Ending a romantic relationship is not always easy. Often breakups are not mutual, leaving one person feeling dumped while the other person is ready to move on right away. In most cases, the hurt party will be able to get over the breakup with the help of his or her friends, time, and space. However, sometimes people do not take breakups well. These people may become obsessive over their exes, sometimes to the point of stalking them. Learn about Ex Boyfriend Stalking.
According to a CDC study into stalking and intimate partner violence in the USA:
- 7.5 million people are stalked per year.
- 61 per cent of female victims and 44 per cent of male victims were stalking by a current or former intimate partner.
- An estimated 15 per cent of women and 6 per cent of men have been a victim of stalking during their lifetimes.
Most victims of stalking report that their stalker was previously known to them in some way. This can include behaviours commonly considered to be stalking, such as following and constantly contacting. However, actions such as threatening, tracking with technology and disseminating the personal information of the victim are also considered stalking behaviours.
Stalking is an issue that should be taken very seriously. Sometimes, the problem may start with stalking but may end in a confrontation. Because of this, victims of stalking by an ex boyfriend should act quickly and take the situation seriously in order to prevent potential damage down the road. Stalking, like domestic abuse, is about control, power and jealousy. It can often seem harmless or deserving of pity to begin with, but this can quickly change. According to the CEO of HAVEN, an organisation that deals with personal protection orders, it is vital to act at the first signs of this behaviour. Also note that female stalkers can be just as dangerous as male stalkers. If you ex girlfriend is exhibiting any of these qualities you should act right away.
Ex Boyfriend Stalking: What to Do
Those who have become victims of ex boyfriend stalking should begin by making very clear to the ex boyfriend via text or telephone that he needs to end his behaviour before the authorities are notified. Sometime stalkers do not realise that what they are doing is unacceptable. They truly believe that by staying in the person’s life, they will have a better chance of getting back together. Therefore, it is possible that a stern reminder of the breakup is all that is needed for a stalker to get the message and leave the person alone.
If they persist then you need to escalate the issue. Notifying law enforcement is a good option at this time. Filing a restraining or no-contact order is also something to consider at this point.
Application processes for these orders are different depending on where you live. If you live in the USA then the process is determined by state-law. Here are some pointers:
- Generally the first step is to go to a civil courthouse and request a restraining order form. If the process is different in your state then the courthouse staff will be able to point you in the right direction.
- Fill the forms out. You may need some documents notarised, if so they must be signed in the presence of a notary. The courthouse can direct you with this too.
- Make copies of everything. The clerk’s office at the courthouse will often require originals plus two copies. You ought to keep a copy for yourself as well.
- Have the documents served. Discuss the process for this with the clerk’s office. Of course you should never serve the documents to your stalker yourself.
- Keep a record of all interactions you have with the stalker. This will be useful should your case go to court.
You may wish to research organisations in the area that handle intimate partner violence or other gender related crimes and support. You may find that there is free advice and guidance available to you. You could also discuss this with a lawyer. Here are some places to start your research:
- VictimsOfCrime.org – This organisation is partnered with the U.S. Department of justice Office on Violence Against Women. They have a specialist Stalking Resource Centre with legal specialists across all 50 states.
- SafeHorizon.org – Safe Horizon has 24-hour helplines and has some expertise in matters of stalking. They can also help you navigate the civil and criminal legal system in your region of the USA.
- StalkingHelpline.org – A helpline service for stalking victims in the UK.
- CRCVC.ca – The Canadian Resource Centre For Victims Of Crime has an extensive list of organisations that will be useful for Canadians.
Violations of Restraining Orders
In the event of an ex boyfriend violating a no-contact order or a restraining order, it will be necessary to get the police involved. This may result in an arrest of the ex boyfriend, but only if it can be proven that the no-contact or restraining order was violated. To provide proof of this, victims are encouraged to have a camera or other means of recording (such as a smartphone with a built-in camera) available to them at all times. This way, if the ex-boyfriend shows up at the victim’s door, all it takes is a simple photo to prove this to the police.
At this point of the ex boyfriend stalking you, the police should be notified right away so they will be dispatched to the location of the call. Social networking accounts should also be set to private so that stalker ex boyfriends cannot find out information about the victim that would make it possible to contact him or her.
The best way to avoid stalking is to prevent it happening in the first place. While sometimes there is nothing that the victim could have done to avoid the situation, there are some things that you can do to make it less likely for you to become a victim of stalking.
- Avoid contact all together with ex partners who show the warning signs of stalking. Moving in and out of their life can make them confused and feel like you are sending mixed messages. Be clear. Cut them out.
- Keep a low profile on social networking. Seeing all of your Facebook interactions can be fuel to the fire of the stalkers obsession. Make your profile private. Curate your contacts carefully.
- Avoid potential partners who exhibit signs of a stalker. Is he or she controlling, jealous, emotionally fragile? This may be a good reason to stay away.
- End abusive relationships You don’t belong to anyone.
While these pieces of advice can be useful to avoid staking, understand that you are probably not at fault.
Overall, dealing with ex boyfriend stalking can be a truly upsetting and startling experience. This is why it is so important to handle it appropriately and carefully by getting the authorities involved and doing one’s best to protect personal and contact information. In time, the stalker should realize that what he is doing is wrong and will hopefully learn to leave the victim alone and get over the breakup.