A list of various resources for law enforcement, including shelters and mobile response teams.
- What is Stalking?
- Information for First Responders
- Rape & Sexual Assault Victims
- Working with Children
What is Stalking?
Stalking is a series of repeated, unwanted actions that are intended to make you feel threatened or harassed, making you feel afraid or in danger. Such behaviors can include making harassing phone calls, appearing at your work or home, leaving threatening messages or objects, including vandalizing your property. Stalking is a serious and often violent crime and can escalate over time. Stalkers can be strangers and can be someone you know.
- 1.4 million people are stalked every year in the United States.
- 1,006,970 women and 370,990 men are stalked annually in the U.S.
- 1 in 12 women and 1 in 45 men will be stalked in their lifetime.
- 77% of female victims and 64% of male victims know their stalker.
- 87% of stalkers are men.
- 59% of female victims and 30% of male victims are stalked by an intimate partner.
- 81% of women stalked by a current or former intimate partner are also physically assaulted by that partner.
- 31% of women stalked by a current or former intimate partner are also sexually assaulted by that partner.
- 73% of intimate partner stalkers verbally threatened victims with physical violence, and almost 46% of victims experienced one or more violent incidents by the stalker.
- The average duration of stalking is 1.8 years.
- If stalking involves intimate partners, the average duration of stalking increases to 2.2 years.
- 28% of female victims and 10% of male victims obtained a protective order. 69% of female victims and 81% of male victims had the protection order violated.
[Tjaden & Thoennes. (1998). “Stalking in America,” NIJ]
Impact of Stalking on Victims
- 56% of women stalked took some type of self-protective measure, often as drastic as relocating (11%).
[Tjaden & Thoennes. (1998). “Stalking in America,” NIJ]
- 26% of stalking victims lost time from work as a result of their victimization, and 7% never returned to work. [Tjaden & Thoennes.]
- 30% of female victims and 20% of male victims sought psychological counseling. [Tjaden & Thoennes.]
- The prevalence of anxiety, insomnia, social dysfunction, and severe depression is much higher among stalking victims than the general population, especially if the stalking involves being followed or having one’s property destroyed.
[Blauuw et. Al. (2002). “The Toll of Stalking,” Journal of Interpersonal Violence]
Recon Study of Stalkers
- 2/3 of stalkers pursue their victims at least once per week, many daily, using more than one method.
- 78% of stalkers use more than one means of approach.
- Weapons are used to harm or threaten victims in 1 out of 5 cases.
- Almost 1/3 of stalkers have stalked before.
- Intimate partner stalkers frequently approach their targets, and their behaviors escalate quickly. [Mohandie et al. “The RECON Typology of Stalking: Reliability and Validity Based upon a Large Sample of North American Stalkers.”
[In Press, Journal of Forensic Sciences 2006).]
How do you know if someone is stalking you?
- Is someone following you wherever you go?
- Is someone calling you to the point that you feel harassed? Is someone calling you several times and then hanging up?
- Is someone damaging your belongings or property?
- Are you receiving gifts, letters, emails, etc., that you don’t want?
- Do you feel someone is keeping track of your phone calls and computer use?
- Is someone using cameras and GPS technology to keep track of you?
- Do you notice anyone standing, walking, and/or driving by your home and job, or anywhere that you frequent?
- Have you been threatened? How about any of your family members? Your friends? Your pets?
- Has anyone gathered information about you via internet research or private investigators? Does it seem like anyone’s gone through your garbage? Has anyone approached your family, friends, or co-workers and asked about you?
- Are there other ways that someone has caused you fear or threatened your safety?
- Are you anxious, overwhelmed, and confused?
- Do you have eating problems and flashbacks?
REMEMBER – “You are not to blame for a stalker’s behavior.”
What can you do if someone is stalking you
- Dial 911.
- Contact a victims of crime organization or crisis hot-line.
- Cut ties with your stalker. You can talk with an advocate
- Ask a professional, family member, and/or friend to help you create a safety plan.
- Document your experience as accurately as possible.
- File a restraining order on the stalker. http://www.deafdawn.org/
Planning for Safety
- Use a P.O. Box for all your mail.
- Inform everyone who bills you (i.e. credit card, phone, electric, etc. companies) of your address change.
- Do not include your name on the tenants’ list posted at the entrance of your apartment building.
- Do not include your home address on business cards, stationary, and checks.
- Use credit bureaus to monitor and prevent any tampering of your accounts.
Take personal and family precautions
- Do not list your phone number and address in any directories. Be very selective with those you give your phone number and address to.
- Do not share your address while speaking on the phone.
- If your stalker gets your phone number, than get an additional phone number and make sure the first one is connected to a voice mail which can be used to document all the stalker’s calls.
- Do not call 800, 888, 877, and 900 phone numbers because they use services that record telephone numbers.
- Protect the physical phone wiring (that enters your home) from any tampering.
- Ask family, friends, co-workers, etc., for support and give them information about the stalker so they know how to identify him/her.
- Use an air horn if necessary.
- Change up your routines and schedules week to week.
- Plan for worse case scenarios by knowing where safe and major public spaces (i.e. police station, malls, etc.) are and go there in case of an emergency.
- Use parking lots that are safe and secure. Do not use valet parking.
- Before entering your car, make sure no one is in it.
- Use a gas cap that can be locked and unlocked from inside the car.
- If you want to help someone on the road who has car problems, call someone else to help them (not you).
- When at work, ensure all packages and guests go through reception area; your parking space (if you have one) does not have your name on it; and all calls are screened (if necessary).
- Be aware of your surroundings and check to see if anyone is following you.
If you have children, consider taking the following step
- Teach them not to talk to strangers.
- Make sure you or someone you trust takes your children to where they need to be.
- Inform school authorities of any restraining orders.
- Keep a track of all adults who interact with your children.
- Make the following improvements to your home and install: wide-angle peephole door viewers on major doors; ample lighting outside and around the house (ex. porch light); dead bolt locks; locks on gate fences and the fuse box; an alarm system connected to a security company or the police; fire extinguishers and smoke detectors; timers for lights and the TV (to use when you are away for the evening); and ladders or ropes (for two-story homes).
- Lock house doors, garage doors, and windows.
- Trim trees and bushes thin and short enough so that no one can hide behind them. Clear the path so that you and your children can see.
- Get a dog if possible.
- Keep emergency phone numbers handy.
- Create an evacuation plan and make sure everyone in the house knows what to do in an emergency.
Where to get help
Organizations & Agencies
National Center for Victims of Crime
Phone: 1-800-FYI-CALL (Victim assistance) 8:30 AM – 8:30 PM EST
The National Organization for Victim Assistance (NOVA)
Phone: 800/879-6682 or 202/232-6682
The National Domestic Violence Hotline
Alameda County Stalking Unit
Alameda County District Attorney’s Office
Family Violence Law Center
Surviving a Stalker: Everything You Need to Know to Keep Yourself Safe
by Linden Gross
The Gift of Fear : Survival Signals That Protect Us from Violence
by Gavin de Becker
Stopping a Stalker : A Cop’s Guide to Making the System Work for You
by R. L. Snow (Editor)
Stalking : A Handbook for Victims
by Emily Spence-Diel
The Psychology of Stalking : Clinical and Forensic Perspectives
by J. Reid Meloy (Editor)
The Stalking of Kristin : A Father Investigates the Murder of His Daughter
by George Lardner Jr.
I Know You Really Love Me : A Psychiatrist’s Journal of Erotomania, Stalking, and Obsessive Love
by Doreen R. Orion M.D.