As many as 1 in 4 women and 1 in 13 men have experienced stalking victimization at some point during their lifetime. Often times the stalker is someone the victim knows. Stalking is a crime under the laws of all 50 states, the District of Columbia, the U.S. territories and the federal government.
Stalking is intentional and repeated harassment, watching, following and/or threatening of another person.
Signs of stalking behavior may include:
- Making unwanted calls, sending text messages, letters or emails
- Monitoring the victim, which may include technology surveillance
- Leaving unwanted items for the victim (presents, cards, photos or flowers)
- Making false claims of romantic involvement
- Participating in other crimes, such as: identity theft, stealing money, threats, physical assault, injuries and threats with weapons
Over 85% of stalking victims are stalked by someone they know, and women are stalked at a rate 2x higher than men.
If you or someone you know is being stalked, we encourage you to:
- Call the police or local law enforcement
- Create a safety plan, which includes setting aside: cash, important documents (birth certificates, social security cards, etc.), a set of keys and a change of clothes, all of which can be easily accessed in a crisis situation
- Stop all contact with the perpetrator
- Collect and preserve any evidence for investigators and prosecutors
- Keep a journal of any contacts made by the perpetrator and document dates, times and details