What Is Stalking?
Stalking can be defined as a course of conduct directed at a specific person that would cause a reasonable person to feel fear. Stalking is serious, often violent, and can escalate over time.
Signs of Stalking
- Following you or showing up wherever you are.
- Sending unwanted gifts, letters, cards, or e-mails.
- Damaging your home, car, or other property.
- Monitoring your phone calls or computer use.
- Using technology (hidden cameras or GPS) to watch or track where you go.
- Driving by or hanging outside of your home, school, or place of work.
- Threatening to hurt you, your family, friends, or pets.
- Using public records, search services, or investigators to find out about you.
- Contacting friends, family, neighbors, or co-workers to find out about you.
- Posting information or spreading rumors about you online, in public, or by word of mouth.
- 6.6 million people are stalked every year in the United States.
- 3 in 4 stalking victims are stalked by someone they know.
- 66% of female victims and 41% of male victims are stalked by a current or former intimate partner.
- Persons aged 18-24 experience the highest rate of stalking.
What To Do If You Are Being Stalked
- Keep a log of incidents including the date, time, what happened, and the names of any witnesses.
- If you have a restraining order, make several copies, and carry a copy with you at all times.
- Save any packages, letters, messages, or gifts from the stalker.
- Get a post office box and use it on all correspondence to keep your address confidential.
- Use an answering machine to screen calls, and save all voicemail messages from the stalker.
- Contact your local telephone service provider to have your phone reject calls from anonymous or unknown callers.
- If you feel like someone is following you, never go home. Instead, go to the nearest emergency service station or public place.
- Inform security at your place of employment that you are being stalked.
- Inform friends, family, neighbors, and others that you are being stalked.
- If you have a picture of your stalker, give one to security, friends, family, neighbors, and people you know at the places you frequent.
- Report telephone harassment and get help in documenting harassing phone calls by calling the Unlawful Call Center at 1-800-518-5507.
- Report staking or call for help by calling 866-689-HELP (4357).
If you are in immediate danger, call 911.
Information provided by Safe Horizon and The National Center for Victims of Crime.