Being stalked is a more common occurrence than many people think. The most important thing is to reach out and tell someone what you believe is happening. While it is almost always creepy and annoying, being stalked could be a precursor to more violent or serious crimes. While it may start relatively harmlessly – you see the same person in the same place every day, multiple times per day – it could potentially progress.
Who the stalker is will determine the initial steps you take to deal with the issue. If the stalker is someone you know, begin by immediately cutting off all communication. Don’t respond to emails or phone calls. This is because if you do end up having to take police action, you don’t want your stalker to introduce doubt into an investigation. Tell a mutual friend of your concerns about this person.
If the stalker is an acquaintance but not someone who has your phone number or other contact information, tell someone who is a mutual acquaintance of your concerns. Make sure you trust this person, because if it does come to a police investigation, you will want them to provide details to investigators to support your claim.
If the stalker is someone you don’t know, consider contacting the police. If you don’t feel comfortable about this, at least tell a close friend or family member.
While you shouldn’t respond to any correspondence, you should keep a record of all correspondence you receive. This includes answering machine messages, letters, emails and text messages. You should download phone recording software if you have a mobile phone or install a device to record your own phone calls. You should also keep a log of what happens. It is easier to remember the details if you write them down as soon as an incident occurs. Note down your stalker’s license plate number, physical description and any identifying marks such as tattoos.
Contacting the Police
Finally, if the stalker starts threatening you or your loved ones, you should immediately and without hesitation contact the police. The best way to get a result is to have detailed information including the threatening correspondence and logs of the incidents. During the police investigation, it may be advised to take extraordinary measures to get away from your stalker. These include blocking your address at your local voter registration office and DMV, getting an unlisted phone number, having your mail delivered to a private P.O. box, and shredding all your mail.