Jan 022009
 

If you’re being stalked – even if you think you’re being stalked – here are 19 tips on how to protect yourself from a stalker. Learning what stalking is and how to survive stalking behavior is how you’ll keep yourself safe!

How to Stop a Stalker

How to Stop a Stalker

First, get as much information as you can about dealing with a stalker! Read How to Stop a Stalker by detective Mike Proctor. One out of every 12 women and one out of every 45 men in the United States are stalked in their lifetimes. If you are a victim of a stalker, this book is an essential survival guide for anyone who becomes the target of one of these predators. Mike describes how to identify a stalker, how and why they stalk, what to do if you are being stalked, how to collect evidence, and how to get the criminal justice system on your side.

“Your angry ex-husband or ex-wife may cope with the pain and humiliation of separation by spreading lies, distortions, and half-truths about you and by proffering self-justifying interpretations of the events leading to the break-up,” says Sam Vaknin, author of Malignant Self Love – Narcissism Revisited.

Here are his suggestions for stopping stalkers and dealing with stalking behavior.

What Do Stalkers Do?

Stalkers may target your family, your children, boss, colleagues, co-workers, neighbors, and friends. Stalkers hope to isolate you socially and force you to come running back. A person who is obsessed with stalking you wants to communicate that he or she still “loves” you, is still interested in you and your affairs and that, no matter what, you are inseparable.

Stalking includes watching you, being near you, or hanging around your work, school, or home. Stalking involves a persistent course of conduct or actions by a person — obsessive behavior — for the purpose of getting power and control over you. When you’re being stalked, you feel scared, out of control, or harassed. Stalking can involve threats or innuendo; the stalker generally tries to intimidate or induce fear in you.

If you’re being stalked, you may receive unwanted:

  • phone calls
  • text messages
  • messages left on social networking sites (My Space, Face book)
  • notes left on their car
  • flowers left at their home
  • an awareness that they are being followed
  • being continually stared at by another person.

The person being stalked often develops a sense of loss of control over their lives and is forced to change their routine and behaviors.

If you’re being stalked by an ex-boyfriend or ex-girlfriend, read How to Break Free From a Controlling Relationship.

20 Ways to Protect Yourself From a Stalker

  1. Do NOT contravene the decisions of the system when you’re coping with stalkers. Work from the inside to change judgments, evaluations, or rulings – but NEVER rebel against them or ignore them. You will only turn the system against you and your interests.
  2. Do not respond to your abusive ex-husband or ex-wife’s pleading, romantic, nostalgic, flattering, or threatening e-mail messages.
  3. Return all gifts he or she sends you when you’re coping with a stalker.
  4. Refuse your abusive ex-husband or ex-wife entry to your premises. Do not even respond to the intercom.
  5. Do not talk to the stalker on the phone. Hang up the minute you hear his or her voice while making clear to him, in a single, polite but firm, sentence, that you are determined not to talk to him.
  6. Do not answer your abusive ex-husband or ex-wife’s letters.
  7. Do not visit the stalker on special occasions, or in emergencies.
  8. Do not respond to questions, requests, or pleas from the stalker, forwarded to you through third parties.
  9. Disconnect from third parties whom you know are spying on you at his or her behest.
  10. Do not discuss your abusive ex-husband, ex-wife, or stalker with your children.
  11. Do not gossip about the stalker.
  12. Do not ask your abusive ex-husband or ex-wife for anything, even if you are in dire need.

More Ways to Cope With and Stop Stalking Behavior

Don’t try to appease the stalker

deal with stalking

“Dealing With a Stalker” image by tpsdave via Pixabay, CC License

The other behavioral extreme is equally futile and counterproductive. Do not try to buy peace by appeasing the stalker. Submissiveness and attempts to reason with him or her only whet the stalker’s appetite. The stalker regards both as contemptible weaknesses, vulnerabilities to exploit. You cannot communicate with a stalker or paranoid because he or she is likely to distort everything you say to support his or her persecutory delusions, sense of entitlement, and grandiose fantasies. You cannot appeal to a stalker’s emotions – he or she has none (at least not positive ones).

Don’t discuss your personal affairs with the stalker

When you are forced to meet the stalker, do not discuss your personal affairs – or his.

Don’t meet the stalker alone

Relegate any inevitable contact with the stalker – when and where possible – to professionals: your lawyer, or your accountant. To stop stalkers, protect yourself with mediators.

Keep your distance from the stalker

If at all possible, put as much physical distance as you can between yourself and the stalker. Change address, phone number, email accounts, cell phone number, enlist the kids in a new school, find a new job, get a new credit card, open a new bank account. Do not inform the stalker your whereabouts and your new life. Stopping stalking behavior is about making painful sacrifices, such as minimize contact with your family and friends.

Be prepared to protect yourself from the stalker

Alert your local law enforcement officers, check out your neighbourhood domestic violence shelter, consider owning a gun for self-defence (or, at the very least, a stun gun or mustard spray). Carry these with you at all times. To protect yourself from the stalker, keep protection close by and accessible even when you are asleep or in the bathroom.

