About Stalking

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What is Stalking?

Stalking is a pattern of unwanted behaviors directed toward a specific person that would cause a reasonable person to feel fear.

What does it Look Like?

Some things stalkers do include:

  • Follow you and show up wherever you are.
  • Send unwanted gifts, letters, cards, or e-mails.
  • Damage your home, car, or other property.
  • Monitor your phone calls or computer use.
  • Use technology, like hidden cameras or global positioning systems (GPS), to track where you go.
  • 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 online search services, hiring investigators, going through your garbage, or contacting friends, family, neighbors, or co-workers.
  • Posting information or spreading rumors about you on the Internet, in a public place, or by word of mouth.
  • Other actions that control, track, or frighten you.

Remember: You are not to blame for a stalker’s behavior.

What to do if you believe you are being stalked

Seek help and guidance: Notify law enforcement as well as family and friends about the possible stalking. By letting others know of the situation, your protection from the possible stalker is increased. View the Stalking Resource Center’s Stalking Safety Plan.

Document everything: Make sure to document all activity that you regard as stalking: incidents (e.g., noticing that the accused stalker is following you), telephone calls, emails, text messages, etc. View a sample stalking log, via the Stalking Resource Center.

Stop all contact: If the stalker is someone you know, stop all forms of contact and communication. Instead of confronting your stalker, contact the police and report the possible threats to them.

Know your rights: Be aware of the stalking laws of in your state! For California stalking laws and related offense, visit: http://www.victimsofcrime.org/our-programs/stalking-resource-center/stalking-laws/criminal-stalking-laws-by-state/california

Protect yourself: Always carry a cell phone with you and if possible and let a friend or family member know where you are going. Also remember to be aware of your surroundings. Consider obtaining a restraining order from your county courthouse and possibly installing a security system in your home.

If you are in immediate danger, please call 911.

Facts about Stalking

  • 6.6 million people are stalked in one year in the United States.
  • 3 in 4 stalking victims are stalked by someone they know.
  • 66% of female victims and 41% of male victims of stalking victims are stalked by a current or former intimate partner.
  • 10% of stalking victims are stalked by a stranger.
  • Persons aged 18-24 years experience the highest rate of stalking.
  • 11% of stalking victims have been stalked for 5 years or more.
  • 46% of stalking victims experience at least one unwanted contact per week.
  • 1 in 4 victims report being stalked through the use of some form of technology (such as e-mail or instant messaging).
  • 10% of victims report being monitored with global positioning systems (GPS), and 8% report being monitored through video or digital cameras, or listening devices.

[Michelle C. Black et al., “The National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey: 2010 Summary Report,” (Atlanta, GA: National Center for Injury Prevention and Control, Centers for Diseas Control and Prevention, 2011).]

[Katrina Baum et al., (2009). “Stalking Victimization in the United States,” (Washington, DC:BJS, 2009).]

Adapted from the Stalking Resource Center | www.victimsofcrime.org

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