STALKING IS…a course of conduct directed at a specific person that would cause a reasonable person to feel fear. Stalking is serious, often violent, and can escalate over time.
- 1 in 6 women and 1 in 19 men have experienced stalking victimization at some point during their lifetime in which they felt very fearful or believed that they or someone close to them would be harmed or killed.
- The majority of stalking victims are stalked by someone they know. 66% of female victims and 41% of male victims of stalking are stalked by a current or former intimate partner.
- More than half of female victims and more than 1/3 of male victims of stalking were stalked before the age of 25.
Michele C. Black et al., “The National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey: 2010 Summary Report”
- Follow you and show up wherever you are.
- Send unwanted gifts, letters, or emails.
- Damage your home, car or other property.
- Monitor your phone calls or computer use.
- Use technology, like hidden cameras or GPS, to track where you go.
- Drive by or hang out at your home, school or work.
- Threaten to hurt you, your family, friends, or pets.
- Post information or spread rumors about you on the Internet, in a public place, or by word of mouth.
- Other actions that control, track, or frighten you.
Stalkers can be someone you know well or not at all. Most have dated or been involved with the people they stalk. Most stalking cases involve men stalking women, but men do stalk men, women do stalk women, and women do stalk men.
You are not to blame for a stalker’s behavior.
Things You Can Do
Stalking is unpredictable and dangerous. No two stalking situations are alike. There are no guarantees that what works for one person will work for another, yet you can take steps to increase your safety.
- If you are in immediate danger, call 911.
- Trust your instincts. Don’t downplay the danger. If you feel you are unsafe, you probably are.
- Take threats seriously. Danger generally is higher when the stalker talks about suicide or murder, or when a victim tries to leave or end the relationship.
- Contact Centre Safe’s 24 hour hotline at 1-877-234-5050. A counselor can help you develop a safety plan and provide you with information and options.
- Don’t communicate with the stalker.
- Keep evidence of the stalking including any time the stalker contacts you, emails, text messages and photographs of anything of yours the stalker damages and any injuries the stalker causes.
- Contact the police. Stalking is a crime.
- Tell family, friends and co-workers about the stalking and seek their support.
- Tell security staff at your job or school. Ask them to help watch out for your safety.
If Someone You Know is Being Stalked
- Show support
- Don’t blame them
- Remember that every situation is different, and allow the person being stalked to make choices about how to handle it.
- Find someone you can talk to about the situation.
- Take steps to ensure your own safety.