« Back to articles

If You Are Being Stalked

If you are being stalked, you might:

Feel fear of what the stalker will do.

Feel vulnerable, unsafe and not know who to trust.

Feel anxious, irritable, impatient or on edge.

Feel depressed, hopeless, overwhelmed, tearful, or angry.

Feel stressed, including having trouble concentrating, sleeping, or remembering things.

Have eating problems, such as appetite loss, forgetting to eat, or overeating.

Have flashbacks, disturbing thoughts, feelings, or memories.

Feel confused, frustrated, or isolated because other people don’t understand why you are afraid.

These are common reactions to being stalked.

Are You Being Stalked?

Stalking is a series of actions that make you feel afraid or in danger. Stalking is serious, often violent, and can escalate over time.

Stalking is a crime.

A stalker can be someone you know well or not at all. Most have dated or been involved with the people they stalk. Most stalking cases involve men stalking women, but men do stalk men, women do stalk women, and women do stalk men.

Some Things Stalkers Do:

  • Repeatedly call you, including hang-ups.
  • Follow you and show up wherever you are.
  • Send unwanted gifts, letters, texts or emails.
  • Damage your home, car or other property.
  • Monitor your phone calls or computer use.
  • Use technology, like hidden cameras or GPS, to track where you go.
  • Drive by or hang out at your home, school or work.
  • Threaten to hurt you, your family, friends or pets.
  • Find out about you by using public records or online search services, hiring investigators, going through your garbage, or contacting friends, family, neighbors, or co-workers.
  • Other actions that control, track, or frighten you.

You are not to blame for a stalker’s behavior.

Things You Can Do:

  • If you are in immediate danger, call 911.
  • Take threats seriously. Danger generally is higher when the stalker talks about suicide or murder, or when a victim tries to leave or end a relationship.
  • Contact a crisis hotline, victim services agency, or a domestic violence or rape crisis program.
  • Develop a safety plan, including things like changing your routine, arranging a place to stay. Decide what you want to do if the stalker shows up, tell people how they can help you.
  • Don’t communicate with the stalker.
  • Keep evidence of the stalking. Keep emails, phone records, letters or notes. Make sure to take photos of anything that was destroyed or any injuries caused.
  • Contact the police.
  • Consider getting a restraining order.
  • Tell family, friends, roommates, and co-workers about the stalking. Seek their support.

 

For more information on stalking please visit: The National Center for Victims of Crime