Supportive friends and family can make all the difference to a victim of stalking. Here are 5 things that friends and family of victims of stalking can do to help keep their loved one safe:
1) Notify as many people as possible about your loved one’s stalker (neighbors, co-workers, other friends) so that they can help keep an eye out for the stalker. A photo of the stalker, with his or her name and the phone number of the police department your loved one is working with can be helpful, just don’t flyer the neighborhood. Stalkers often target the friends and family of their victims, which makes this kind of knowledge helpful for keeping everyone safe.
2) Be careful when talking to or about your loved one on the phone or the Internet. Land lines can be bugged and wireless phones and cell phones can have their transmissions intercepted. Be careful not to talk about specific locations where your loved one is,works, or is planning to go. The same holds true for social networks, so don’t post anything that can lead to your loved one’s location.
3) If you are spending time with your loved one in person, ensure that he or she doesn’t travel anywhere by themselves, especially at night. Walk him or her to their car, to the local grocery store, etc. Do not hesitate to be persistent about being there with them. Help them stay alert to their surroundings, make note of people and cars nearby.
4) Help your loved one upgrade their security. If they don’t already have a home security system you can help them research the right one for their home or if you’re particularly handy you can help them install security cameras, deadbolts and good window locks.
5) Take your loved one’s concerns seriously. This sounds simple, but many people are stalked for years and being vigilant and supportive can be difficult but it can also keep you and your loved one safe.