Stalking can be defined as unwanted contact, which directly or indirectly communicates a threat or places the victim in fear. It is also defined as the willful, malicious, and repeated following and harassing of another person.
Typically, stalking is a series of actions that puts a person in fear for their safety. A stalker can be someone you know well or not at all. About 75% of stalking cases are men stalking women, but men stalk men, women do stalk women, and women stalk men.
1 out of every 12 women will be stalked during their lifetime. 1 out of every 45 men will be stalked. 87% of stalkers overall are men. 77% of female victims are stalked by someone they know. Research suggests:
Research suggests: The average duration of stalking is 1.8 years. 61% of stalkers made unwanted phone calls, 33% sent or left unwanted letters or items, 29% vandalized property, and 9% killed or threatened to kill a family pet.
Simple Obsessional Stalkers Most common type. They have some prior relationship with the victim, usually an intimate one.
Have had no existing relationship with the victim. Many of these stalkers target celebrities. Love Obsessional
Delusionally believe that they are loved by the victim. This is the rarest type. Erotomanic Stalkers
Other Stalkers –Some stalkers harass their victim out of hate as opposed to love. –Occasionally, stalking becomes a method of revenge for some misdeed against the stalker, real or imagined. –Stalking can also be used as a means of protest.
A stalker might: Follow you and show up wherever you are. Call you repeatedly, sometimes hanging up. Damage your home, car, or other property. Send unwanted gifts, letters, cards, or e- mails. Monitor you phone calls or computer use.
A stalker might also: Use technology, like hidden cameras, global positioning systems (GPS), to track where you go. Drive by or hang out at your home, school, or work. Threaten to hurt you, your family, friends, or pets. Find out about you by using public records or online search services, hiring investigators, going through your garbage, or contacting friends, family, neighbors, or coworkers.
There are several traits that are common amongst stalkers: Mood, anxiety, and/or substance abuse disorders, Low self-esteem and social insecurity, Narcissism, Intense jealousy Morbid infatuation
Stalking is serious, often violent, unpredictable, dangerous and often escalates over time. No two stalking situations are identical. Many stalkers change behavior over time and escalate the frequency or the intensity of their contacts. Ex-boyfriends and ex-husbands who stalk are often violent. Some of the most dangerous stalkers give little or no warning before they attack.
There are several signs that are good indicators of stalking behaviors: Persistent phone calls and gifts despite being told not to contact in any form, Waiting at the workplace or in neighborhood, Threats, Manipulative behavior, and Defamation (the stalker often lies to others about the victim).
You tend to: Feel fear of what the stalker might do. Feel nervous, irritable, impatient, and on the edge. Feel vulnerable, unsafe, and not know who to trust. Feel depressed, hopeless, overwhelmed, or angry.
Feel stressed, including having trouble concentrating, sleeping or remembering things. Have eating problems such as appetite loss, forgetting to eat, or overeating. Have flashbacks, disturbing thoughts, feelings, or memories. Feel confused, frustrated, or isolated because other people don’t understand why you are afraid.
As early as possible, tell him/her that the relationship is over. Inform the person that no further contact of any kind is allowed. Avoid using tones or phrases that could be misconstrued as implying a second chance or playing or hard to get (mixed messages). Be respectful.
Keep evidence of the stalking; when the stalker follows or contacts you, write down the time, date, and place. Keep emails, phone messages, letters or notes. Photograph anything of yours the stalker damages and any injuries the stalker causes. Contact a crisis hotline, victim services agency, or a domestic violence or rape crisis program. They can help you devise a safety plan, give you information about local laws, refer you to other services, and weigh options such as seeking a protection order.
Develop a safety plan, including things like changing your routine, arranging a place to stay, and having a friend or relative go places with you. Contact the police. Get a court order that tells the stalker he/she must stay away from you.
Tell family, friends, roommates, and coworkers about the stalking and ask for their support. Tell security staff at your job or school and ask them to watch out for your safety.
–Discipline yourself to avoid contact with the stalker. –This includes ANY and ALL contact which could easily be misinterpreted by the stalker such as: Calling to ask for someone else’s phone number, Counter harassing, and Sending letters back. Communicate with the stalker or respond to their attempts to contact you.
Credits 1.Clipart 2.“Stalking.” Arming Women Against Rape and Endangerment (AWARE). (2001). Retrieved February 19, 2005 from World Wide Web: http://aware.org/stalking/stalkingeninfo. http://aware.org/stalking/stalkingeninfo 3.“Stalking Behavior.” (2000, January 22). Retrieved February 19, 2005 from World Wide Web: http://www.stalkingbehavior.com.http://www.stalkingbehavior.com 4.“Stalking Fact Sheet.” The National Center For Victims of Crime. (2000). Retrieved February 9, 2005 from World Wide Web: http://www.ncvc.org.http://www.ncvc.org 5.“Stalking Resource Center.” The National Center For Victims of Crime. (2000). Retrieved February 9, 2005 from World Wide Web: http://www.ncvc.org.http://www.ncvc.org 6.Stalking Resource Center. Are You Being Stalked? The National Center For Victims of Crime. (2000). Retrieved February 19, 2005 from Word Wide Web: http://www.ncvc.org. http://www.ncvc.org