What is Stalking?
Definition: a course of conduct of one person toward another that would be a reasonable person in a state of emotional distress or to fear bodily harm.
There are three kinds of stalking behaviors.
- EROTOMANIA: The victim is usually some kind of celebrity and the stalker falsely believes the victim is in love with them.
- LOVE OBSESSIONAL: Stalker is obsessed with the victim and selects the victim from a fantasy set of prerequisites. The stalker is at first a stranger to the victim.
- SIMPLE OBSESSIONAL: Stalker and victim know each other. They worked together, dated casually, were lovers, or were once married. This is the most common type of stalking, and the information herein is geared toward simple obsessional stalking.
How do I know if I am being stalked?
If you have let someone know their attentions toward you are unwanted/unaccepted and those attentions continue, and those attentions are giving you emotional distress and/or, fear of bodily harm, you are being stalked.
What should I do now?
- Make certain that your residence is secure, locks on doors and windows function and are adequate.
- Keep vehicle doors locked when in use as well as when parked.
- Purchase a pager if possible
- Vary your route to work and change shopping habits the stalker may know about.
- If possible, keep your vehicle in a locked garage when not in use.
- Ask family and friends to check on you at various times in the day.
- Make neighbors aware and ask them to watch for suspicious activity.
- Avoid being alone as much as possible.
- Make your employer aware of the situation.
- Ask reception to screen your calls.
- Make sure you’re not being followed. (Ask your advocate how to do this.)
- Understand the power of stalking.
- Develop a tolerance. This may be a long-term problem
The ultimate goal is to get the stalker to STOP! If the stalker is convicted of the crime of stalking, the more control the system has over the stalker. The victim then regains control and can go on with her/his life.