Protect your computer from electronic stalking

Is your computer being tampered with? Is someone downloading your e-mail? Has anyone been to your house while you were away? Any signs of breaking and entering, missing things, atypical disorder (or too much order)? Is your post being delivered erratically, some of the envelopes opened and then sealed? Mysterious phone calls abruptly disconnected when you pick up? Your stalker may have dropped by and may be monitoring you.

Notice any unusual pattern, any strange event, any weird occurrence

Someone is driving by your house morning and evening? A new “gardener” or maintenance man came by in your absence? Someone is making enquiries about you and your family? To stop a stalker, recognize when it’s time to move on.

Alert your family to what stalkers do

Teach your children to avoid the stalker, and to report to you immediately any contact. Stalkers often strike where it hurts most – at one’s kids. Explain the danger without being unduly alarming. Make a distinction between adults they can trust – and your abusive ex-husband or ex-wife or stalker, whom they should avoid. To stop stalking behavior, involve your family.

Ignore your gut reactions and impulses

Sometimes the stress of being stalked is so onerous and so infuriating that you feel like striking back at the stalker. Don’t do it. Don’t play their game, because they are better at it and will likely to defeat you. Instead, unleash the full force of the law whenever you get the chance to do so: restraining orders, spells in jail, and frequent visits from the police tend to check the stalker’s violent and intrusive conduct.

If you’re in an abusive relationship – or you’re trying to leave an abusive man – read How Do You Leave an Abusive Relationship?

I welcome your thoughts and stories about protecting yourself from a stalker – please share any insights you have, to help other readers protect themselves!





This article was reprinted with permission from “Malignant Self Love – Narcissism Revisited”, by Sam Vaknin.

laurie pawlik kienlenI'm Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen - bookworm, travel bug, flute player, writer, blogger, warrior princess. :-) My husband and I live in Vancouver, Canada with our cat and dogs.

Are you happy? My Grade 10 Social Studies teacher always asked me that. And I am happy, despite a hard childhood (schizophrenic mom, no dad, foster homes), infertility, an eating disorder, and a chronic illness. The source of my peace and joy is God; I'm a Christian. Where do you find peace?

I welcome your big and little comments below, about big or little things. I can't give you advice, but writing can give you clarity and insight.

In peace and passion...Laurie

  37 Responses to “How to Protect Yourself From a Stalker”

  1. Dear Jennifer,

    It is scary, when someone is looking you up online! Especially when he was verbally abusive, and when you don’t know what his intentions are.

    I think it’s important to learn the difference between a real threat versus an annoying person. What makes you think your ex-stepfather might hurt you? Is he “stalking” you, or just interested in what you and your mom are doing now?

    You can’t change his behavior, or stop him from stalking you — especially if he hasn’t threatened you or done anything to warrant calling the police. But, you can protect yourself as much as possible. For instance, don’t post your whereabouts online, when you’re going out with friends. Don’t give him clues about your life or activities if you think he might show up and cause problems. It’s not fair that you have to protect yourself this way, but it’s the best way to guard yourself. And, always be aware of your surroundings — especially if you think he wants to harm you.

    It doesn’t sound like he’s really stalking you…it sounds like he just wants to stay in touch with your mom. Why does this make you so uncomfortable? Do you think he might hurt her or you?

    Blessings,
    Laurie

  2. When my mother and I moved to the U.S from Russia my mom married a man which he became my step-father. He never loved his 3 kids before me from his previous marriages. He never has abused me, but abused my mom with verbal abuse.(Never hit or slapped) They did get a divorce and now my mother is remarried and we are living much happier lives. One thing bothers me though…he texts my mom a couple of times a year. They are not threatening or anything, just telling how life is from where we lived. Also, he has found me on a social media site and my mother to. I feel like he is stalking us and everything. Why is he searching us online?!?!?! It is really scary to think about. What can I do? I want to put him into jail for being such a stalker and a restraining won’t work on him. HIs brother is a police investigator and he gets away with it all. My mom isn’t scared, but I am. What can I do about it? We don’t have money to go to court. So, what will make me feel safer again? I hope you can help.

  3. Dear Ms. Kennedy,

    Is it possible for you to leave the city you’re living in? That might be the best way to stop your ex-husband from stalking you and your family, to just walk away and start over new. And if he follows you there, the police force you contact will not be part of the same brotherhood, perhaps.

    What do you think – how difficult would it be to leave and start over?

  4. My ex-husband is a police officer who has been stalking me for 5 years. I have gone to the police and there is brotherhood involved. He has been harassing my boyfriends, girlfriends, everybody. I have emails sent from my email account to friends that were sent by him. He calls my phone, my boyfriends phone from made up phone numbers and harasses them. This man is remarried and should leave me alone but it is not happening. This man even bought a house 2 blocks from where I live. He is a compulsive liar and told his new wife he was married once when in fact this is his 4th or 5th marriage. He thinks because he is a cop he is above the law. His ex-wife ended up moving across the United States because this fool was harassing her too. I hope and pray his mail order wife takes him to the cleaners as this man is so evil. I am scared and to be honest, worry he may kill me one day and I will have to move.

