What are Stalkers? Understanding Stalking and Why People Stalk
Many people find themselves the target of bullying and stalking, often through no fault or action of their own. Stalking can occur at any age and in any setting. Many young women find themselves the target of a stalker though they may not have ever spoken to or acknowledge the stalker in any way. Acts of stalking should always be taken seriously. A clear understanding of what are stalkers can help victims to protect themselves against intrusive acts.
What are Stalkers: The Definition of Stalking
Stalking is considered the unwanted and often obsessive attention given to a person without their consent. Generally, it is individuals who engage in stalking behavior, but it can also be done by a group of people with the expressed purpose of harassing a person to make him or her feel uncomfortable or threatened.
What are Stalkers: Examples of Stalking
Stalking can consist of a variety of different actions such as gathering information on a person, monitoring their movements, continuous calling on the telephone, emailing them continuously, monitoring them on Facebook or other social media and sending unwanted gifts to the person. The primary aspect of stalking is obsession. The stalker continues to focus on the person even though the person given no indication that the attention is wanted or welcomed.
What are Stalkers : What Makes People Stalk Others?
The stalker may feel they have a “special relationship” with the person being stalked, even though there is no objective evidence to support that belief. The stalker may believe the stalked person is secretly in love with them or that they have a special link with the person. Stalking is said to occur on a continuum, that is, the actions occur continuously in order to gain control over or to terrorize the victim.
What are Stalkers : When Stalking Becomes Dangerous
The constant unwanted attention may escalate to threats, harming of pets, damaging possessions or other antisocial behavior. In many cases, the stalker is a former intimate partner of the victim. Although the relationship has been terminated, the stalking behavior goes on as an attempt to exert power over the person.
What are Stalkers : Types of Stalkers
What are stalkers and why is their behavior so threatening? The University of Michigan states that a stalker may be a rejected suitor or lover that cannot let the relationship go. However, the stalker can also be someone you have never met who has inexplicably developed an obsession on you. Stalking may be a revenge response for some imagined slight. Stalking can have a sexual component in someone who cannot function in normal types of relationships. Stalking may also occur in personalities who seek intimacy but do not have the social skills to achieve closeness with others in normal relationships.
Common Examples of Stalking Behavior
The University of Southern California states that stalking falls into a number of common behaviors.
- The stalker often follows the victim, showing up at unexpected times and in unexpected locations
- The stalker may approach or confront his or her victim.
- The stalker may continually telephone, text or email the victim.
- The stalker may damage the victim’s property as a “message.”
- The stalker may assault the person’s pet.
- The stalker may spread false rumors about the victim.
- The stalker may file false police reports or other official reports to harass the victim.
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services notes that cyberstalking has become a common occurrence as people spent a great deal of their time interacting with others on the Internet. In these cases, the stalker may follow the person’s online postings obsessively, may intrude on communications between the victim and other people or may constantly leave inappropriate messages. The stalker may constantly track the person’s computer use, to whom they speak and what is said. The stalker may even pretend to be the person when online. In these cases, the victim should keep careful records of emails and other materials and contact the stalker’s Internet service provider to have the stalker’s account terminated.
What To Do If You Are Being Stalked
Too often, the person will make excuses for the stalker or think that it’s a result of residual feeling from the past relationship. In fact, stalking is serious mental condition that can lead to physical attacks and other hazardous effects. Research the laws on stalking that exist in your state. Tell a friend or family member about the stalking behavior so that you will have credible witnesses to events. Understand what are stalkers and how the behavior can impact your safety and your life.
- If you are being followed, call 9-11 or report the problem to your local police station.
- Be aware of people and activities going on around you.
- Try to avoid being alone on the street after dark or in remote areas.
- Warn friends and family about giving out personal information to other people, which the stalker may use against you.
- Keep a record of incidents and evidence so that you can file a legal case against the stalker.
- If necessary to protect yourself, get a restraining order to keep the stalker away from you and call the police if the stalker violates the order.