Stalking is a serious issue. According to the National Center for Victims of Crime, victims of stalking may experience emotions such as fear, vulnerability, anxiety, depression, and stress. In addition, the NCVC notes that many victims of stalking feel confused, frustrated or isolated because others cannot understand why they are afraid. Learning to recognize behaviors that stalkers typically engage in can compel stalking victims to seek help and also help victims’ loved ones recognize that there is a problem.
· Repeatedly call you, including hang-ups.
· Follow you and show up wherever you are.
· Send unwanted gifts, letters, texts, or emails.
· Damage your possessions, including your home and/or car, as well as other property.
· Monitor your phone calls or computer use.
· Use technology, like hidden cameras or global positioning systems (GPS), to track where you go.
· Drive by or hang out at your home, school, or work.
· Make threats, including implying that they will hurt victims, their families, their friends, and/or their pets.
· Access victims’ personal information via public records or online search engines. Stalkers also may hire investigators or go through their victims’ garbage. Stalkers may even contact victims’ friends, family members, neighbors, or coworkers.
The NCVC notes that, despite stalkers exhibiting certain behaviors, such as those noted above, no two stalking situations are alike. In fact, the unpredictability of stalking is part of what makes stalking situations so dangerous. Learn more about stalking at www.victimsofcrime.org.