Stalking is the unwanted pursuit of one person by another. When a person repeatedly watches, follows or harasses you, making you feel afraid or unsafe. A stalker can be someone you know, a past boyfriend or girlfriend or a stranger.
Common Stalking Behaviors
- Showing up at your home or place of work unannounced or uninvited.
- Sending you unwanted text messages, letters, emails and voicemails.
- Leaving unwanted items, gifts or flowers.
- Constantly calling you and hanging up.
- Using social networking sites and technology to track you.
- Spreading rumors about you via the internet or word of mouth.
- Making unwanted phone calls to you.
- Calling your employer or professors.
- Waiting at places you hang out.
- Using other people as resources to investigate your life. For example, looking at your facebook page through someone else’s page or befriending your friends in order to get more information about you.
- Damaging your home, car or other property.
What to do if you’re being Stalked
If you’re being stalked, you may be feeling stressed, vulnerable or anxious. You may also have trouble sleeping or concentrating at work or school. Remember, you are not alone. Every year in the United States, 3.4 million people are stalked and youth between the ages of 18-24 experience the highest rates. Most people assume that stalkers are strangers, but actually three in four victims are harassed by someone they know. If you are in immediate danger, call 911 and report everything that’s happened to the police.
Things to remember, if you are being stalked
Remember to save important evidence such as:
- Text messages
- Letters, photos and cards
- Unwanted items or gifts
- Social media friend requests
You should write down the times, places and dates all incidents occurred. Include the names and contact information of people who witnessed what happened.
Stalking is traumatic.
You may experience nightmares, lose sleep, get depressed or feel like you’re no longer in control of your life.
These reactions are normal.
It can help to tell your friends and family about the stalking and develop a safety planning.
You can also call us at 941-627-6000 or 941-475-6465 and speak to an advocate 24/7.