Things you can do
- Stalking is unpredictable and dangerous. No two stalking situations are alike. There are no guarantees that what will work for one person will work for an other. Yet there are steps you can take to increase your safety.
- If you are in immediate danger, call 911.
- Trust your instincts. Don't downplay the danger. If you feel you are unsafe, you probably are.
- Take threats seriously. Danger generally is higher when the stalker talks about suicide or murder, or when a victim tries to leave or end the relationship.
- Contact a crisis hot line, 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, weigh options such as seeking a protection order, and refer you to other services.
- 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. Tell people how they can help you.
- Don't communicate with the stalker or respond to attempts to contact you.
- Keep evidence of the stalking. When the stalker follows you or contacts you, write down the time, date, and place. Keep emails, text messages, 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. Click here to download a stalking incident and behavior log.
- Contact the police. Every state has stalking laws. The stalker may also have broken other laws by doing things like assaulting you or stealing or destroying your property. (Starfishgirl recommends that you first develop a relationship with your local rape crisis center or domestic violence program. If the police are needed have one of their advocates or an attorney accompany you to the police station and to court. Never attempt to work with the police by yourself. You could get re-victimized.)
- Consider getting a court order that tells the stalker to stay away from you. (Starfishgirl recommends that you contact your local rape crisis center or domestic violence program prior to taking any legal action. Legal action can incite deadly violence. Make sure you have the support and guidance of an advocate and an attorney.)
- Tell family, friends, roommates, and co-workers about the stalking and seek their support.
- Tell security staff at your job or school. Ask them to help watch out for your safety.
If someone you know is being stalked
- Show support.
- Don't blame the victim for the crime.
- Remember that every situation is different, and allow the person being stalked to make choices about how to handle it.
- Find someone you can talk to about the situation.
- Take steps to ensure your own safety.
Source: National Center For Victims of Crime