  5. Hi Nancy,

    That is freaky, that someone from so long ago would suddenly reappear in your life! It must feel unsettling and scary.

    I think contacting a victim’s center is a really good idea — you should do it right away! And, call the police. I don’t know if you had a restraining order against your stalker 12 years ago, but it’s probably worthwhile to check in with them.

    It might also be a good idea to invite a friend or family member to stay with you for a few days, or for you to stay with someone at their place. And, think about getting a dog. When my purse was stolen, the police told me that a dog is the best home alarm system you could get.

    I’m sorry I can’t be more helpful. Anika is right, though – it’s good that you know your stalker is back in your life. Better to be aware than ignorant.

    Let us know what the victim’s support center advises.

    Blessings and safety,
    Laurie

  6. in a sense you are “lucky” she has called you directly as that could later be used as evidence should it get that far- i have/had a sick obsessive stalker who used other people to harass-(he was my ex boss!!) -why they were so easy to manipulate to do his bidding i will never know-my guess is that he massaged their ego in some way….., it made me feel even more vulnerable as i felt very isolated with this tactic –anyway change your number and record everything as its easy to remember how you feel but not the facts! inform those that are closest to you and when/if you have enough evidence take it to law enforcement-in the mean time try and pack your days with meaningful things to distract you entirely….

  7. Forgive me; I am not commenting on the previous question but rather seeking help. Please assist me! I was a victim advocate for 22 years. One of my clients became safe and well… She became a volunteer and a part time employee with my agency. She subsequently cyberstalked me, made contact with my elderly parents, impersonated me online and made vague threats to break into my home. My employer (at the time) fired her and made clear she should have no contact with me. I have not heard from her since then. I no longer work there. That was 12 years ago; last night I received 3 calls from her. Although I did not know her identity I told her in no uncertain terms; ” I don’t know who you are or who you are attempting to reach; you must have a wrong number. I consider your calls to be harrassment; do not contact me again”. I called my cell phone carrier and blocked that number from callimg me for 90 days. Today I did an internet search on the phone number and discovered she was my stalker from 12 years ago. I am so freaked out that someone from so long ago would contact me. I changed my email password and intend to contact a victim’s center to create a safety plan. I also recontacted my phone carrier who warned me of “snooping”. I am a hetrosexual female. My stalker is female. We never had a relationship other than professional. I feel so upset and vulnerable. Please advise… Thank you in advance for any asistance.

  8. Dear soulblazer,

    It sounds like you have a lot going on in your life! This guy is bordering on stalking you, you are struggling with your mom, and you feel frustrated.

    I wish I had the answers for you, but I do not. I think the best advice I can give you is to talk to a counselor, and figure out your best strategy. Do you want to live on your own, so you do not have to fight with your mom about who you see? Do you want to learn how to have a good relationship with her, and stay living with her?

    Those are questions a counselor can help you sort out. It is too complicated to tackle alone, even with online help!

    What do you think – can you call a counselor?

    Blessings,
    Laurie

  9. I was at the college library waiting for a friend (I was there to teach him English), I left for a sec to the bathroom and accidentally ran into a disabled guy (we moves around using crutches). I felt bad for him, we went back to the library, talked for a while, I taught he was a really nice guy and gave him my number (to be JUST friends), talked a little more and I showed him some drawings and he liked them. Later, I said: “It’s late, I think my friend is not gonna come, I’m going home”. He grabbed my hand and kiss me (my first kiss was by force -__-), I got mad then he grabbed my hand so tight, and started to slightly touch my back and hair. I tried to leave, but he didn’t let my hand go, and I couldn’t slap him because there were people who would watch me hitting a disabled person and I could get expelled (he even treatened me about that). Every time I stood up from the chair, he did the same! Lucky for me, my friend arrived and the guy had to leave.

    If I knew his true colors, I would not give him my phone number…
    A couple of days later, the phone rang and it was him, he remembered my drawing skills and asked me to DRAW HIM NAKED EXACTLY LIKE THE LADY FROM TITANIC (WTF!)and ordered me to TELLING HIM THE COLOR OF MY UNDERWEAR. I hung up. One day, he called and my mom answered, and the bastard acted like a nice guy, my mom give him her cellphone, and arranged a meeting on the city. When my mom saw him, she cried and felt pity for him and since they meet she goes like: “Oh poor thing!”

    Well, I told my mom: “If the phone rang and it is him, tell him I’m not home or something”. She was infuriated: “HE’S A DISABLED BOY AND HE’S STUDYING! BE THANKFUL TO GOD YOU ARE A HEALTHY GIRL! HOW COULD YOU BE SO INTOLERANT TO THIS POOR BOY!” I tried to tell her , what was going on and the things he has said to me, but she goes on: “HE WOULDN’T DO SUCH THING, YOU SHOULD FEEL BAD FOR TELLING THOSE TERRIBLE LIES ABOUT A ILL PERSON. YOU ARE MAKING THAT UP BECAUSE YOU ARE INTOLERANT TO DISABLE PEOPLE AND HATE MAKING FRIENDS”

    Every time he calls, my mom forces me to answer because “you have to be nice to disabled people and refusing to answer a phone call it’s not polite” . One time, she said my best friend was calling and it was a lie, it was that bastard. I want to get a restriction order but my mom says: Wouldn’t break your heart, having a disabled sweet boy arrested?”

