Unfortunately, 7.5 million people are stalked in the United States each year. Stalking is a terrifying experience that can cause fear, anxiety, and depression for victims and stalking can come from anywhere; by someone you dated or from a person you don’t know.
**Do Not Blame Yourself**
If you've been stalked and feel any speck of guilt, repeat after me, "It’s not my fault. I didn't do anything to cause this and my feelings are legitimate."
If you think you are being stalked, there are steps you can take to keep yourself safe and even more aggressive tactics to try to halt the stalker from communicating with you.
The National Center for Victims of Crime says to "never communicate with your stalker or respond to communication attempts.”
Stalkers often will call repeatedly, send notes or gifts, and even try to drive by places that you live and work. It is important to not engage with them, even though they may be trying to contact you nonstop.
Another action you can take, if you know the name of your stalker, is to immediately block them on social media sites like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.
Ideally, if you can set your profiles to private or friends only, you cut off access to someone being able to spy on your life with a second profile. Kent Moyer, founder of World Protection Group, commented after Kim Kardashian was robbed in Paris, that "letting people know your movements" can be dangerous.
If you think you have a stalker, don’t use Facebook Live in an area that is easy to identify or geo-tag your location on Instagram until you leave. Breaking routine where you can will make it harder for your stalker to know where you are going to be.
**Create A Log Of The Stalkers Activity**
Your stalker may still be able to find ways to contact you, like creating more social media profiles or finding an updated email. It is important to create a log of any activity your stalker takes. Here is a sample log created by the Stalking Resource Center that prompts you to write down the incident, where and when it happened, and any witness that can corroborate. This log may be used if your situation escalates to a legal case, so keep in mind anything that goes in this log could end up being used as evidence.
This is also not a time to feel shy about telling others about your situation!
**Steps To Say Safe**
- Make sure your family, friends, co-workers, and anyone you live with knows about the situation.
- Let them know who the person is and what they look like. *It also helps if these people are able to be around you so you don’t feel unsafe alone. *If you have a huge parking lot at work, see if co-workers would walk with you to and from your car. Having others keep an eye out for your safety will help mentally put you at ease and dissuade the stalker from approaching you.
- If you are in immediate danger, call 911! (Even if you aren’t, tell the police](http://www.womenslaw.org/simple.php?sitemap_id=178) about your situation and make sure you know who is on your case.
- Keep a copy of all text messages, voicemails, notes, or anything else you can give to police for evidence.
- If the person has threatened you or physically assaulted you, you would have grounds to proceed with a case against them. You can file a restraining order too!
- Investing in a home security system, like a Nest Security Camera, may allow you to feel safer but will also record activity like stealing mail or breaking in that would also make it easier to legally take action against your stalker.
- Lastly, every state has different laws regarding stalking that you can look into.