Stalked: Someone's Watching

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Tips for Victims of Stalking

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Stalking is a dynamic and complex crime. Victims of stalking cannot predict what their terrorizers will do but can determine their own responses to the stalking behavior. Personal safety and harm prevention is of the utmost importance for victims. While they cannot control the stalking behavior, they can be empowered to take steps to keep themselves, families, and loved ones safe.

The following options may be useful to anyone trying to enhance their safety as a stalking victim. Please consider which suggestions may work in your unique circumstances. We also recommend contacting a local victim service organization that may be able to further assist you with safety planning or visit the Stalking Resource Center of the National Center for Victims of Crime at www.NCVC.org/src.

1. Contact law enforcement immediately, especially if there is a threat of imminent harm to you or someone else.

2. Keep a record (log or journal) of all stalking behaviors and maintain any evidence such as emails, text messages, gifts, letters, and voicemails.

3. Obtain a protection or no-contact order if possible and deemed safe to do so.

4. Do not interact with the person stalking you. Responding to a stalker's actions may reinforce their behavior.

5. Inform your family, friends, neighbors and coworkers about your stalker, including sharing photos or descriptions of the person and his or her car.

6. Use a mailing address other than your home address, such as a P.O. box. See if your state has an Address Confidentiality Program for victims of stalking.

7. Obtain an unpublished and unlisted phone number, reject blocked phone calls, and do not answer calls from numbers you do not recognize.

8. Safeguard your house with extra security measures, if possible.

9. Vary routines, including changing routes to work, school, the grocery store, and other places regularly frequented.

10. Keep handy the phone numbers of assisting law enforcement agencies, victim service providers and the personnel assigned to your case.

11. If your stalker is incarcerated, request notification of his or her release.

12. Locate a victim advocate to assist you in protecting yourself and developing a safety plan.