    On my birthday, she wanted to invited him and I opposed (he would memorize my address and getting rid of him would be impossible): “If you invite him, good luck organizing this birthday party without the birthday girl. If I saw him enter through this door, I will leave until the party is over.” She couldn’t invite him but ignored me during the whole party. I know if I get the restriction order, my mom will stop talking to me forever, but I can not live like this.

    My mom is obsessed about me getting married, but I don’t want marry EVER. I don’t have much friends, I have trouble being social, I don’t like being touched (that’s why I hate this the most), I shake hands to everyone (even close friends) because I don’t want their lips on my cheeks… it’s uncomfortable to me having physical contact to others, I don’t like jokes because mostly I don’t get them. There are even uncomfortable sounds (applause, sneezes) I don’t like. A neighbor told my mom that those behaviors could be Asperger’s (I’m not diagnosed and I don’t even care if I really were) and I would get a hard time finding a husband, even a boyfriend. She definitely believed him and she’s convinced on his words. Since the person told her that, she is worried about not having grandchildren. That worry plus her pity is a lethal combination = she does not believe me, she thinks is an effort to avoid social contact and discrimination against the guy.

    What could I do? I need her to believe me, not him. Plus, what can I do in order to make her accept me for who I am, Asperger’s or not who cares?

  10. Dear scared, tired, and stressed,

    It is time for you to take drastic measures – you need to protect yourself from being stalked by your ex-husband!

    Can you move to a different state, province, or even country? Sometimes the only way to be safe from the emotional and physical threats and behaviors of a stalker is to move away. Start over. I know it’s not easy, and it’s definitely not fair, but it’s better in the long run.

    Have you called a women’s help line or shelter? They often have good advice on how to deal with stalking behavior.

    I know you’re tired of dealing with this, and it seems impossible to do something as big as move away…but just let the thought percolate in your mind for a little while.

    Let me know how things are going. My thoughts and prayers are with you.

    Blessings,
    Laurie

  11. My ex-husband has been stalking me since our divorce. He tried to get my cell phone records from the cell phone company, my voicemails were being erased and I couldn’t figure out how, until I changed my password. The phone company called me later and told me someone had tried over 200 times to enter my password. He used to send two or three texed letters to my work every day, mostly full of lies. He called and left messages of him cocking a gun. When he had our son at his house he would call and leave urgent messages saying something was wrong with our son and then I couldn’t get in touch with him. This has been going on for ten years. My truck had acid poured all over it and it ate the paint off. My riding mower had sugar put in the gas tank. My yard and front porch had gasoline poured all over it. He shows up where ever I go. The bad thing is he has been re-married for 10 years and she follows me too. She drives by my mother’s house almost every day…sometimes two or three times a day. She calls and sends texts to me and my son so often I had to pay to have her number blocked.

    My last car was scratched up in my yard, so I have four cameras around my house. This past summer my son found our house key in her jewlry box!!!!! How do I know it was ours? It was a certain key (special made with a particular color and print) and when he brought it home, it opened our door!! I had new locks installed the next day. This being the second time, because I came home one day with my front door knob hanging loose and had to change it then too. Certian things had been moved in my house. I just thought I was going crazy or getting forgetful.

    My vehicle would be locked, but the light was on inside and the glovebox was opened on more than one occasion.

    They show up everywhere I go. Even today I went out of town to a flea market an hour away and guess who shows up…you guessed it. I don’t know how he knows how to find me!! I have had it!!! I am so tired.

  12. Dear Sarah,

    Have you been able to get away from him, or find ways to protect yourself from this stalker?

    Keep reporting him to the police, keep talking about him, and make sure people know where you are at all times.

    Have you decided to sell your home, and move. Sometimes – as unfair as it is – it’s the only way to protect yourself from a stalker.

  13. Goes without saying this isnt my real name….I fell pregnant by a guy I had been seeing 6 months, although I was happy about it as I am getting older and wanted a baby, I sort of knew he wasnt the one for me. A month before my baby came along, i found the guy had been seeing his neighbour! I was hurt and very humiliated, although I wasnt in love with him, I still assumed the baby was important enough for him not to stray…anyway…we split up…since then, i have been hounded and hounded by him. I cant even begin to describe what I have been going through. He has parked out the front of my house, followed me to supermarkets, followed me around supermarkets when I have had the baby with me so its hard for me to cause a scene. He calls and texts up to 100 times a day, he has threatened to report me to the RSPCA for being cruel to my dogs. This worried me so much I gave the dogs away as I always say theres no smoke without fire. He’s also said he will report me to social services for neglecting my baby, he has threatened to get intouch with the local mental health hospital to have me admitted…he also has said in the past that as the dad to my baby, they would take notice of him!!! He calls me fat, ugly, I have been called a whore, spat at, headbutted, had my car windows put out, plant pots in my garden smashed, I have had to place a padlock on my front gate to allow myself the extra few seconds to escape to the kitched with my baby if I hear him attempting to come up the path, I have disconnected my land line, email address has been changed, my door bell has been disconnected as he would ring it at all hours. I look out of the window and scan the street for his car before leaving my home…I now have to park my car in the next street for peace of mind, I have had to call the police because he has phoned me from his own home saying he was about to kill himself, I literally live in my kitchen now which is at the rear of the house and wont allow my baby in my front room until I have called my neighbours to ask them if its safe to open the blinds….I am in a living hell and apart from calling the police theres nothing else I can do apart from selling up and leaving my own home.

