This has to be said over and over.
Stalking is a terrifying crime that can have lasting effects on its victims. It is a course of conduct specifically targeted at individuals, designed to instill fear and cause harm. Unlike other crimes that may involve a single incident, stalking is characterized by repetitive and obsessive behavior that can span over months or even years. The psychological toll it takes on the victim cannot be understated.
The actions of a stalker are relentless and invasive, leaving no room for escape or reprieve. They may constantly monitor the victim’s movements, invade their privacy through hacking online accounts or installing surveillance devices, and send relentless messages or threats.
The federal government, all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and U.S. territories have enacted laws making stalking a criminal act, although the elements defining the act of stalking differ across every state.
These pursuits create an atmosphere of constant paranoia for the victim, impacting every aspect of their daily life. Normal activities such as going to work or school become sources of anxiety as they constantly worry about being watched or followed.
Stalking not only affects the immediate mental well-being of the victim but also has long-term consequences on their sense of safety and trust in others. For many survivors, simply going out in public becomes an ordeal filled with apprehension and suspicion towards strangers. The emotional trauma inflicted by stalkers often leaves deep scars that require extensive therapy and support to sometimes, some cannot heal completely.
Here are some tactics
- Repeatedly calls your phone, including hang-ups
- Follows you and shows up wherever you are
- Sends unwanted gifts, letters, texts, or emails
- Damages your home, car, or other property
- Monitors your phone calls or computer use, possibly through spyware
- Uses technology, like hidden cameras or global positioning systems (GPS), to track where you go
- Drives by or lingers near your home, school, or work
- Threatens to hurt you, your family, friends, or pets
- Performs other actions that control, track, or frighten you
- Uses other people to try to communicate with you, like children, family, or friends
What you can do:
- Call 911 for Immediate Assistance :
- Your self-awareness and understanding of your circumstances surpass anyone else’s. Rely on your intuition, and don’t hesitate to seek aid if you perceive any threat.
- Alert Others Spread the word among your trusted companions – be it friends, family members, neighbors, coworkers or even your HR department – urging them to stay alert for any unusual activity and refrain from unknowingly sharing sensitive details with imposters posing as someone dear.
Do not underestimate the significance of threats. When someone explicitly threatens you, it should be considered a warning sign of peril. Moreover, individuals who stalk others may resort to employing threats related to self-inflicted harm or suicide to manipulate them into maintaining communication or compromising situations.
Stay safe, everyone!