Unfortunately, stalking is on the increase. A stalker can terrorize their victim. In many cases, the victim is forced to move out of the area in order to be free of them. Stalking can start for lots of different reasons – from a jealous ex to somebody with a score to settle.
Some people don’t even know their stalker. Whatever the reason, it is never acceptable. If you think you are the victim of a stalker you need to do something about it. Obviously, you need to contact the police, but there are other things you can do to stay safe. Here are a few tips:
If you feel like you are being watched then trust your instincts. Always have your wits about you and if you get the feeling you are being followed or your movements are being monitored in any way then you need to be cautious.
Look out for cars that appear to be around a lot, familiar faces that keep popping up, and keep a log of any phone calls from unknown numbers, along with any unsolicited mail. Try and change your daily routine here and there so your movements are not as predictable.
If you have sufficient reason to suspect you are being stalked then you need to keep the police involved. Show them any evidence you have and explain why you are worried. Different areas have different laws about stalking, but your local police station can advise you on steps you can take to make yourself safer.
They will also be able to tell you if it is possible to get a restraining order on your stalker (as long as you can identify them). It is also a good idea to let your friends and family know your concerns – that way if they get an urgent phone call from you they will know to take it seriously.
It’s advisable to make sure you are never on your own in a public place if you are worried you are being stalked. Always ask a friend to accompany you, and if this is not possible then tell people where you are going and what time you will be back. Don’t take short cuts and only walk in well lit areas so you don’t put yourself at unnecessary risk.
You need to know how to defend yourself in case you are ever put in the situation where you need to. For that reason it’s a good idea to attend a self-defense course or similar so you can build your confidence in your ability to protect yourself.
Always stay vigilant and make sure you record everything that happens. The more evidence you can give to the police, the better your chances of prosecuting, and therefore stopping the stalker.
Never ever approach a stalker yourself – just make it your business to get as far away from them as you can. Don’t put yourself in any danger and if you are at all worried then always contact the authorities.
Today’s featured writer, Jenny Wadlow, is a freelancer. One of her clients is Dribbin & Brown, a criminal law firm specializing in criminal and traffic law. In her leisure time, she enjoys unwinding over a cup of hot coffee and reading novels of her favorite genre. You can also follow her on Twitter @JennyWadlow