  14. Dear Anna,

    Yes I think you should change your email address! That guy will never know that you changed your email; he’ll just keep emailing you at your old address. Don’t tell him you’ve changed.

    And, tell the police that he is stalking you. They may not be able to do anything, but it’s important that they know you’re being stalked. Maybe they can start a file.

    You said something about your mom and the police. I think you should listen the advice the police give you, because they know more about stalking. Definitely stop replying to his messages, and ask the police what they recommend you do for stalkers.

    If he’s been stalking you for a year, then he won’t just go away. I don’t know if you need to move out and change your name because I don’t know all the details….but I do think you need to talk to the police, and do what they say.

    Make sure that someone knows where you are all the time. Keep commenting here, to let us know how you’re doing.

    Blessings,
    Laurie

  15. I have been stalked for almost a year. I met a men at online dating wesbite. I met him about 6-7 times. He lived in a different city. And he started to be very nice, too nice. Sending me love messages and he commented my facebook photos, that my photos (btw normal profile photos fully dress quite modest/ little makeup). He was quite controlling. So I told him that we cannot meet anymore.

    And he shown his other side…
    He started sending me 60 messages a day!!!!!! Emails, constant phone calls. He wrote ridiculous amount of messages, long and quite intimate. And that is the other thing we never kissed. And He wrote quite intimate messages.

    Situation is, I changed the address, he knows where I work. And he knows a lot about my school friiends, etc.

    He still got my emial. And emial me every few days. I wrote back very strong statements that WE WILL NEVER BE EVEN FREINDS etc.and that I am affraid of him. Didn’t help. His response was ‘your story almost made me cry’, you need my help, ‘ you dont know what is good for you’……………!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    I am affraid to chcnage emials, cause I am worry that he will try to find me.

    My Mum was on a police they prohibited me to reply to his messages.
    Please help me what to do?

    Will this person ever stop? Should I move out/ change name and leave all behind????

  16. To all victims, if it gets realy bad and you lost control of your life, do consider changing living address and job and everything. You can do this if you feel the danger is big.

    Don’t EVER hope to scare them. They dont understand anything. They are not scared of anything.

    Take your measures by dissapearing, you can be sure they will target someone else once they lose you.

    I am amazed how the law and police havent developed more precise way of dealing with these sickos. Really amazed.

  17. So sorry to hear all the pain these people are causing. As a grad student studying stalking behaviors I feel I must add a few comments.
    First, do NOT communicate with these people. Period. No texts, tweets, emails, etc. Send it back unopened if it’s something in the mail. For the love of the Creator, no face2face meetings.

    As for the person who always gets something “red,” I’d say it’s not a good sign. Red is typically a color associated with power and violent physical actions; also a color associated with passion, leaving you these “red” offerings is like the stalker is leaving you a reminder that he can make you bleed. Sorry to be so blunt but until we ALL understand that no stalker is without the capability to be physically violent, we won’t make any progress toward solving the situation.

    In the event the stalker forces you into a face-2-face confrontation, you MUST be ready to do whatever it takes to save your own life. I don’t care how many orders of protection or restraining orders you have against these creeps. I don’t care how many times the cops come & arrest them; they’ll be out in a few hours & they’ll be back. So, DO WHATEVER IT TAKES TO LIVE!! Say whatever it takes to live! Endure, b/c you are the one who knows (deep down, you do) what these monsters want. You know their fantasies, you know where they live(down in the cobwebbed valleys of their souls). It might be disgusting but I’d crawl through all kinds of filth to live. I’ll allow a limited amount of intimacy in order to live. I’ll deal with the PTSD, people live with that all the time, but I’ll do what I have to to live!

    How will you know? The gift of fear. Don’t discount that “little voice” when it tells you something isn’t right. That’s the gift of fear. When you feel it, do something different, do ANYTHING different. Wait an extra 30 seconds to leave the house. Use a different road to work or school, even if it’s a little out of the way. Your mind & body are trying to save your life. They’re picking up on signals your conscious brain wants to ignore.

