***Stalking is a complicated subject, and the content below is only a summary of some key information. For a more thorough treatment, please be sure to see the resources listed at the bottom of this page or talk to a MayDay advocate.
What is stalking?
According to the U.S. Department of Justice, stalking is defined as "a pattern of repeated and unwanted attention, harassment, contact, or any other course of conduct directed at a specific person that would cause a reasonable person to feel fear."
*Stalking behavior can include
Repeated, unwanted, intrusive, and frightening communications, by phone, mail, and/or email
Following or laying in wait for a victim at places victims tend to frequently visit, including home, school, or work
Making direct or indirect threats to harm the victim or the victim's children and family, friends, pets, and even co-workers
Damaging or threatening to damage a victim's property
Harassing a victim through the Internet, including email, social networking sites, and other sites
Facts about stalking
An estimated 7.5 million people are stalked each year in the United States.
Stalking is associated with violent crimes; 76% of women killed by their intimate partners were stalked by them.
Stalking can occur in a relationship, after a relationship, or in the absence of a relationship.
*What to do if you are being stalked
Keep a log of stalking incidents.
Keep personal contact information private (phone numbers, email, address, etc.).
Get a post office box rather than having mail deleivered to your home.
Get a stalking restraining order.
Screen telephone calls.
Inform friends, family, and neighbors, that you are being stalked. Show them a picture of the stalker if you have one.
Call 911 if you are in immediate danger.
MayDay can help victims with a variety of responses to stalking, such as documentation, safety planning and requesting a restraining order.
*Information obtained from Safe Horizon website