Stalking is a series of actions that make you feel afraid or in danger. Stalking is serious, often violent and can escalate over time. Stalking is a very real problem for 7.5 million Americans every year.
If you are in immediate danger, call 911
Trust your instincts. Don't downplay the danger, if you feel unsafe - you probably are.
Take the threats seriously. Danger is higher when the stalker talks about suicide or murder or when a victim tries to leave or end the relationship.
Contact us! We will help you create a safety plan that will include things like changing your routine, arranging a new place to stay, keeping a stalking journal, plan what to do if your stalker shows up.
Tell people how they can help you.
Do not communicate with the stalker or respond to any attempts to contact you.
Keep evidence of the stalking. Save emails, text messages, notes and/or phone messages. Photograph anything that was damaged and document any injuries. Ask witnesses to write down what they saw.
Keep the police in the loop. Stalking is a difficult crime to "prove beyond a shadow of doubt" so report everything.
Consider an order of protection, call us - we can help with that!
Tell family, friends, roommates and co-workers. They can help you to stay safe.
You are not blame for a stalkers behavior!
Legal Definition of Stalking
Most statutes define stalking as the willful, malicious and repeated following and harassing of another person. In addition to a pattern of conduct, many state laws mandate that an imminent, credible threat of violence be made against the victim for the activity to be considered stalking.
Threat of Violence
While many stalkers don’t attack, the threat of violence is usually inferred. A threat doesn’t require words. A hand that’s pointed at you in the shape of a gun conveys a message that’s loud and clear, especially if it follows ominous correspondence or telephone calls. A bouquet of black roses delivered to your door, a dead animal received in the mail, or a photograph with your image crossed out can also communicate the same sentiment.
Stalking’s Emotional Toll
Even those victims who are not physically harmed suffer tremendously in terms of fear, anxiety and the disruption of their daily lives. Unfortunately, victims simply don’t know what to do when confronted with being stalked. Neither does law enforcement nor the judicial system. Why? Because in many cases, stalkers successfully terrorize their victims without ever breaking the law.
Power and Control
While there are different kinds of stalking, invariably the stalker tries to establish a cult dynamic of one. It’s a power and control trip through which the stalker tries to distort the victim’s sense of reality. In many ways, stalking is like a rape that goes on and on.
1 in 6 women (16.2%) have been stalked during their lifetime, compared to 1 in 19 men (5.2%) (Black, M.C., et. al. 2011).
More than 1 in 4 women and more than 1 in 10 men have experienced contact sexual violence, physical violence, or stalking by an intimate partner and reported significant short – or long-term impacts, such as PTSD and injury (Black, M.C., et. al. 2011).