    My story: Had a friend once, she was a psychologist(seriously, how weird was that). She & her hubby had a condo at the beach. She & her family were going there for vacation & asked our family to join them. We did for a weekend only. As time progressed my friend began behaving very strangely. She wasn’t bathing or sleeping or participating with the rest of us. She’d sit in the corner & stare at me. On the morning we were to leave, she asked me to accompany her on a stroll down the beach. I went. It was very early AM. About 200 yds down the beach she stopped me, told me how much she loved me & how she wanted us to be lovers! She had a knife and she was moving it all over me, up & down my face, down between my breasts. That was bad but worse was the look in her eyes. I don’t know who she became that day but my friend was gone! Only a few ppl were on the beach. I’d be very dead b4 anyone found me if I pissed her off. What did I do? I let the psycho kiss me & I told her what she wanted to hear: “I’m so glad you told me this, I was wondering how you felt, Sure summer lovers sounds great.” I told her what she wanted to hear so I could get off that damned beach and back home. And, except for the phone call later where I told her I needed a break from our friendship, I never communicated with her again….but, you must understand, she knew me, knew I owned handguns & how to use them & was/am willing to do so. As far as I’m concerned, you get near my house, you’re here to hurt my children. What I might hesitate to do for myself, I will do without thought to protect one of them! When I started re-evaluating the relationship I realized how very like stalking it had been–the multiple phone calls daily, the constant questions about who I was with & why, etc, etc. I don’t have to detail it all, you all know.

    Stay strong all of you. Don’t rely simply on the police. How can they care more about you than you care about yourself? Take a self-defense class, get the taser but be committed to carrying AND USING it! Otherwise it’s a waste of money. Get the pepper spray. Carry it. But above all CHANGE YOUR THINKING! Everywhere you are, be AWARE. Look around b4 you get out of the car. Does it look normal? What are those 2 ppl doing just sitting in that car? Is that guy over there really leaning against the building reading a newspaper? Is is reasonable for him to do so? (IOW, is it too hot, too cold, too wet to stand outside reading?) Etc. And, USE your BRAIN! Ask yourself, if my stalker jumped out at me right now what options would I have to defend myself? Am I parked/walking in a safe place?
    Don’t be lazy people! I know it’s unfair for you to have to think about this everyday for the rest of your (or your stalker’s) life but GET OVER IT. This is the way things are. Everyone has challenges, these are yours. Own them. Deal with them. Make a plan for surviving them.
    It’s been many years since that walk on the beach, decades! but just last week, while at the grocery store, I noticed a guy I had spoke to inside the store (it amounted to just a little “sorry” because my buggy bumped his) when he made his second circuit of the parking lot around my vehicle. He was scoping me out. For what I don’t know. But I know this, I stood my ground & I watched him as he drove by & I didn’t flinch & I took down his license plate # & I kept an eye out for his vehicle on the way home. And even now, I’ve not forgotten him. I know his type. They are always slinking around.
    Blessings & Peace.

  18. A reader described her experience with her ex-boyfriend, who stalked her by manipulating her online accounts, financial accounts, and even her name online – which affects her reputation and future. He was physically violent, and she filed several police reports against him. He wasn’t just stalking her – he was like a man possessed! It was awful to read about – I can’t imagine living through it.

    If you’re being stalked, please don’t try to protect yourself alone. You don’t know how violent or crazy the stalker may get.

    This reader is coping with post traumatic stress disorder because of the horrible things her stalker did.

    I want all girls who are starting to date – and even women! – to recognize controlling, manipulative men from day one. One of the best ways to stop a stalker is to shut him down from the very beginning.

    I would like to ask the woman who wrote about her stalker – she asked that her comment not be published – if she spotted any red flags or warning signals at the beginning of the relationship. I might even ask her if I can interview her, to help other women protect themselves!

    If you’re being stalked, get help in person! Don’t let it build up into something serious and life-threatening.

    Sincerely,
    Laurie

  19. I am sorry to hear about William’s loss. I am going through a similar situation. I have been stalked for over 5 years by an ex-student of mine. At first I didn’t know it was stalking, I thought it was just a crush and that it would go away. As i was his tutor, I tried to help him get over me but things escalated and before I knew it I was being stalked. Phone calls, texts and emails, and as he was my student not only he was at my work, he was actually in class with me. And like William’s late fiancee I tried to appease the situation to avoid scenes outside my house/work and didn’t let my husband get involved. First, I didn’t want him to ‘worry for nothing’ and second I didn’t want him to ask me to cut him out as he was suicidal. The only reason I stayed in touch was because he was continuously threatening to commit suicide. The more he threatened the more I gave in. I replied to all his texts, emails and answered his calls just to make him feel better. I didn’t know what to do to appease him, whenever he stopped me I would go for walks with him, tried to make him feel better but nothing seemed enough. The more I gave him the more he wanted and at the end his demands were impossible. I was suffocating and felt I was drowning. I never gave him any hope, on the contrary, I always encouraged him to go out with other women and tried to make him see sense but to no avail. It was difficult for me to stop, he got used to me replying to his texts and be there for him. In the last few months, he started showing signs of aggressiveness and extreme jealousy to the point where he would be jealous if I did anything for my children. Two weeks ago, as I was parking outside my house, he snatched my keys and handbag off me and started humiliating me in front of the neighbours. He did all this because he wanted me to go to his house ‘to talk things through’ and of course as I said no, he went crazy and started threatening to kill himself. To cut a long story short, about an hour later as I was driving with my son (I was using the spare key) I saw him parked on a nearby street, I stopped and got out of the car to get my stuff back. As he saw us approaching his car, he pulled out and was about to drive off when my son banged on his window to try and stop him. Instead of stopping he reversed aggressively towards my son to scare him off and drove off with my stuff. When I saw this, my blood boiled and it didn’t take me a second to call the police. He was arrested the same night and was given a ‘no contact’ warning. The first contact he makes with me, he would get arrested and will be sent to prison.
    I feel very guilty being nice to him and I’m blaming myself for the escalation of things but at the same time I had no other choice. He was threatening to kill himself and I was convinced that I would make him stop. Now I’m too scared he would turn nasty and harm anyone in my family or that he would carry out his threats and commit suicide. I’m just hoping this is just talk but when I think of what he used to say, I shiver. His suicidal thoughts were so real and descriptive and I am psychologically scarred. I am going though a terrible time, I feel guilt, shame, embarrassment and I don’t know what is going to happen next. I can’t think straight and I am seeing a counsellor soon.
    For all those who are experiencing stalking, no matter how embarrassed you feel about it, DON’T DO IT ALONE. These people want you to be alone so they can control you and that was my biggest mistake.

