How to Get Rid of a Stalker
If you've had someone repeatedly follow you, send offensive texts or e-mails, or leave abusive phone or online messages, then you may be the focus of stalking behavior. A stalker is an individual who repeatedly refuses requests to stop contacting you. Stalkers engage in unwanted, unwarranted, intrusive, and threatening behavior and the only way to end it is to immediately break contact.
Call authorities immediately if you feel like you are in danger.If you've been threatened or feel threatened, do not wait to act. Furthermore, if you've noticed any unquestionably illegal behavior such as stealing your things, assault, or trespassing on personal property, make an immediate note and call authorities. Depending on your age and situation, contact:
- School or workplace security
- Teachers or administrators
- Counselors or therapist
Notify friends, family, and coworkers about the situation and request their support.Stalkers thrive on secrecy and privacy. Notify your family, friends, neighbors and employers to not to give out your personal information, regardless of the innocuousness of the request or the identity of the questioner. Notify everyone to be cautious of any individual loitering around your neighborhood or place or employment.
- Give security and friends the description and, if possible, license plate numbers for the stalker's vehicle.
Avoid traveling alone whenever possible.Having another person with you will greatly deter most stalkers from approaching. Walk out to your car with a coworker, join a jogging group instead of going alone, and ask someone to come along for errands. There is safety in numbers.
Keep a record of any and all incidents.This may include letters, phone messages, emails, lurking, or any contact the stalker has attempted to make. Record the date when each contact occurred and keep this record in a safe place. If possible, make copies and give them to a trusted relative or friend, or place them in a safety deposit box. This can be used as evidence if you need to consult the police.
- Save every bit of evidence, as well as a copy. Keep them in separate locations.
- Save all digital communications, such as emails and phone calls, as well.
- Write everything down. If you can take pictures, do so. You can never have enough evidence, no matter how small or trivial it seems.
Take measures to protect your children from strangers.If you have children, make sure that they are always accompanied to and from school and activities. Notify your children's school(s) not to give out any of your information, and provide them a list of individuals who are allowed to pick up your children. Ask staff to request that anyone on that list provide photo ID to validate their identity. If you cannot pick up your children, contact the school to let them know exactly who will be picking them up.
- Give your children a "secret word." If the person who comes for the children does not know the secret word when asked (by the children), then your children do not go with him/her and instead call for help immediately.
Secure and protect your pet(s).Some stalkers, if they are unable to gain access to you, will target your animals. Do not leave pets outside unattended (even in a fenced in yard), and do not have pet doors. Have contact information for animal boarding homes and no-kill shelters in the case of an emergency where you are unable to take proper care of your pet(s).
Improve your home security systems.Install more secure door locks, a stronger door, and a peephole. Make your windows and doors more burglar proof with shatter-proof windows or a bars. Install security lights and a security system. Put your indoor lights on a timer system so someone always appears home A dog (or even a 'beware of dog sign') is a deterrent to home invasions.
- Ask police to do regular check ups of your property if you see the stalker outside or frequently driving by.
- If you live in an apartment or condominium, ask management about its security policies and make sure that there is not a listing of tenants easily accessible to the public.
Consider carrying a personal defense system like a taser or pepper spray.Carry it in a proper manner and familiarize yourself with how it is used. Only consider carrying a firearm if you have proper training in their use and are in compliance with your state's firearm laws. Keep in mind that any weapon that you carry could be used against you during an attack. This is a subject that you should discuss with law enforcement and an abuse/stalking counselor.
- Personal defense classes are a good way to protect yourself without having to carry a weapon or defense system.
Prepare an emergency plan that you can easily utilize in case of a break-in or an attack.You must have a plan in place that allows you to protect yourself as much as possible. Have a safe place where all family members can arrange to meet in event of an emergency (the location only being known to a very trusted relative or friend). At this safe location, have needed supplies in a 'flight kit' (money, clothing, medication etc.), as well as emergency numbers for police, legal assistance, and abuse/stalking assistance.
- Be ready to leave at a drop of a hat if needed. Instead of always worrying, have a plan in place so that you can flee without having to think or pack.
