Stalking occurs when “any person willfully, maliciously, and repeatedly follows or harasses another person and/or makes a credible threat with the intent to place that person in reasonable fear for his or her safety, or the safety of his or her immediate family.” Stalking is a crime.
Some Things Stalkers Do:
- Repeatedly call you, including hang-ups.
- Follow you and show up wherever you are.
- Send unwanted gifts, letters, cards, or emails.
- Damage your home, car, or other property.
- 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 on-line search services, going through your garbage, contacting friends, family, neighbors, or co-workers.
- Use technology, like hidden cameras or global positioning systems (GPS), to track where you go.
- If you are in immediate danger, call 911
- For information or help call the Stalking Hot Line at (877) 633-0044
- Refrain from meeting the stalker for any reason
- Trust your instincts. Don’t downplay the danger.
- Tell as many people as you can. Give them a description of the stalker.
- 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. Also, decide in advance what to do if the stalker shows up at your home, work, school, or somewhere else.
- Destroy your own discarded mail.
- Keep evidence of the stalking. When the stalker follows you 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. Ask witnesses to write down what they saw. Save these notes and documents in a place the stalker cannot know about them or find them.