  20. What is the significance of gifts being left on doorstep every 2 or so weeks, they are always red. todays ‘gift’ was a red coffee mug with the word ‘heart’ on it. I sort of understand the nutty message but the red colour is a bit freaky.

  21. Last Sunday night my dearest and most beloved fiancee Jenny Lyn was killed by her ex-boyfriend who was stalking her in HonG Kong at a nursing conference. She was so beautiful at age 24 that her friends urged her to enter the Miss Universe pageant. We were to be married this spring and talked of our upcoming family we would have, which was so important to her since she was an orphan. Jenny made many errors with this man, however, and I’m trying to get the word out, just as this article is. She didn’t Tell me what was happening–so I couldn’t help or protect her–he was isolating her. Of course she let him physically near her and in his control–she actually was persuaded to get in the car to avoid a major scene at the conference–he jammed the accelerator and they hit three other cars. He was killed, thank god. Jenny died some hours later at the hospital. She had no protection either, that I am aware–no pepper spray, no gun, etc. Because I was in the States and she was in the Far East, these things developed with out my knowing. Jenny was worried about worrying me–and she was appeasing the stalker–never try to do that. You cant reason with a psychotic. Apparently a letter exists and is being sent to me among her personal effects–a sort of farewell to me. I think she knew what was coming. MY HEART IS BROKEN. SHE DIED ALONE, TO MY ETERNAL SHAME.

  22. im 16 and from illinois. I had a boyfriend two years back and now he is 18. Our romance lasted a couple of weeks because i got freaked out when he said he wanted 7 children with me & that i had great birthing hips…. Anyways, we remained friends for a while. i had a boyfriend soon after breaking up with him , i lasted with him 8 months and cared about him deeply.. well he found out of my boyfriend and it went down hill from there. he calls and sends me text messages EVERY DAY..sometimes hes mad and calls me names and other times hes happy and says he still loves me and is all romantic. and other times hes just sexual…im to the point where i dont know what to do get him to leave me alone. one time he even came to my school looking for me saying he was my brother trying to pick me up. Ive threatened him telling him im gonna delete his number, block him, or get a restraining order. but he simply doesnt get it. he has an idea that were gonna be together. and on my phone i have a “signature” that says “Vero&Psycho<3" my current boyfriend's nickname is psycho & he says "im glad you see were supposed to be together, cuz im your psycho, baby i love you" & all this & its really really creepy.. he says i cheated on him and broke his heart but although im a wh**e he still loves me. i never cheated and im not a wh**e. so i dont know what to do :( what can i do to get this 18 yr old off my back -_-"

  23. I live in Arkansas and I have been stalked and harasses by all means by this female from multiple calls, to vandalism of any and every vehicle that I have owned, harassing family, attempting to kidnap my daughter, terroristic threatening, vulger text messages, obsene phone calls to my jobs, just terrorizing me and anyone close to me since 1996. She is my husbands ex. I filed multiple police reports, applications for warrants, been to court, and more charges are pending. She ran me off the road in Memphis in 2009-no charges were filed by police there. There is currently a restraining order against her as a pretrial one. I hope this time it will be enough to make her stop. In September, I caught her trying to vandalize my vehicle. Any suggestions for legal help?

  24. I cirrently have a stalker. I am so scared. This has been going on for quite some time . I shudder to think longer than I probably know. What’s worse is we work together. He’s had me followed by people. I know this because every time I’m out with friends someone is always staring at me. What’s worse is when I came back from vacation he started getting loud about information he found about me. I know my car is bugged my bathroom I’m positive has a camera. The only reason I know this is because he talks about it to my coworkers about how cute I look when I wake up in the morning or what I said to one of my friends while I was talking to them in my car. Worse is he knows quite a lot about me. He’s engaged and I believe he had feelings for me. I want to get the police involved and want this to stop!! I think he may have already removed the bug from my car. He was telling people about it and letting them listen in on what was being said while I was in my car. He also took my phone and read my texts and emails to people not to mention my fb page. I’m scared to go to work everday. And worse I’m scared if he’s capable of doing all this what else is he capable of. I know he has a family too. Its pretty messed up and angers me. I just don’t know what to do. My heart goes out to anyone who has had this happen!

