A climate of fear envelopes you! An invisible but discernible mood, an atmosphere that affects your wellbeing, even though it goes unnoticed. You are scared to go out of your house, yet every noise in the house makes you turn in fear. It has been called the campaigned of terror. It is the menace called stalking!
It is frightening. He phones you, follows you, watches you, and waits for you. He threatened you and turns up wherever you go. He has even killed your pet. He is obsessed, mentally unstable and most importantly dangerous.
One in every six women will experience stalking at some point in their lives, so it is important every woman should be prepared. The tips below will help you do just that and provide measures current victims can take.
(Although stalking happens to both genders, this article focuses on the woman. The tips offered are applicable to both genders)
Protect Your Privacy
The first thing a stalker takes away from you at the first point of contact is your privacy. He barges into your life and exposes you, making you feel exposed and vulnerable. It is very important then that you keep your privacy as secured as possible. Information such as your phone number, home and work address, middle name and holiday plans should not be shared on social media. In some cases, you may want to get a Post Office Box. That way, you make it difficult for someone to invade your privacy.
Practice Simple Safety Precaution
Practice safety precautions. Do not let your guard down. Be as unpredictable in your daily routines as much as possible. Vary your route to work and other places you frequent. Avoid isolated and dark alleys. As much as possible always have company. Invite your friends and colleagues to ride with you to work or to school.
Briefly touched earlier, this tip deserves a proper mention. You need to be alert to the potential danger lurking somewhere. This does not mean you need to live in fear or be paranoid. No, it means you should be instinctive and wise. There are some glaring signs that alert you to stalker nearby. Notice them. That black Sedan car you noticed following you to work parked adjacent to your house – that is suspicious. Take action. Call the police. Make a report. There are predators out there, do not make yourself an easy prey.
Formulate a Safety and Defence Plan
This is vital. You have to prepare yourself for any eventuality. You have to anticipate intrusion, or otherwise attack, and prepare to at the very least escape them. From getting pepper spray to emergency shelter are all important forethoughts that should be considered. Learning some basic self-defence techniques will be useful too. And should you be confronted face to face, do not be afraid to make a scene. Scream if necessary. Stalkers do not want the attention, it scares them. So use it. You need an escape plan.
Keep Record or Evidence of Stalking
Maintain a record of all contacts (physical and otherwise) made by the stalker. The incidents, place, time, emails, mails and phone calls should all be documented. This will prove useful in filing a complaint with the law enforcement bodies. Do not try to reason with a stalker. Do not even reply them, in person or online, no matter how provoked or angry you may be. Create a stalk log.
Seek Help From Law Enforcement Agencies
Make use of the civil and criminal protection at your disposal. When you have a stalker disturbing you, file a complaint with the police. Stalking, in most part of the world, is a criminal offence. Look up the law of the state you reside on stalking and take legal actions. You can contact solicitors and other private non-governmental organization specialized in that area for help. Do not be afraid to speak up. Speaking up helps you and deters him.
Get a Protective Order
Most states allow you to get a protective order against the person stalking you. This will restrain the person from getting close to you. Bear in mind however that this does not mean stalking will never escalate into violence. So be prepared as shown in the points above.
Enlist the Support of Friends and Family
You do not and should not fight the menace alone. There is strength in numbers. Inform your family. Do not travel, jog or stroll alone. Tell your neighbours and colleagues about him. If possible show them a picture. Tell them what to do when they see him around you or your house. Should they call the police or walk up to you and tell him to leave? This will help you to feel safer because there are people looking out for you.
There are mentally sick stalkers out there, but do not be terrified. With the above tips you are equipped to remain safe from them.