Discuss a temporary restraining order (TRO) or protective order (OOP) with police and abuse/stalking counselors.Keep in mind that a TRO or an Order or Protection is to initiate and assist the legal process -- it can not physically protect you from a stalker who is inclined towards violence. You must be responsible for your safety even with a TRO or OP in place. Always carry on your person two copies of the TRO or OOP that was issued, so that you can easily provide one to police and the stalker can not falsely claim to police that he/she wasn't aware of the TRO or OOP. An abuse/stalking counselor or victim's advocate may better assist you in determining what the best options for your situation are.
- When discussing your options, bring any evidence and logs of harassment that you have.
Talking to a Stalker
Avoid talking to your stalker unless absolutely necessary.You should never try to "fix" the situation or the stalker. You should avoid contact as much as possible. That said, especially in the case of former partners or friends, some contact is inevitable. The following steps will help you if youabsolutely mustsee/talk to someone, but the interaction should be kept brief and to the point.
- Never try to reform a stalker or assume that you can work through it. Your only option is to totally break contact.
State your desire to avoid them clearly and without qualification.Simply state that you are no longer interested in pursuing a friendship with them. Keep it quick and simple, then hang up or leave. Never add terms, like "we could hang out if..." or suggestions that "time will fix things." Do not leave a door open for future harassment.
- "I do not want to see you again, ever. Is that clear?"
- "You and I are no longer together. You need to leave now."
- "This relationship is over."
Warn the offender clearly of consequences.Tell the stalker in as few words as possible that they are not to contact you. "Do not contact me again." Do not engage in a lengthy dialogue or set of apologies. Let them know that you will call the police if they try. Your goal is to inform the stalker that their actions are harassment and warn them never to make contact with you from that point on. Record how and when you gave the warning along with any future incidents.
- Do not listen to "their side of the story," no matter how much they beg. They are far beyond that point.
Ignore all further interactions.Your stalker may try to deliberately rile you by making provocative comments. Any response, even a negative one, only feeds into the stalker's belief that he/she is getting to you. Be strong and keep walking, and refuse to listen to any voicemail messages. It doesn't matter how low they stoop -- just move on.
- Don't try and fix things, retaliate, or get a point in. You want no contact at all -- nothing positive, negative, or neutral. The only thing you should say is, "please leave before I call the police."
Avoid contact with family, friends, and associates of the stalker.Unfortunately, these individuals may willingly or unknowingly provide information about you to the stalker, such as new addresses or contact information. Do not allow people to act as "go-betweens" in an attempt to make contact with you. The stalker must be completely cut out of your life.
Permanently Breaking Contact
Immediately ban or block their number and any social media profiles.Find them on Facebook, Twitter, and any other online forums and ban or block them from contact. Set all social media profiles to "Friends Only" instead of "Public" view. In your phone's "contacts" section, find their number and select "block caller." You do not want them to get any personal information from you at all, and ending all calls is much easier than trying to ignore them.
- If they know any of your passwords, especially your email, change all of them immediately.
- While it is a pain, permanently changing your email and phone number is the best way to ensure they cannot contact you at all.
Open a PO safety deposit box to protect vital documents and mail.Use this to keep copies of all documents pertaining to the stalking behavior. Also include important personal and financial papers, passport, social security and insurance information, and other vital information that you can access in the event of an emergency.
- At the very least, put a lock on your mailbox. Do not let them get into personal information that may be delivered to you.
Remove your details (name, phone number and address) from phone directories.Contact your phone company and ask for them to make your number and details private. You can also search yourself on the internet to see if there is anything you have missed. Refrain from mentioning your itinerary on social media. Finally, use creative usernames for Skype, IM and other accounts where people can search for you.
- Do not use your real name online unless absolutely necessary. Something like SportsLover86 is far safer than anything that hints at your true identity.
Get out of town temporarily.If you feel that your home is being watched, stay somewhere else, such as your parents' home or the homes of relatives or friends. If you are living away from family and have not yet made solid friendships in your new town, seek advice from a campus counselor or from the local police for alternatives or to request check-ups on your property.
- If you must move permanently, leave early and rent a moving service to get your things discretely. Do not wait around the house with your things.
Do not open envelopes whose return address you do not recognize.Do not open unexpected packages. Never open anonymous mail. The same goes for emails and attachments.
Do not give out personal information to strangers.Keep everything close the chest, from living situations to your email address and phone numbers. While difficult, you must become more guarded and cautious to avoid leaking information to your stalker.
