Stalking is nothing new, yet it has become more of an issue in recent years. Technological advances like cell phones and the internet have made it so much easier for a stalker to harass a victim.
If you’ve ever been stalked, then you already know how scary the experience can feel. Fortunately, there are simple actions you can take to get rid of a stalker once and for all.
1. Recognize the Problem
It may sound obvious, but recognizing that you actually have a problem is the first step to stopping a stalker. Many victims feel some reluctance when it comes to acknowledging that they have a stalker.
This is particularly true when the stalker happens to be somebody the victim already knows. For example, the stalker might be an ex-boyfriend or work colleague, and that can make it harder to acknowledge the problem.
If you have a stalker, admitting that you have a problem is an important first step. If you don’t recognize that you are in a dangerous situation, you will not look for warning signs or ask for help.
Ignoring the fact that you have a stalker will not make them give up or go away. Instead, the problem is likely to get worse.
2. Look For Signs
How do you know whether or not you are being stalked? Well, bumping into someone once or twice while you’re out running errands is not a cause for concern. What’s more, a former lover who still wants to remain on friendly terms with you is not necessarily a stalker.
Bear in mind that someone who stalks someone else usually does so with malicious intent. Thus it is a mistake to assume that anyone who gives you attention is a stalker.
If you truly think that you might be being stalked, it’s very important to pay careful attention to your environment, especially when commuting from one place to another.
Are you continually seeing the same face? Do you notice the same car following you time after time? Are you receiving strange emails? Do you get calls and text messages from unknown telephone numbers? When you answer your phone, does the person on the other end of the line hang up?
Make a note of all suspicious activity because it can be used as evidence later on if you need to take legal action.
3. Do Your Research
If you’re pretty sure that you’re being stalked, it’s worth finding out what your legal rights are. There are laws in place to protect the victims of stalkers.
For example, if you are threatened by a stalker, you should be able to obtain a restraining order. Know what the laws are regarding stalking, and make them work for you.
4. No Encouragement
Whenever you respond to your stalker either in person, via phone call, or electronically, you are offering them encouragement. For the stalker, any word you say or action you take is proof that you feel something for them. Never respond to any phone calls, emails or text messages that come from your stalker.
It is very important that you take every available step to cut off any communication with your stalker. If necessary, change your phone numbers and have your mail delivered to a private post box.
5. Tell Someone
If you know you’re being stalked, it’s important to inform the police of your problem. You should also tell at least one close friend or family member if you think you’re being stalked.
Make sure those you tell know where you’ve put the documentation relating to the stalking activity. You might also want to ask the person or people you’ve confided in to travel with you when you have to run errands etc.
6. Defending Yourself
If you are able to defend yourself, you stand a better chance of surviving in the event that your stalker physically attacks you. Thus it might be a good idea to take some kind of self-defense class. You might also wish to consider investing in a large dog, or rescuing one from a shelter.
Taking steps to ensure your own physical protection should help you to feel somewhat safer. If your stalker threatens you or becomes physically violent, you should also alert the police at the nearest available opportunity.
7. Your Cell Phone
In an emergency situation, your cell phone is a lifeline because you can use it to call for help. Hence if you suspect you’re being stalked, make sure you carry your cell phone with you at all times, even if you’re just going from one room of your house to another. If you do not use a cell phone, consider investing in one because they can definitely help to keep you safe if you’re being stalked.