Stalking is a pattern of repeated, unwanted behavior that would make someone afraid. Examples of stalking behaviors include:
- Harassment through the Internet (Facebook messages, e-mails, etc.) also known as cyberstalking
- Another person following and/or spying on another
- Repeated unwanted and intrusive communications from the perpetrator by phone, mail, e-mail, texts, or other means
- Making direct or indirect threats to harm an individual or people they care for
- Leaving gifts at someone’s home or on their car
It's often difficult to predict when and how a stalker will act or whether the unwanted intrusions into the survivor’s life will escalate into physical or sexual assaults. Some stalkers never move beyond threats and intimidation, while others do so with little warning. A safety plan is an important step in staying as safe as possible.
- Representatives at the Center Against Rape and Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Support Services can help with safety planning.
- Safety plans are intended to find ways to maximize your safety at every point in your day and include provisions for emergency situations.
- Safety planning involves thinking through short and long-term options, knowing how to access help, and having information about resources before you need it.
Keeping records of unwanted contacts can be helpful in reporting stalking. This can be done by preserving e-mails, voice mails, letters, Facebook messages, and other communications that are received. A log can also be helpful in which you document the date and time, location, type of contact, and names of other witnesses to the contact. This can provide a picture of the pattern of the stalking behavior.