By Shihan Craig F Hodgkins
There has been an every increase in stalking through out. I am involved in a very dangerous stalking situation as I
write this article. My wife has a stalker and now we are taking all the precautions that must be done to keep her safe.
Our situation involves a incident while my wife worked as a cocktail waitress 16 years ago and this stalker just showed up again 16 years later. We have had to work directly with multiple law enforcement agencies in multiple states, private investigators, attorneys and security companies.
Becuase of our unique situation we have taken the time to do the research on how to deal with a stalker.
While legal definitions of stalking vary from one jurisdiction to another, a good working definition of stalking is “a course of conduct directed at a specific person that would cause a reasonable person to feel fear”.
So how common is stalking?
- 1,006,970 women and 370,990 men are stalked annually in the United States.
- 1 in 12 women and 1 in 45 men will be stalked in their lifetime.
- 77% of female and 64% of male victims know their stalkers.
- 87% of stalkers are men.
- 59% of female victims and 30% of male victims are stalked by an intimate partner.
- 81% of women stalked by a current or former intimate partner are also physically assaulted by that partner.
- The average duration of stalking is 1.8 years.
- Stalker stats:
- 61% of stalkers made unwanted phone calls.
- 33% sent or left unwanted letters or items.
- 29% vandalized property.
- 9% killed or threatened to kill a family pet.
- 28% of female victims and 10% of male victims obtained a protective order.
- 69% of female victims and 81% of male victims had the protection order violated.
Stalking is a crime under the laws of all 50 states, the District of Columbia and the Federal Government.
- 13 states classify stalking as a felony upon the fist offense.
- 35 states classify stalking as a felony upon the second offense and / or when the crime involves aggravating factors.
- Aggravating factors may include: possession of a deadly weapon; violation of a court order or condition of probation / parole; victim under 16 or same victim as prior occasions.
- 13% of college women were stalked during a single six to nine month period.
- 80% of campus stalking victims know their stalkers.
- 3 in 10 college women reported emotional or psychological injury as a result of stalking episodes.
- Fifteen percent of the time, the stalker threatened or attempted to harm the victim and 10 percent of the time, the stalker forced or attempted sexual contact.
- Three of the correlating factors that increase the risk of a female being stalked on a college campus are spending time in bars; living alone; and being in the early phase of a dating relationship, as opposed to being married or living with an intimate partner.
Homicide and Stalking
- 76% of female murder victims had been stalked. 67% had been physically abused by their intimate partner.
- 89% of female murder victims who had been physically abused had also been stalked in the 12 months before the murder.
- only 54% of these victims reported stalking to police before they were killed by their stalkers.
Stalking and Self Defense:
Stalking is a very serious situation and needs to be treated as such. I highly recommend you read through our Rape awareness and Self Defense Section of our site to further add to your protection. One critical point is you HAVE TO BE AWARE OF YOUR SURROUNDINGS!
If you are being stocked than here are the steps I recommend.
- Contact your local law enforcement agency and give them all the facts surrounding the situation. As them to make a report on the situation give them all the information.
- Background on the stalking
- The Stalkers Name
- The Stalkers Vehicle he drives
- His license plate number
- His address
- Ask the police to call them: A lot of law enforcement officers do not mind calling the stalker and giving them a warning to let them know they are watching them and they better not have any contact with you. Even though they may not be able to arrest them the officer can give the stalker a strong warning. This lets the stalker know you are serious about taking action against them.
- File for a Protection Order / Restraining Order in the court system. Most states only allow this if you have had prior relationship with the stalker (lover, spouse), they do not allow you to do that if you have not had a relationship with the stalker, however double check with your court system because more states are allowing individuals to file a protection order no mater what the prior relationship was.
- Seek a private investigator: If you can afford a private investigator have them spend some time following the individual and getting information on them. This is normally in a case where you have a stalker you don’t know or is only an acquaintance through a work situation or something like that.
- If you can install a good home security system with a panic alarm. Guardian, ADT or one of the other companies
can help you with that. This way you add the extra protection.
- Consider getting a hand gun and carry permit. I is highly recommended that you take a local law enforcement safety classes and also take proper lessons on how to shoot.
- Having a good dog at home is a great help and can ensure your safety as well.
- Always have your doors and windows locked when your not physically outside working.
How to Deal with The Stalker
When reading any through the internet on how to deal with your stalker everyone has the same advise is Have absolutely NO Contact with the stalker! Don’t try to call them and ask them not to bother you, don’t try to reason with them. You should always assume that they are not rational so it doesn’t mater what you say because nothing will stop them from stalking you.
Having no contact should include not letting them hear your voice for example; have you’re a friend record your voice mail
on your home phone and cell phone, or use the electronic type answering machine with a pre-made message. Utilize your
caller ID to screen your calls before you answer. If you can buy an answering machine that utilizes tapes so you can
save them or one that can tie into your computer so that you can save it on your computer or to disk.
- DO NOT Contact Them!
- DO NOT Confront Them!
- DO NOT Harass them Back!
- DO NOT Talk to them at all!
- DO NOT Provoke them! Remember in the future if it becomes a legal situation it can come back to haunt you as
making you partially at fault.
- DO – Keep a Diary / Log of every time they try to contact you or you see them! This should include; date, time, what happened and also what you did and how you felt! (I got scared and drove to my friends house, I hid in the bathroom, etc) Here is a log example:
- Jun 10th 2007 – 8:00 pm – Just was getting home and saw “stalker” sitting outside me house in their car.
My heart started pounding and I got scarred. I immediately avoided the area and headed to my Mom’s house! I was so scared I couldn’t go back to my house that night and had to stay with my Mom. My Dad went back with me the next day to make sure my house was safe and they were not in the area. = (NOTE: this allows you to recall everything if you end up in court exactly as it happens but also shows the fear and intimidation this stalker is causing) It also allows more people take notice and understand the credibility of what you are saying.
- DO – Save a copy of All Voice Mails they leave on your phone.
- DO – Save a copy of all emails they may send you.
- DO – Save a copy of all Mail they send.
- DO – Take pictures of them if you see them outside your home or work.
- DO – Tell your neighbors and friends that this is going on so they are also aware.