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Am I Being Stalked: Signs of Stalking Harassment

Updated on May 28, 2013
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How Does Stalking Begin?

Most people automatically assume that online stalking is from an “ex lover”, which this may be true in many cases, there are equally just as many situations that may be opposite.

Online stalking may occur from numerous situations, including the following:

A coworker

An ex-employee

Someone wanting a date / relationship

A “Friend”

A Boss

Or even a family member.

Stalking begins with some kind of emotion. The emotion may be love, anger, feeling hurt, depression, obsession or a desperate desire to have a relationship of some form.

THE LEGAL DEFINITION OF STALKING

Stalking is defined by law as "a course of conduct directed at a specific person that involves repeated (two or more occasions) visual or physical proximity, nonconsensual communication, or verbal, written, or implied threats, or a combination thereof, that would cause a reasonable person fear" - in simple terms: someone will not leave you alone and is making you afraid.

Stalking Versus Harassment

Harassment is repeated unwanted contact, so STALKING IS HARASSMENT, but that doesn't mean harassment is "stalking". Someone can harass you by being annoying / pestering, mean, obnoxious or by just being an outright "jerk", but if the harassment doesn't make you "afraid", then it is not considered "stalking". However, harassment can quickly turn to stalking when the actions become extreme.

Top Reasons For Stalking

Stalking can begin in a variety of ways; some can start out as absolute innocence with nothing more than “interest”, then turn into s severe case of danger. Stalking should never be taken lightly. Here is a brief rundown of the most common stalker situations:

A breakup

A spouse or partner that expects “cheating”

A new relationship partner that has been tarnished by past relationships and is prone to suspect all future partners to act the same

A co-worker who has been terminated or wishes to see you terminated

A crazed boss or landlord who feels the need to monitor your every move

A friendship gone south / bad

A family member or member(s) who seek something from you (this can typically involve money, assets or children)

A business partner or former business partner who wishes to take over

Someone from the internet who began enjoying “following” you online and quickly became obsessed

8 SIGNS YOU ARE BEING STALKED

There are numerous “red flags” you should watch for if you have the intuition that someone may be watching you / monitoring you:

1. Phone calls from strange numbers – this can often be contributed to Skype or Google Voice. Read my full article HERE. The intention of these calls may be simply to see if a person other than you answers the phone or even IF you will answer the phone

2. Odd Social Media / Networking Requests – Are people you never heard of popping up and wanting to befriend you on sites like Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Google+, etc? Read my article about Facebook Harassment.

3. Vehicles in front of your home or place of business for no apparent reason, especially at odd times. Thankfully my business has a security system which offers full surveillance of everything that occurs both inside and outside the workplace, however in many situations, you may not realize a weirdo sitting next to your vehicle for hours a day or recording you leaving work. In addition, with modern technology, it is easy for a stalker to monitor your home as well.

4. Harassing Comments, Emails, Text Messages or Otherwise – If you suddenly ,out of the blue, notice that someone you have never heard of is “harassing” or “provoking” you for no legitimate reason, its time for a Red flag to go up. Granted, if you opt to post things online that encourage debates or promote angry feedback, then you can’t be upset when you get such. Check out my article about online harassment and how to report it.

5. An Abundance of odd “Garbage Mail” - it has been proven that genuine stalkers like to keep in contact with their victims through any means of harassment necessary – this includes registering the victim for email lists, free mail catalogs, telemarketing “junk”, or even signing them up for things like Free Estimates for housing repairs. Even though the stalker doesn't get to see you getting the "junk mail" or the telemarketing calls, they know you will be getting them.

6. Strange emails being sent to your work email address. If you have an office job with an email address that is public and you begin getting a wealth of strange, out-of-the-norm questions, they most likely are not legitimate.

7. SMS / Text Message Spam – My friend has had a stalker for numerous years who apparently finds it humorous to use his cell phone number and sign him up for everything she can find online that asks for cellular numbers. His text “spam” began as only a few per month then turned into several per week. Thankfully, he has Unlimited Data, so although slightly annoying, this spam doesn't cost him anything.

8. Overall Noticeable Oddities - Did someone knock over your mailbox? Have you had you vehicle “keyed”? Have your tired been flattened? Do these "oddities" keep occurring – If you have no explanation for why such would ever happen to you, then you likely have a stalker at hand.


Why People "Enjoy" Stalking

Stalking is all psychological; people enjoy the satisfaction they get out of the reaction. TAKE YOUR TIME AND RE-READ THE LAST SENTENCE.

Think about it: If you buy someone a birthday gift and mail it to them and never hear back from them; are you satisfied? Maybe you are, but most likely you wonder if they received the gift and more importantly, did they like it?

As a stalker, the harassment is only enjoyable if a REACTION is received. The stalker wants to know that your flat tire “cost you all your rent money” (via your Twitter update) or that your “Boss is mad about the computer virus” (which you posted on Facebook). And if you take the time to photograph your broken out windows and post them on your fav site – even more gratification for your stalker!!!

Think of stalkers like serial killers; they secretly WANT the publicity but they really don’t want to go to jail. A stalker operates in the same way; the stalker WANTS YOU to know they are watching you, but they don’t want the law involved.

3 Stalking Statistics from National Institute of Justice

  • A 2001 study of 1,785 domestic violence crime reports found that those reports that also contained stalking allegations were significantly less likely to mention physical abuse or victim injury, to involve victims and suspects who were using alcohol at the time of the report, or to involve households with children. [1]These facts suggest that victims of domestic violence who also alleged stalking presented themselves as less distraught and the situation as less inflammatory, and that attending officers assumed the situations were less serious.
  • In the 285 reports that were determined to contain stalking allegations, only 2.9 percent mentioned the word "stalking" in the victim narrative that accompanied the report, and only one case resulted in formal stalking charges being filed by police.
  • Victims who reported being stalked were significantly more likely to have an active restraining order against the suspect and to request notification of further action in the case. They were significantly less likely to be emotionally distraught at the time of the report.

Read more facts and information about stalking at the National Institute of Justice website.

MACE / PEPPER SPRAY

It is absolutely legal to carry mace / pepper spray. I suggest keeping one easily accessible at every place you go. Do not rely on only one pepper spray!

Do not expect Pepper Spray / Mace to "save you"; but you CAN expect it to "stun" your stalker should something happen and you need to escape quickly.

Even if you are not being stalked, you should always carry mace. You never know when something may happen. I keep one in my purse, one in my truck, one at work, one at home and I also gift them to my female friends. (we all love the hot pink ones!)

Protect Yourself with a Hidden Camera

Hidden camera can be purchased for very little and can be placed just about anywhere. A hidden camera can catch your stalker in action - which is perfect for taking legal action against them!

Full Video Surveillance

A complete video system will run you $200 to $300 online. IT IS WORTH IT! With a good system you can play, pause, rewind, zoom-in, screen capture data, etc. I have needed to use mine so many times for a variety of reasons! My camera system has even helped my neighbors with their incidents!

Have You Ever Been Stalked?

See results

CBS Video on How to Deal With Stalkers

ONLINE STALKING IS STILL STALKING!

Just because the stalking isn't in-person, it is still ILLEGAL!
Just because the stalking isn't in-person, it is still ILLEGAL!

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