Stalking is a much larger problem than most people realize. Estimates vary widely on how many people are victims of stalkers, but if it has happened to you or someone you know, you know that numbers do not matter. Being stalked is frightening, whether it is "cyber stalking" or "real life" stalking.
This page came about when the owners of a popular Internet site went public with their story of being cyber stalked. They received many messages of encouragement and a surprising number of letters saying, "It happened to me too." Some of these people were not sure whether they were being stalked and did not know what their options were legally. Others just wanted to share their stories. Many requested more information.
I have gathered some of that information for this site. Knowledge is power and the more you know about stalking, the better your chances are of ending it. I hope that you find this information helpful. I do not present this site as an alternative to legal advice, however, and the suggestions are merely that - suggestions. All cases are unique and common sense should be used always. If you feel you are in danger, seek help immediately!
What Stalking Is ....And Is Not
Stalking is a legal term that each state defines differently. What these legal terms generally boil down to is that stalking is a deliberate course of action that causes another person to be afraid.
These actions can include (but are not limited to) following, verbal threats, repeated phone calls, hang up calls, spying, harassment, bothering the friends, family, and/or co-workers of the victim, letters and notes, e-mail, hiding outside your house, etc.
Stalking is not a violent crime. It may escalate to assault, rape, or murder, but these are separate crimes with separate charges. Stalking is not breaking and entering, battery, assault, pedophilia, child pornography, or any other crime.
Despite what you may have been led to believe in the recent fad to eliminate spam, spam has absolutely nothing to do with stalking. Spammers are trying to sell you something. They don't know who you are; all they know or care about is your e-mail address. Spamming is annoying, but spammers are not stalkers.
To be perfectly clear - stalkers may or may not commit other crimes. Some stalkers never do more than something like repeat hang up phone calls to see if their object of attention is home or not. Others will kill. The difference between stalking and other crimes is that stalking is what the stalker does to make you afraid that he will commit the other crimes.
No matter how well you think you know your stalker (if you are acquainted at all), you should always treat your case as if your stalker is one of the ones who will escalate to murder. Although this may or may not be true, it will make you cautious. The more cautious you are, the more likely you are to protect yourself.
"Stalkers" defines the different types of stalkers and the way they tend to operate. This page explains the stalkers' different thought processes, different methods of stalking, and different reasons for stalking.
On the "What To Do" page, I present suggestions on how to remain safe, and how to try to stop the stalking. Safety is the greatest concern of the stalking victim.
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