Stay away from your common spots.This is no fun, but it is necessary. Ditch your longstanding running route, pick a new park or restaurant to frequent, and avoid the spots you're generally known to visit. Eventually, you may be able to return here, but for now they are common spots where a stalker might wait for you.
.Following these steps will prevent the stalker from spying on you and figuring out where you are and what you're doing. Be sure to set all of your social networking website information to "private" and make all attempts to block the stalker from accessing your information.
QuestionWhat can I do if I have moved out of town but my stalker has found me again?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerContact the police and explain your situation first - it is important to let them know. Try to disguise yourself or make yourself less conspicuous, as it might confuse your stalker.Thanks!
QuestionHow can I tell for certain whether or not I'm being stalked before filing a complaint?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerYou don't have to be 100% certain before filing a complaint. If you are really worried, you have reason enough to ask for protection. If all else fails, you can ask the authorities what steps they recommend you take.Thanks!
QuestionIf a stalker is not trying to hurt me but become my boyfriend, how do I get rid of him?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerHe is a stalker, hence is a control freak and potentially dangerous. Do not get close to this person. Follow the article suggestions, it's what they're here for.Thanks!
QuestionHow do I prove that the person stalking me has a few others helping him?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerIt depends on your case. If they are coming to you, as in your house, then you need to either take videos or have a security camera set up. If it is on the internet, take snapshots or screen shot the messages (if you are on a computer, try using snipping tool). Get proof that they are also stalking you.Thanks!
QuestionHow should I handle a stalker at school?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerTell the principal, counselor at school and social worker. Also tell your teachers and parents. This isn't something to wait around for.Thanks!
QuestionWhat should I do if I am a child and am being stalked?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerIf you are a child, immediately go to a safe place (safe house, an open store, an office, the police station, whatever is near and has plenty of people there) and tell someone you trust that you are concerned that you are being stalked. That could be a parent, someone in authority, a teacher, etc.Thanks!
QuestionHow do I handle a stalker on my roof keeping constant surveillance?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerInstalling a home security system can provide you with a clear view of the stalker's whereabouts. By installing home security, not only are you viewing him, but you're also recording him, which provides conclusive evidence in court to prove your statement.Thanks!
QuestionWhat if a friend warns me that someone set up cameras to film me?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerTake it seriously, and keep an eye out for anyone following you, as well as anyone who might be checking the cameras. You should also keep an eye out for the cameras, but don't let yourself be seen noticing them; don't make it look like you're looking for the cameras. If you do find a camera or see someone stalking/following you, call the police.Thanks!
QuestionWhat should my family and I do if a child molester is stalking us and the police aren't doing anything while we are waiting for court?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerTalk to your lawyer and get a protection order. Take all reasonable methods to protect your family. Phone the police daily to find out what steps they are taking to keep the stalker at bay under the protection order.Thanks!
QuestionIs it legal to pepper spray someone if they have damaged my property and have threatened to have others attack me?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerIt is better to contact the police instead of taking matters into your own hands. If you must pepper spray someone, it should be legal if you do so in self-defense or on your own property. Make sure to only pepper spray the person if they are a threat.Thanks!
To get rid of a stalker, contact the police immediately if you think you are in danger, and discuss the possibility of getting a restraining order. Avoid interaction with the stalker if at all possible and tell them clearly that you do not want to see or talk to them again. If they attempt to contact you after that, ignore them and block their phone number, e-mail, and social media accounts. You can also protect your personal information by having mail sent to a secure P.O. box and not giving out your information to strangers.
- Don't be afraid to solicit assistance from police - stalking is a crime. Research stalking laws in your state and be informed of your rights.
- Don't be shamed into accepting stalking behavior as normal, a result of your own supposed paranoia or claims that "it's just the internet". Stalking and harassment is not a normal, healthy response to social or romantic rejection.
- Discuss your situation with a counselor experienced in stalking and/or domestic violence (the latter most especially if your stalker is an ex-partner). Explore your options and decide what is the best course for your situation.
- Take care of both your emotional and physical well-being. Eat nutritiously, exercise, get proper sleep, try to direct your energy towards hobbies that decrease your stress.
- Remember that the stalker alone is responsible for his/her own actions -- not you.
- If you feel unsafe, do not confront the stalker.
- When in doubt, call the police. Let them decide whether you're in danger or not instead of waiting for something dangerous to happen.
Sources and Citations
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Video: How To Deal With Stalkers
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