If a situation has progressed to the point where you ask, are you being stalked? chances are the answer is yes. The first step is to share the fact that this person is making you uncomfortable. Do not be the victim, because that is exactly the position your stalker wants you in. Making it clear from the start that you are not going to be manipulated by their actions is important.
According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics, there are laws to protect victims of stalking in every single state and U.S. territory. Stalking is serious, although many people do not realize it until it happens to them or someone they care about.
- Multiple calls or hang ups.
- Seeing the person in various places throughout the day.
- The person contacting friends or family to check up on your whereabouts.
- You start receiving unwanted gifts such as flowers or letters from your stalker, or unwanted gifts of a sinister nature.
- When you try to cut off contact they go to extreme measures such as threatening suicide or violence towards themselves or others.
Are You Being Stalked? What To Do
- Keep a log of information such as times you see your stalker and exactly what occurs.
- Inform your friends and family of the issue, the more people who know that you are not comfortable with this person in your life the more they will observe the stalker’s actions and keep you safer.
- Contact the authorities and get a restraining order.
- Keep your restraining order on you at all times, and pass copies out to your job and landlord along with a picture of the stalker.
- Do not engage him/her stalking behaviour is a form of control, and the stalker is rewarded by your reaction to him.
- Do not react directly, but react by telling everyone around you how uncomfortable the stalker makes you.
- If you are being followed in your car, do not go home, go straight to the police department or to a public place where you can get help and have witnesses.
Stalking can happen to anyone and there are people from all walks of life who have become stalkers. No matter who you are, and what your stalker’s position in life is, stalking is not acceptable. This is important to remember because there have been cases of stalking that involved law enforcement officers, or school employees as the stalker. Do not let anyone’s position of authority make you feel uncomfortable or cross lines that you would not allow them to cross
Stalking often occurs between exes, this is another case where it can be difficult to take actions, such as restraining orders because of your previous feeling of trust and/or love. No matter who the stalker is or once was to you, stopping the stalking behaviour is important before it leads to violence or even death. If you have to ask the question “Are you being stalked?” then clearly something is off in the relationship.
Remember not to allow the stalker to use your emotions against you. A sociopath does not have the same range of emotions as other people, but they know exactly how to use your emotions against you. Threatening to hurt themselves or your family is all about using your love and kindness to their own benefit, do not give in to the stalker’s play on your emotions; this is yet another way for them to try to control you.
Remember that control is the key goal of the stalker, truly gaining love or trust is not part of the plan, as much as controlling your emotions and decisions. They want you to be thinking of them even if it means you are in fear of them.
There is help, there are options to make the stalker stop, and if no one around you is taking you seriously, call the Safe Horizon hotline at 866.689.HELP (4357). Of course, if there is an immediate emergency, call 911 or your local emergency number.
President Obama has proclaimed January as National Stalking Awareness Month. Stalking is a real problem and it is important to be informed, to realize that if you are feeling afraid and uncomfortable by someone’s actions you should talk about it with someone you can trust, and then go to the authorities.