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Stalking is any behavior that may cause a person to fear for his/her safety due to a pattern of behavior that is unwanted and/or an emotional/mental disruption of his/her daily life.

Stalking may often seem subtle and harmless at first.

Stalking may include, but is not limited to

  • following another person;

  • meeting at classes, places of residence or work;

  • sending and receiving multiple unwanted email or text messages, phone calls or letters;

  • sending, receiving and/or posting sexually explicit messages or pictures to someone’s online profile, such as Facebook. 

  • Fast Stats

    7.5 million women and men are stalked each year in the United States.

    A stalker can be someone you know well or not at all. Most have dated or been involved with the people they stalk.

    Stalking is generally defined as a pattern of behavior directed at a specific person that would cause a reasonable person to feel fear and is a crime under the law in all 50 states, and U.S. territories.

    It is not a joke. It is not romantic. It is not okay. It is a crime.

  • What Stalkers Do
    • Repeatedly call you, including hang-ups.

    • Follow you and show up wherever you are.

    • Send unwanted gifts, letters, texts or emails.

    • Damage your home, car or other property.

    • Monitor your phone calls or computer use.

    • Use technology, like hidden cameras or GPS, to track where you go.

    • Drive by or hang out at your home, school or work.

    • Threaten to hurt you, your family, friends or pets.

    • Find out about you by using public records, online search services, hiring investigators, going through your garbage or contacting friends, family, neighbors or co-workers.

    • Other actions that control, track or frighten you.

  • How to Help Someone Who Is Being Stalked
    • Listen

    • Show support

    • Do not blame the victim for the crime

    • Remember that every situation is different, and allow the person being stalked to make choices about how to handle the situation

    • Find someone you can talk to about the situation

    • Take steps to ensure your own safety

    Being stalked? 8 ways to help a friend


  • If you are in immediate danger, call 911.

  • Trust your instincts. Don’t downplay the danger.

  • Take threats seriously. 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, refer you to other services and weigh options such as seeking a protection order.

  • Develop a safety plan, including things like changing your routine, arranging a place to stay, and having a friend or relative go places with you. Tell people how they can help you.

  • Do not communicate with the stalker or respond to attempts to contact you.

  • It is important to remember that you should keep evidence of the stalking regardless of whether or not the police were contacted.

  • Remember, to be granted a restraining order, you must be able to provide documentation that stalking is occurring.

  • Consider getting a court order that tells the stalker to stay away from you.

  • Tell family, friends, roommates and co-workers about the stalking. 

Stalking Resource Center. (n.d.). Retrieved from URL

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