Stalking is a crime that is very common amongst celebrities. But many people who are not well known are stalked also. Close to 4 million people in the United States are reportedly stalked every year.
Anyone who has ever been stalked understands the frustration and fear that accompanies being watched and followed constantly. Maybe your ex continuously shows up at your job and waits for you to get off. Or he seems to appear at just about every place you go, like the grocery store or the mall. It may seem that she knows your schedule/routine better than you do because she shows up everywhere you are.
You know you are being stalked when:
You receive repeated phone calls, emails or letters.
Is constantly showing up in places where you are.
Leaves clues that s/he was there, ie: a picture of you two together or an article of their clothing.
Displays signs of controlling, obsessive or abusive behavior.
Leaves many messages via Twitter, Facebook, blog posts, etc., especially on Internet websites this person would not have known you were a part of had they not Googled your name.
Constantly asks family members, friends and co-workers about you.
Repeatedly sends unsolicited gifts.
It can sometimes be pretty obvious when someone is stalking you. But it can start out being such a passive aggressive crime that it is not always so clear cut. If you have a gut feeling that your ex is stalking you, chances are s/he is.
Here’s what you should do if you are being stalked:
Tell someone close to you what is happening.
Document every encounter and incident as proof.
If you’ve been threatened or abused, immediately file an order of protection against that person.
However, I would not rely on that order of protection to keep you safe.
Carry Pepper Sprayand/or a stun gun to protect yourself.
Do not lead this person on or send mixed messages. This will only make your situation worse.
Always let someone know where you are going. If you’re going to be out late at night, have someone with you.
If you feel that your life is in danger, call 911 and let them know what’s going on. Get a copy of any and every police report. Do not allow yourself to become a victim.