What Can I Do if I Am Being Stalked?
Only you know your own situation and you are the best person to make judgments about what you should do. If you are being stalked, however, you do have a number of options to protect yourself and to recover.
- Discussing stalking with a professional can help you to assess the danger of the situation, become aware of your options, and help you to cope with the stress involved. Our Violence Prevention and Response Manager is available who can help you and provide guidance as you make decisions.
- It is also important that you take steps to protect your safety. Some options are:
- Calling the police – stalking is illegal and you have a right to protection under the law. The police can also help you to obtain an emergency order of protection, which will guarantee their response if the stalker violates the order by initiating contact with you. It is important to note, however, that in certain cases restraining type orders can escalate the stalking situation.
- Taking steps to make your environment safer, such as locking doors, installing an alarm system, getting a dog, and getting caller ID or an unlisted number.
- Telling others about the situation so that they can help you (e.g., roommates, friends, family, partner, your employer). It can be useful to provide them with a picture of the person and a copy of a restraining order, if you have one.
- Communicate clearly and directly to the stalker that you do not want him/her to contact you again in any way, including phone calls, emails, gifts, showing up at your work or home, contacting your family, friends, or co-workers, or in any other manner.
- It can also be useful to document stalking behaviors, especially if you intend to press charges against the stalker. Even if you are not currently planning on it, you may change your mind, in which case it will be helpful to have the documentation.
- Save voicemails, gifts, letters, texts and emails.
- Keep a log of drive-bys, contacts by phone or in-person and other suspicious circumstances.
- Document the date, time and details of an incident, as well as any witnesses and how the incident made you feel (e.g., threatened, scared, unsafe, etc.). If you are safely able to take photographs of the incidents, do so (e.g. if the stalker is sitting outside your work/residence in a vehicle).
Stalking is often very frightening and can contribute to feelings of being out of control, so it is important that you receive support as you deal with both current or past stalking. Support groups are often helpful, as is talking to a counselor. It is also important that you let the people around you know that you are being stalked, both so that they can provide you emotional support and so that they can call the police if the stalker comes near them or tries to reach you.