What to do if you think you have a stalker

What to do if you think you have a stalker

Trust your instincts. If there is someone that makes you uncomfortable don't wait, don't worry about hurting their feelings. Take action, the faster you take action the less likely the stalking will escalate.

Always state romantic or social rejections clearly Responding with vague non-commitals such as, "I'm not interested in a relationship/being friends with you at this time," or "I'm dating someone else," can lead a person to believe that you would date or be friends with them, if the timing were right or if they keep pressing the issue.

Warn the offender clearly. Tell the stalker in as few words as possible that s/he is not welcome to contact you. "Do NOT contact me again.". You want to inform the stalker that their actions are harassment and warn them never to make contact again. There may be a chance that the offender may cease and desist. Record how and when you gave the warning along with any future incidents.

Keep a record of ALL incidents. This includes text, calls, emails, posting things online or on your social networks. Make a recording of any threatening voice mails or phone calls. Also, record if they contact friends, family or work colleagues. Make sure you make an extra copy for extra security. Email a copy of the document to a friend or save it on a thumb drive.

Report it the police. If you are physically threatened dial 999. If the stalking/harassment lasts more than two weeks report it to the police. Stalking is a crime that escalates. Report every incident to the police no matter how small it may appear – stalking isn’t a single incident but a pattern of behaviour. Reporting all incidents to the police demonstrates the abusers behaviour to the police so they are more willing to take action.

Cut off all contact with the stalker. Change your phone number, email, block them on social networks. Screen your calls, don’t pick-up call without caller id or a number you don’t recognise – let it go to voicemail.

Change your passwords If a stalker can access your online accounts they can get access to your contacts, send out abusive emails or posts. E-commerce accounts have records of your address and credit card. Mobile phone accounts like Google and iPhone give them access to the phone and its location.

Don’t contact the stalker under ANY circumstances. A stalker will try to get a reaction so that you will contact them. They will leave provocative comments, tell friends lies anything that they think will make you react. Don’t respond. Take actions to further reduce their ability to contact you and record all incidents.

Never attempt to reason with or appease a stalker. This only reinforces his/her belief that his/her tactics are working.

Use distance to protect yourself. If you suspect you may be being stalked, keep a significant distance between you and the suspected stalker. Note that you do not have to have proof someone is a stalker to protect yourself in this way, only a suspicion.

Change your schedule and routes. Vary your routines, if you exercise go at different times, use different grocery stores, take different routes to work or go in early. Take your safety seriously. Think ahead and be conscious of everything around you at all times.

Try to avoid being alone, if you can. A stalker is more likely to lose interest if they see that you always have company.

Always keep a cell phone and a personal alarm on you, if possible. A phone that can record images and conversation is a plus. There are apps that can phone the police and record the call

Tell friends, family and work colleagues. Stalkers will not only research and monitor you but they will contact anyone associated to you in order to try to find out more about you. They will call asking questions, watch people’s social network pages for any pictures or mention of you. You not only the people around you to support you, they can help keep you safer.

Make home safety a priority. Install more secure door locks. Make your windows and doors burglar proof. Install security lights and a security system. Put your indoor lights on a timer system. Ask police to do regular check ups of your property. Keep a personal alarm with you.

Consider moving out temporarily. If you feel that your home is being watched, stay somewhere else, such as your parents' home, the home of other relatives or with friends.

If you must move, try to be as under the radar as possible. Rent a moving van that does not have company logos, as a stalker could possibly contact that company in order to gain information about you. You can also move your possessions into a storage facility that is under a P.O. box address or the name of a third party, until you feel safe to claim them. Move at a time when the abuser is likely to be work or some other place.

Important documents Keep important documents such as your passport and birth certificates and copies of your financial information with a friend or place of safety. Include a list of all key phone numbers.

If you have children, make sure that they are always accompanied to and from school and activities. Notify your children's school(s) not to give out any of your information, and provide them a list of individuals who are allowed to pick up your children. Ask staff to request that anyone on that list provide an agreed password. If you cannot pick up your children, contact the school to let them know exactly who will be picking them up.

Secure and protect your pet(s). Some stalkers, if they are unable to gain access to you, will target your animals. Do not leave pets outside unattended (even in a fenced in yard), and do not have pet doors. Have contact information for animal boarding homes and no-kill shelters, in case of an emergency if you are unable to take proper care of your pet(s).

Avoid contact with family, friends and other associates of the stalker Unfortunately, these individuals may willingly or unknowingly provide information about you to the stalker, such as new addresses or contact information.

Be confident. This means maintaining an air of self-assurance, holding your head high and walking tall and with purpose. Stalkers are more likely to continue when they see fear reflected in your body language - so watch this carefully and keep your body reactions slow, measured and calm.

If you were previously domestically involved with your stalker, try to avoid the following: legal mediation, joint therapy, shared custody of children, face-to-face child exchanges. If you are obligated to come face to face with the stalker (at a court hearing) safeguard yourself as much as possible. In the days prior to and especially following an obligated public meeting, be extra vigilant of your surroundings and safety.

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Warning signs of online love may be a stalker

How stalkers use digital technology against their victims

How stalkers use digital technology against their victims