Definitions to Know
Stalking is repetitive harassment, often including the following of another person with the intention of causing anxiety or fear
Cyberstalking is the use of the Internet or other electronic media to harass an individual with the intention of causing anxiety or fear.
Behaviors of Stalking
- Following someone
- Written or verbal threats
- Vandalizing personal property
- Sending threatening or harassing letters
- Monitoring your phone calls or computer use
The Survivor is Never to Blame for a Stalker’s Behavior.
- Repeated and unwanted
- Phone calls
- Text messages
- Instant Messages
- Facebook and Myspace messages
- 6.6 million people are stalked in one year in the United States.
- 1 in 6 women have experienced stalking victimization at some point during her lifetime.
- 1 in 19 men have experienced stalking victimization at some point during his lifetime.
- 3 in 4 stalking victims are stalked by someone they know.
- Almost 1/3 of stalkers have stalked before.
- 1 in 7 stalking victims move as a result of their victimization.
- Persons aged 18-24 years experience the highest rate of stalking
- 1 in 4 victims report being stalked through the use of some form of technology.
- Women are stalked at a rate three times higher than men.
**Statistics from the Stalking Resource Center
Common Reactions for Survivors of Stalking
- Fearful of what the stalker will do
- Feeling vulnerable and unsafe
- Not knowing who to trust
- Anxiety, impatience, irritability, feeling “on edge”
- Depression, hopelessness, anger, sadness, feeling overwhelmed
- Difficulty concentrating, sleeping, or remembering things
- Eating problems, such as appetite loss, forgetting to eat, or overeating
- Having flashbacks, disturbing thoughts, feelings, or memories
- Confusion, frustration, or isolation because others do not understand why you are afraid
Technology and Stalking
Depending on cell phone provider, some do not save content of text messages past a couple of days. They will show the number of the texter, but not the content of the message.
If a stalker may be monitoring your computer, it is important to use a safer computer. For example, a safer computer may be found in the library, community center, or a local advocacy center such as OUSAP.
Clearing or deleting a browser history does not guarantee that the trail is completely erased. It is not possible to clear ALL web browsing history on the computer.
Suggestions for Survivors of Stalking
- If you are in immediate danger, call 911.
- Trust your instincts. Do not downplay the danger. If you feel you are unsafe, it is possible and likely that you are.
- Take threats seriously.
- Contact a crisis line, such as OUSAP.
- Inform stalker that behavior is unwanted if one feels safe doing so.
- Develop a safety plan.
- Keep evidence of the stalking.
- Log all incidents and report to the police.
- Alert your roommate, RA, neighbors, etc.
- Carry a cell phone to call for help.
- Change email address, phone number, etc.
- Do not interact with the person stalking you.
- Consider obtaining a court order against the stalker.
Technology Safety Tips
- Trust your instincts. If you suspect that an abusive person is harassing, stalking, or monitoring you using technology or another form, it is possible and likely.
- Increase privacy settings on social networking sites.
- Use a safer computer/device.
- Change passwords and usernames.
- Get a new cell phone.
- Have your car checked.
This website has information about cyberstalking, federal stalking law, resources, and tips for survivors.