Stalking: Things to Know
With January having been National Stalking Awareness Month it is key to not only recognize stalking behavior, but to be aware of how to deal with a stalker. Often times, individuals believe if they ignore the actions of the stalker, the stalker will lose interest and go away. However, Kris Mohandie, a Clinical Police & Forensic Psychologist, says this doesn’t work with stalkers who are already violating the boundaries of normal behavior and making their target feel unsafe. Mohandie advises you should NOT engage with a stalker directly.
Here are some steps to help increase your safety if you are being stalked:
- Contact Haven House at 1-800-440-4633 and speak to an advocate.
- Be alert and aware of your surroundings at all times.
- Avoid all contact with the stalker.
- Photograph and document all behaviors, messages, phone calls, and any other actions of the stalker and turn the information over to police.
- Increase security measures in your life (locks, alarms, security camera, etc.).
- Make others in your life aware of the stalker and the stalker’s behavior.
There are often four kinds of stalkers:
- Public Figure Stalker: Have not had any prior relationship with their victim.
- Private Stranger Stalker: Crosses paths with a victim in some way and then that person becomes a target.
- Acquaintance Stalker: Pursues acquaintances like co-workers, classmates, or someone else in their life. Acquaintance stalkers have about a 50%
risk of violence.
- Intimate Stalkers: This is the most common and most dangerous stalker. The risk of violence is about 74% and could include anything from pushing
and shoving to a more violent assault. Intimate stalkers would have been in some type of relationship with the victim at some point.
Psychologist Kris Mohandie notes that many domestic violence homicides have a stalking component.
If you believe you are being stalked, reach out to our advocates today. The advocates at Haven House will work with you to create and implement a safety plan. It’s free and confidential. Call 1-800-440-4633 to speak to an advocate today.
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