Legal Guide

What To Do If You Believe You’re Being Stalked

It’s a dangerous world we live in today, with possible pitfalls and dangerous situations around seemingly every corner. You just never know when you or your loved ones could face a situation that’s difficult to escape from.

And while the murders and the assaults and the rapes seem to get most of the attention, the crime of stalking grows in frequency and severity with each passing year. In fact, it’s a bit of a gateway crime to the more serious ones mentioned in the previous sentence.

It can also be a rather difficult crime to protect yourself from, as in most cases no crime has actually been committed until it’s often too late. That is, unless you have a complaint on file with the local police department or an actual restraining order against the person you feel is stalking you.

For this reason, many prospective victims struggle with how to respond to their stalkers. They may try reasoning with them, or talking with them or even just ignore the situation completely.

None of those are viable solutions to the problem, however.

People who stalk others can be very dangerous individuals who have often had a psychological breaks with reality. They should not be taken lightly at any time and necessary precautions should be taken to protect yourself and/or your family members from harm.

One way to do so would be to either hire a bodyguard to protect you or a private investigator to follow and surveil the perpetrator. In a perfect world, you should actually consider doing both.

But if you’re not able to do so for financial or other reasons, be advised that there are certain ways you can lessen your chances of becoming a victim. But the most important thing in this and any other scenario is your personal safety, so always err on the side of caution whenever there’s a doubt.

Call The Police

If you feel you’re in danger for any reason, contact the authorities and let them know what’s going on. Fill out a report, ask for a restraining order or do whatever else it is you need to do to feel safe.

This will be easier if you have a history with the stalker, as nearly all victims do. Save any threatening text messages, voicemails, written letters or anything else you have that can prove your case to the police.

And don’t be afraid to ask for a little extra protection, whether from the police or from an outside security service. Many private investigators provide executive protection or can assist in counter-surveillance. Hopefully, it won’t be long before the situation works itself out.

Keep Accurate Records

We mentioned above to keep those text messages and voicemails, but also consider carrying a small notebook around in your pocket or your purse. Take notes at the times and places that you feel unsafe or threatened.

This will come in handy later if you need to file a police report or give information to a private security or bodyguard service.

You can never have too much information, so make your notes as detailed and thorough as possible.

Change Your Phone Number

Every little thing you do can help to ward off a stalker, and changing your phone number is certainly something you can do to make a difference.

Taking this action likely won’t ward the stalker off completely as there are obviously many other ways you can be reached nowadays. But it will give you a sense of empowerment that you’re at least not sitting idly by and waiting for something to happen.

And it should also help to cut down on the threats, even if only a little bit.

Stay Off Social Media

We know, this is much easier said than done in today’s connected society, but consider at least staying off of social media for a short time until the situation is resolved.

If you’re on social media regularly throughout the day, you’re giving your stalker many more opportunities to contact you and make your life more difficult. So consider staying offline for a few days or weeks at the very least, as tempting as it may be to do otherwise.

Trust Your Instincts

Again, keep your safety in the forefront at all times and trust your instincts. If you don’t feel safe going to a certain restaurant, or walking on the street alone or even going to the grocery store by yourself, don’t do it!

Your first instinct is usually correct, so trust your gut and stay out of harm’s way whenever possible.

Seek Help

There are victim advocates in nearly every city and town in the United States. So if you feel like you’re being stalked and are in an unsafe situation, find their number or numbers and get some help.

These advocates can sit down with you and explore your options, and then put you in touch with people who are in a position to help.

This may be the police, it may be people in similar situations as you or it may be someone who can provide a temporary safe place to lay low for awhile. You never know who may be able to help you during this difficult time.

Just remember, once again, that your safety should always be your number one priority.

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