that STALKING IS A CRIME and it is NEVER the victim’s fault.

Every day should be an internal check about every awareness. Focusing on just one month a year of any specific cause is so minuet as the EPIDEMIC of assaults on females are off the charts.

STALKING: KNOW IT. NAME IT. STOP IT.

Take care and STAY SAFE!

Who Becomes a Stalker?

January 4, 2011 3 comments

STALKING IS A CRIME!

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

Who Becomes a Stalker?

Stalkers are usually isolated and lonely, coming from the “disadvantaged” of our society; however, a stalker can occupy any place in our entire social spectrum. Often, the stalking may be triggered by a significant trauma or loss in the life of the perpetrator, usually within at least seven years of the stalking behavior.   (For example, relationship dissolution or divorce, job termination, loss/potential loss of a child, or an ill parent.)  Most stalkers are not psychotic.  In a comparative study of psychotic versus non-
psychotic stalkers (Mullen et al. 1999), 63% of the sample was found to be suffering from a common psychiatric condition, such as major depression, personality disorder, or substance dependence–with personality disorder being the most common diagnosis.

Ex-intimates: Common stalkers are people who previously shared a romantic relationship with the victim, and former intimates are the most common type of stalking target.   This can be either from a long or short term relationship.

Family members: A stalker may target a member of their family, such as a parent or sibling.   This would most likely be a resentful or rejected stalker, and they would target a family member they feel had rejected,  humiliated, or abused them in the past.

Friends and Acquaintances: The victim may be stalked by an intimacy seeker or an incompetent suitor motivated by a desire to start a romantic relationship with the victim.  The victim may be stalked by a resentful stalker, typically a neighbor, who may be involved in a disagreement with the victim about something such as noise, the location of a tree, or pets.

Workplace Contacts: In their study of stalkers, Mullen (et al) found that 23% had a professional relationship with their victim, most often a medical practitioner.  Other stalkers may be supervisors, fellow employees, service providers, clients, or others who show up at the victim’s workplace. Stalking behaviors directed at the victim may include:  sexual harassment, physical and sexual assaults, robberies, or even homicide.  A violent workplace stalker usually has a history of poor job performance, a high rate of absenteeism, and a record of threats and confrontations with people they resent in the workplace.

Victims often do not tell their co-workers or supervisors about the person who is stalking them because they fear reprisals from the stalker or other employees, don’t think they will be believed, or feel embarrassed about the situation.

Doctors, nurses, psychologists, or other health care providers may become the targets of stalking by obsessed clients or patients.   (Or the other way around)  Teachers may become stalked by students.  (Or the other way around.)  Psychiatrists are at particular risk for being the targets of stalking because of their contact with people with psychiatric conditions.

Strangers: respond politely.  These are most commonly Intimacy Seekers and Incompetent Suitors, but may also be Predatory stalkers or Resentful stalkers.  These stalkers may hide their identity from their victims at first, and reveal it after stalking their victim for some time in order to get closer to them. Victims may be initially flattered when stalker approaches them and date with their stalker, after many requests.  This can have the unintentional effect of encouraging the stalker, and making them believe that their love is reciprocated.

Gender: Stalkers are far more likely to be male, however, women can also become stalkers.   Women are more likely to  target someone they have known, usually a  professional contact.  Men are less likely to pursue other men, while females will often target other females.  The majority of female stalkers are intimacy seekers seeking to establish relationships, whereas men show a broader range of motivations, and are more often to be seeking to restore relationships.  Women are as likely to use violence as men, and there does not tend to be a difference between genders regarding the duration of  a stalking.  Thus, while the contexts and motives for stalking may differ between men and women, the intrusiveness of the behaviors and potential for harm does not.

Take care and STAY SAFE!