I looked at the newest numbers from the National Center for Victims of Crimes and the stalking numbers are way out of hand. According to their report 1 in 12 women and 1 in 45 men will be stalked in their lifetime. Over 75% of the women and 64% of the men know their stalkers.
Now if those numbers weren’t bad enough; 81% of the women stalked by a current or past over are also physically assaulted by them during the stalking which lasts on average almost 2 years!
These numbers are alarming. Especially when you think about 1 out of 5 women were threatened or harmed by a weapon during the stalking. Odds are not in the favor of the victim even if they get a restraining order since these are OFTEN violated by the stalker.
Now don’t misunderstand, I am not saying don’t get a restraining order, you really need to be sure and get this on record. Just don’t think that just cause you filed and received a restraining order, that you are now safe from this person. That piece of paper alone just won’t do.
So here are some tips:
1. Learn what the stalking laws are for your area – go to your local police station and know the laws for your State. It also is a good time to get any literature or suggestions from the police about staying safe from a stalker that they may have.
2. File a restraining order – it alone works 20% of the time on average and it is good to get things on record.
3. Like mentioned above records, keep them- get a book and write down every time he/she harasses you. This includes emails, keep them. Maybe even get a phone recorder like this one digital audio phone or room recorder. Every time he/she calls, record it and if it is threatening turn it over to police.
4. Alert your friends and even the neighbors you are friendly with so they can help keep an eye out. (You should feel no embarrassment your not the idiot doing the stalking, you’re the victim).
5. Consider taking a martial arts course or maybe kick boxing – I say this for a few reasons. You need to try and not show fear to your stalker, it only feeds them. One of the easiest ways to be confident is to KNOW you are able to protect yourself should your stalker decide to get physical. Don’t look for trouble from them just don’t show fear even if you have to fake it.
6. Also consider getting yourself some self defense weapons that you keep with you and scattered around your house in case you need them in an emergency (exercise good judgment with this if children are present).
7. Setting up surveillance cameras around your house or the addition of an alarm can also help secure your home from your stalker. Getting them caught red handed in the act or on surveillance video can be a powerful tool for the police to pursue this person with more zeal.
This is a big subject and these are just a few of the things you should do. More than anything keep and use your head!