Stalking is a series of actions that make someone feel afraid or in danger.
Stalking is defined as engaging in a course of conduct directed at a specific person that would cause a reasonable person to:
- fear for his or her safety or that of others; or
- suffer substantial emotional distress
What are the signs of stalking? Some things stalkers do:
- Follow you and show up wherever you are
- Damage your home, car, or other property
- Send unwanted gifts, letters, cards, emails, or texts
- Monitor your phone calls or computer use
- Threaten to hurt you, your family, friends, or pets
- Take other actions that might control, track, or frighten someone
Things You Can Do:
Stalking is unpredictable and dangerous. No two stalking situations are alike. There are no guarantees that what works for one person will work for another, yet you can take steps to increase your safety.
- If you are in immediate danger, call 911. (Look below to contact UCPD or Berkeley Police Department)
- Trust your instincts. Don't downplay the danger. If you feel you are unsafe, you probably are.
- Take threats seriously. Danger generally is higher when the stalker talks about suicide or murder, or when a victim tries to leave or end the relationship.
- Contact the police (contact UCPD and Berkeley Police Department below). Every state has stalking laws. The stalker may also have broken other laws by doing things like assaulting you or stealing or destroying your property.
- Contact a crisis hotline, victim services agency, or a domestic violence or rape crisis program. They can help you devise a safety plan, give you information about local laws, weigh options such as seeking a protection order, and refer you to other services.
- Develop a safety plan, including things like changing your routine, arranging a place to stay, and having someone go places with you. Also, decide in advance what to do if the stalker shows up at your home, work, school, or somewhere else.
- Don't communicate with the stalker or respond to attempts to contact you.
- Keep evidence of the stalking. When the stalker follows you or contacts you, write down the time, date, and place. Keep emails, phone messages, letters, or notes. Photograph anything of yours the stalker damages and any injuries the stalker causes. Ask witnesses to write down what they saw.
- Tell family, friends, roommates, and co-workers about the stalking and seek their support.
- Tell security staff, risk manager or supervisor at your job. Ask them to help watch out for your safety.
Other Stalking Safety Tips:
- If possible, have a phone nearby at all times, preferably one to which the stalker has never had access.
- Treat all threats, direct and indirect, as legitimate and inform law enforcement immediately.
- Vary routines, including changing routes to work, school, the grocery store, and other places regularly frequented.
- When out of the house or workplace, try not to travel alone and try to stay in public areas.
- Consider getting a court order that tells the stalker to stay away from you.
- Download app: StopaStalker $2.99; Track incidents, receive guidance.
* Info taken from the Stalking Resource Center