Information About Stalkers and Stalking



stalker protection

WHAT IS STALKING?

Stalking is behavior wherein an individual willfully and repeatedly engages in a knowing course of harassing conduct directed at another person, which reasonably and seriously alarms, torments, or terrorizes that person. Stalking involves one person's obsessive behavior toward another person causing the recipient to fear for his or her safety.

WHO ARE STALKERS?

Stalking is gender neutral - both men and women can be perpetrators and victims. Statistically, however, 75-80% of the cases involve men stalking women. Most are young to middle-aged and have above-average intelligence. They come from all walks of life and every economic background. There is no single psychological profile for stalkers. Anyone can be a stalker, just as anyone can be a victim.

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WHY DO THEY STALK?

Stalkers usually fall into one of three groups: intimate partner stalkers, delusional stalkers and vengeful stalkers.

Initially, stalking will usually take the form of annoying, threatening, or obscene telephone calls, emails or letters. The calls may start with one or two a day but can quickly increase in frequency. Stalkers may conduct covert surveillance of the victim, following every move his/her target makes. Even the victim's home may be staked out. Anti-stalking laws may prevent some people from stalking, but this has not yet been proven. Many will stop after they have been arrested, prosecuted, and/or convicted. Unfortunately, laws do not stop most stalkers. Studies of stalkers indicate that they stop when their target is no longer available to them, or they find someone else to harass.

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are typically known as "the person who just can't let go" of another person. Victims often describe them as "possessive" or "obsessive"

DELUSIONAL STALKERS

have little, if any, contact with their victims. They have a false belief that connects them to their victims. This type of stalker believes he/she is having a relationship with the victim, even though they may never have met.

VENGEFUL STALKERS

become angry with their victims over some insult, real or imagined. They stalk to "get even."

YOUR SAFETY IS OUR ONLY CONCERN

stalker investigations

The first thing you should do if you are being stalked and you feel your life is in danger, is to call 9-1-1

  • Make sure you are safe.

    Some stalking victims don't like to be called victims. Some say, "I won't let myself be victimized," or "I'm not going to change my life because I'm being stalked." When a person is stalked, their life has changed - forever. Not accepting that may actually be helping the stalker. Many people are reluctant to call the police due to feelings of guilt or fear of looking foolish. Don't be one of them. Stalkers don't stop stalking because someone is nice. The police would rather take the time to investigate a possible stalker than a murder.

  • Get the police involved if you feel threatened or unsafe.

    Some stalking victims don't like to be called victims. Some say, "I won't let myself be victimized," or "I'm not going to change my life because I'm being stalked." When a person is stalked, their life has changed - forever. Not accepting that may actually be helping the stalker. Many people are reluctant to call the police due to feelings of guilt or fear of looking foolish. Don't be one of them. Stalkers don't stop stalking because someone is nice. The police would rather take the time to investigate a possible stalker than a murder.

WHAT TO DO IN THE MEANTIME

  • If the stalker is calling you, you have a choice: Don't change your number — let an answering machine pick up messages using someone else's voice. Keep the stalker's messages as evidence.
  • Don't accept packages at home or work unless you personally ordered them.
  • Consider telling your employer about the situation. You can have co-workers screen all calls and visitors.
  • Do not go out alone or to your car when leaving work or a market or mall. Always ask a store employee to walk you to your car or a co-worker to escort you from work

KNOWLEDGE IS POWER

The more you understand your situation, the better you'll be able to handle it. Learn everything you can about stalking and stalkers. You may never understand your stalker but you'll know what to expect.

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IMPORTANT RESOURCES

Virginia Tech Sexual Violence Education & Resources

Stalking Victims

Worldwide Intelligence Network Protects You Against Stalkers.

More Information About Stalking

Stalker Protection & Investigations
Resources on Stalking
Stalking: Real or Imagined
Read a stalker case study.

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