Even after more than a decade of revelations about bullying in all of its forms, the statistics are still alarming. Did you know that a study conducted by the Department of Justice in the year 2000 found that for every twelve women, one will be stalked at least once in her lifetime? Most of the women who are stalked are being so by a former partner, spouse or someone who feels they should be in her life. The Federal Bureau of investigations reports that one in every 3,000 women will be raped and perhaps the most disturbing part about both of these statistics is that the findings also indicate that most of the women being stalked know the stalker and have simply refused to identify the behavior as stalking or simply didn’t understand what stalking looks like. If you are thinking “i am stalked” then this guide is for you.
How do I know if I am stalked?
The stalker’s goal is to gain control over their victim’s life and movements. Stalking behavior is recognizable by the things the stalker does, how he (or she) does it and when. It may take the form of any of these listed here:
- Receiving annoying or threatening obscene phone calls.
- Receiving notes or letters that are threatening, obscene, offensive or any combination.
- Being followed or watched.
- Your family or friends being followed or watched.
- Someone talking to your friends, relatives or co-workers to get private information about you.
- Receiving unwanted gifts, attention or visits.
- Having your property vandalized or stolen.
- Receiving verbal or non-verbal threats.
- An escalation in the type of pursuit to anything physical like assault, bullying, rape or even murder.
Need a clearer picture of the bullying behavior of stalking? Here are 10 signs that you need to get help immediately to stop this perpetrator before it goes any further. This should help you with this shocking statement: i am stalked!
1.i am stalked: Someone is lurking. If you are constantly running into the same person—at the grocery store, after work in the parking lot or somewhere else–you may have a problem. This could be a coincidence so let’s say if you happen to see him every night at the gym he is not necessarily a stalker, but if you turn and see him at your favorite coffee shop or parked in your neighborhood when you get home, you have a cause to be concerned.
2.i am stalked: Someone is watching. The lurker is very obvious, but the watcher keeps a distance. Most likely this is the type of stalker who is busy collecting personal information about your habits and life from those closest to you. Scarier still is the possibility that the watcher may be taking photos and looking up information about you on the internet. Be aware of your surroundings. If there is someone who always seems to be in the crowd you may have a stalker watching.
3.i am stalked: Someone is calling. If you are receiving calls from someone you barely know but who seems to try to be overly familiar you may have a problem. This is especially true if you are having hang-ups and silent messages on your message machine. Tell them to stop calling and if they do not stop then you call the police. This is harassment, bullying and yes, stalking.
4.i am stalked: Someone is gifting. A stalker type may start out sending you a somewhat innocent seeming bouquet of flowers but this may turn inappropriate very quickly when his or her attentions are not returned. If you are receiving pornographic photos or embarrassing gifts at work then you need to take action. At work, ask if the company receptionist can run some interference by screening deliveries and describing persons who make them personally.
5.i am stalked: Someone is making trouble. A stalker may try to make himself a hero by sabotaging your vehicle and then being there to help you out. Watch out for miraculous saves such as an unexplainable appearance with a gallon of gas right after you’ve run out. A real gentleman will understand if you are cautious so don’t worry about rejecting unsolicited help.
6.i am stalked: Someone is manipulating. Some stalkers get legal about their interactions. They may involve you in a frivolous lawsuit in order to manipulate you. Why? Because in the process of defending yourself, you have to come in contact with and interact with the stalker. Other forms this takes is threatening suicide or violence against someone else.
7.i am stalked: Someone is messaging. The internet is yet another way the stalker is able to harass his/her victim. A stalker may email you constantly or follow you through chats. Online stalking can be very intimidating and dangerous. Call the police if you suspect cyber-bullying or stalking.
8.i am stalked: Someone is defaming. Some stalkers try to hurt or damage their victim by releasing or manufacturing information that ruins or defames their reputation. Their goal is to isolate you from those closest to you. The hope is that you will withdraw and retreat. Fight character attacks vigorously. This may mean owning up to any truth in the matter but don’t let shame back you into a compromising and dangerous corner with a stalker.
9.i am stalked: Someone is fighting. Stalkers like to threaten with violence. If you have had a recent violent incident and someone claims responsibility you need to report the threat or claim to the authorities right away.
10.i am stalked: Someone is causing alarm. Too often we discount our internal alarm systems that tell us something is not right. You may not be able to put your finger on one particular incident but can’t help but shake the feeling that something is wrong when you consider the whole picture. Whether it is repeated contact with a particular person or something else be vigilant. Stalking is very often subtle but that makes it no less pervasive.
Take back control of your life by being aware and proactive if you suspect someone is stalking you. People make movies about stalking, laugh about having stalkers, make stalking quotes all in jest everyday. Nevertheless, stalking is no laughing matter. Deal with your suspicions head on for your own peace of mind and safety.