In part one, we addressed some general safety concerns and behaviors. Part two will address what happens when your safety concerns are more focused on somebody’s behavior toward you having become too inappropriate.
Sometimes someone you know, used to know, or don’t know at all can make you uncomfortable. If things get serious and you think you are being stalked but are not sure, or you just want to confirm your suspicions, here are some warning signs and behaviors from Lt. Correau at the Schertz Police Department that can help you identify when behaviors are serious enough to warrant police attention:
• You feel like, or are sure, you are being followed.
• You receive harassing phone calls, emails, or texts.
• You receive unwanted flowers or gifts.
• Your property gets vandalized.
• Your pets are harassed or harmed.
• You receive physical or verbal threats.
• The person shows up at your workplace.
• You receive notes or items on your car windshield or doorstep.
• You hear about or see rumors that are said or written about you.
Stalking is not just a one-time event. It is a series of events that come together, creating a dangerous, and sometimes deadly, situation. It may seem silly to complain that somebody is leaving you flowers anonymously, but it can be creepy, especially if it happens repeatedly or is combined with phone calls or texts, even after you have asked them to stop contacting you.
If this is happening to you, be sure to log everything in a journal including dates, times, and locations. For each event, call the police department and make an information report. Keep a list of the case numbers. Remember, stalkers increase their activities before a big event. So, if an ex-boyfriend starts calling you three times a day instead of twice a week, be very wary. Or if that new guy at the restaurant who sat in your section for lunch every couple of weeks now comes to eat every day and insists on sitting in your section, be aware.
Laws regarding online harassment, known more commonly as cyberstalking, have grown in number since September 2011. With the reach of technology these days as broad as it is, stalking has reached a whole new level.
It’s not just that these events are “irritating” or “bothersome”, but if you are constantly on edge, constantly looking over your shoulder because you are afraid somebody is going to follow through on a threat they made regarding your or your child’s safety, that takes an emotional toll on you and your family. You can get help. Reach out and get it and be safe.
Did this article help your awareness of stalking or cyberstalking? Would you like more in depth articles on both? Please comment below.