Stalking has become a high criminal offense and, the number of stalking reports continues to rise. Some people blame the increase in stalking on the Internet. However, stalking was an issue long before people had personal computers in their homes. In the previous article, I shared some things you can do if you’re dealing with a stalker. And, so that you can protect yourself, in this article I will show you some steps you can take to protect yourself against a stalker.
There are a few things that you can do to protect yourself. As I mentioned in the previous post, if you haven’t done so already you can call the police or your local law enforcement agency. However, to make it easier for them to help you, there are some things you can do to help yourself:
The most important step you can take is to record every stalking incident you encountered with your stalker. You can keep everything in a journal, a notepad, on your mobile device or on your computer. The key is to write everything down: The where, when, what and how. The reason for this is because the more details you have when you go to the police, the better chance they will have at building a case against your stalker. Without documentation, stalking is a case of he said she said. However, if you have a record of where the stalking took place, what your stalker did, when it happened, and how it made you feel, you can show a pattern of the stalker’s behavior.
You don’t need to tell your stalker that you are keeping a log of them stalking you. Just make sure to write down any details you think the police might need to help you. Some of these things might include license plate numbers, what the person was wearing, saved emails, voice messages, call log and other pertinent details the police might need. It’s almost as if you have to become a detective on your own case. If you can, get a picture of your stalker. Most mobile phones have cameras on them so if you can, and without being seen, use your mobile device to catch your stalker in the act.
The next thing you can do to protect yourself against a stalker is to tell everyone you know. When you’re dealing with a stalker you might feel ashamed or embarrassed. It’s very common to first blame yourself for being stalked. However, it is not your fault. Stalkers are all about exerting their power and control over others. Thus the more isolated you are, the more control you give your stalker. There is nothing for you to feel ashamed of. Your stalker is the one with the issue. Therefore, in addition to recording the stalking incidents, tell a close friend, family member, or someone at your workplace, what is happening. If you have a security person on site where you work or live, be sure to report the stalker to them. Tell everyone you know and trust what is happening. You might even resort to social media to report who your stalker is and what they are doing.
A stalker can be anyone you know, including an intimate partner, family, friend or a co-worker; a stalker can also be a stranger. Consequently, it’s much easier for law enforcement to deal with a stalker that has no relation to you than it is someone you know. However, by keeping a log of the stalking incidents, whether the stalker is someone you know or you don’t know, telling someone you can trust – the more people the better – you increase the chances of having your stalker brought to justice.
While stalking incidents are not always ones that end in violence, many stalkers escalate and turn violent when they feel as though they are losing power and control over their victim. That said, the third thing I recommend you do is taking a self-defense class. Learning how to physically defend yourself is one of the most liberating things you can do to protect yourself against your stalker. While a physical altercation is the last thing you want to happen between you and your stalker. You want to be able to defend yourself should your stalker escalate and become physically violent. You do not need to hire a private instructor though you may. However, there are plenty of FREE self-defense classes available through non-profit organizations or law enforcement agencies for people who have been physically or sexually assaulted, and or stalked.
Another thing you can do to protect yourself against a stalker is to purchase extra security for your house, vehicle or your person. This might come in the way of a house or car alarm, surveillance cameras on your property, a dog, and or depending where you live, a gun. As a free individual you have a right to protect and defend yourself against harm and violence. Thus, getting extra security is a deterrent against stalking. While stalking is not your fault, crimes of opportunity are less likely when you have protection. This does not mean that you should become a vigilantly and or shoot or stalk your stalker. Contrarily, by stalking you your stalker has already crossed the line, therefore you need to do whatever it takes to set up physical boundaries to protect and defend yourself if need be.
The last and final thing you can do to protect yourself against a stalker is to use your instincts. While stalkers are perfect at hiding their stalking tendencies, there are still some warning signs. Granted, in the event there are no signs, trust your instincts. Check in with yourself and ask yourself once in a while how you feel about the person you think might be a stalker. Stalkers aren’t always overt in their stalking. In fact, most stalkers are very discreet, and can stalk you for years without you ever knowing, such as the case with individuals that stalk you online. However, the first sign that you are being stalked usually comes from your gut instincts. You can tell that something is off or you have a feeling that something isn’t right. You may not know what it is at first, however stop, observe your surroundings and be in the moment. In most cases stalkers get the upper hand because they catch their victims being too busy or distracted to notice them. However, whether you are being stalked or not, it’s important that you stay in the moment so that you can observe and be aware of your environment and your person.
While stalking is not your fault, this is a list of some of the things you can do to minimize your being a victim of stalking. Doing these things does not mean you won’t be a victim of stalking. However, in the event you find yourself in this situation, you will have a good start at defending and protecting yourself against a stalker. With stalking on the rise, there are several agencies that protect and provide resources for individuals who are being stalked. Depending on where you live this might be through your local law enforcement agency or through a non-profit organization that specializes in helping violence protection.
Previously published on Finding Happily