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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.

 Stalking Victimization

  • 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.