The police are the best people to help keep victims of stalking safe. But there are steps that a victim may want to take on his or her own, here are 15 of them organized by types of actions:
Detailed records will help establish a pattern of behavior over time and will provide police and prosecutors with information they need to prosecute your stalker.
1) Keep a log of incidents including the date, time, what happened and the names of any witnesses. It might be helpful to write out that list on each page of a notebook so that in the moment you can rely on your list and not worry about remembering what you want to take note of. Even if you’re not sure you want to prosecute, having the information will be helpful if you change your mind.
2) Save any packages, letters, messages or gifts from the stalker. If the gift is something perishable like food or flowers, take a picture of it. If your camera records the date on the photo make sure your settings are correct.
3) Use an answering machine to screen your calls. Save any voice-mails from your stalker, or record them on a tape recorder and save the tapes.
4) If you have a restraining order, or order of protection, make several copies and carry one with you at all times.
Secure Your Information:
Stalkers often harass and intimidate their victims over the phone, through the mail, in person and through indirect means such as accessing victims’ bank accounts. There are some things that you can do to make this much harder for stalkers.
5) Change your passwords and pins to your computer, email, online banking accounts, debit cards, home security systems and other important accounts and locations. There are many articles on how to make secure passwords including this, this and this.
6) Get a post office box and use it on all correspondence you send. Put this address on your checks. If you’re being sent something from Federal Express or another company that won’t mail to P.O. Boxes, change “P.O. Box” to “Apartment” when giving your address.
7) If you’re eligible, join your state’s Address Confidentiality Program. Address Confidentiality Program’s provide a free confidential address that can be used in place of your home address. This link will take you to a list of programs by state, including contact information for each state’s program.
8) Monitor and remove your contact information from people search and data broker sites. You can find how-to guides for most sites here.
Let Other People Know:
The more people who are aware of what’s going on, the less likely it is your stalker will be able to catch you unaware.
9) Inform security at your place of employment that you are being stalked. Provide them with a photo of your stalker, his or her name and the contact information of the police department you are working with.
10) Inform friends, family, neighbors and other people you know that you are being stalked so that the stalker cannot get information about you from them.
Stop Harassing Phone Calls:
Telephones have been used to harass and stalk people for long enough that there are some very good tools available to stop or at least frustrate this kind of trouble
11) For help reporting telephone harassment and to get help documenting harassing phone calls call the Unlawful Call Center at 1800 518 5507
12) You can block calls from particular numbers by placing a request with your local telephone service provider.
Stay Aware of Your Physical Location:
Awareness of where you are, where you’re going and what you’re feeling will give you good information about possible threats and help you quickly get to a safe place.
13) Acquaint yourself with stores that are open 24 hours and other public, highly populated areas in your neighborhood where you can go.
14) If someone is following you, do not go home.
15) Above all, listen to your gut, if you feel you are in danger you most likely are.