  25. I was stalked for 11 months. It was the scariest time of my life. I was mostly fearing for my own safety but also the safety of others around me who might try to help me and stop my stalker. My stalker called me at least 400 calls in 3 months if not more, followed/chased me on the streets numerous times, harassed me at a weekly social lunch and gave me unwanted gifts there each week along with weekly unwanted gifts in my mailbox, watched me from outside my balcony, really yelled at me a couple nights (once when he was following me and another time when he was watching me from outside my balcony), spread lies about me that was his attempt to get me in trouble with other people or that would embarass me to other people-all lies what he said about me to others, threatened to kill at least one person who stood up to him, was addicted to drugs (crystal meth being the worst one) and alcohol. I tried so many things to help my situation but it was the police who saved me from my stalker. If it weren’t for the police, I would still be stalked right now and I am sure if it was still continuing, it would continue to get worse and worse. I was also harassed by my stalker’s younger brother before I was stalked by him and I also told the police about what his younger brother did just like when I later gave a much longer statement to the police about what my stalker was doing. As of now, because the police saved me from my stalker, I have the utmost respect for them and can’t thank them enough, especially the one officer (who did a top notch job) who really did a lot to save me from my stalker.

  26. Dear Wendy,

    I hope your stalker has left you alone, and that you’re not a victim anymore! Coping with stalking behavior is awful, especially if you can’t just pick up and move – or if the stalker targets your family members.

    Thanks for your comment.

    Blessings,
    Laurie

  27. I was stalked for about 3 months and it was the scariest time of my life. I never knew when the stalker would show up or what he’d say. I was also scared for my parents, who would have no idea how to cope with a stalker! Thanks for this article, I hope it helps other people get rid of stalkers.

  28. Dear Pamela,

    I’m glad you called the police, and his stalking behavior seems to have quietened down! But I agree with your friends: do not let your guard down. If you’ve ever wanted a dog, this is a good time to get one. You don’t even need a scary guard dog – any dog can be off putting.

    Stay safe. If you can afford to get away for a couple of months, do it! Hopefully, he’ll get tired of stalking you. Even better, hopefully he’ll get caught doing something by the police and get thrown in the jail.

    Thanks for sharing your story here; I hope you come back and let me know how you’re doing.

    Blessings,
    Laurie

  29. I am being stalked. Flowers on my porch,cards saying that he still loves me,hanging baskets out on my picnic table. Showed up in the parking lot at work. He goes out to my daughter and son in laws. My son in law says he doesn’t want to be involved. Sometimes i have a feeling that he is in my yard watching me. I have called the police and kept a journal of everything that has happened with the date and time. He e-mailed me and threatened me in the beginning. I blocked my cell and house phone,he then e-mailed me to say that he can no longer text me because i blocked his number. I found out all about this guy. Married 2 times i found out a lot from first wife. Left his kids,alcoholic,got a DUI and wife number 2 had a PFA on him. He put on a good front. Everyone liked him and my daughter and son in law we all got along great. He remodeled my house and would fix anything. I now know that it was a form of control. S. Wife number 2 wass 18 years younger. This matter is now in the police hands. He has been served with a citation and I haven’t been bothered lately. My friends tell me though not to let my guard down. I have come to realize if it is too good to be true it is worth looking into.

  30. girls below the age of 18 shouldn’t date a guy over 20, unless he doesn’t show narcisisitic behaviour, such as drug abuse in young men, druggies tend to become abusive and specialy those who’ve been abused themselves. I was 17 wen i discovered my bf at the time was stalking me, al the signs of sudden break ins were there. I saw him jumping over my wall. Stalking Is not a joke, the dark fear that comes with it is destructive, never mind the stalker. Never try and fight back, this only makes you look stupid especialy when he makes you a fool in front of everyone but denies his own sick fantasy that you had to endure. In the end he gets away, but you leave broken and destroyed. Get the law involved. Stalkers have no feeling for his victims, he just can’t handle the fact that his ‘feel good supply’ wants him out of her life.

  31. This is great advice for coping with stalkers — thank you!

    And remember that documenting a stalker’s attempts to contact or disrupt your life can include text messages, emails, phone messages, and human witnesses. Even keeping a journal or diary can be an effective tip for coping with stalkers, because it provides a running account of contact.

    If you’re coping with a stalker, please contact the police, a lawyer, or legal aid. Don’t ignore the attempts to harrass you — the sooner you take action, the better!

  32. In order to convince anyone of anything, legal or otherwise, is a simple situation of documentation. Documentation is the save all in a stalking situation. Documentation can very quickly turn the tables on someone who is stalking you. Documentation always holds up in court. Documentation is factual by nature. If you are a victim of stalking, get a video camera and/or a microphone. Documentation is the most aggressive form of self-defense. Documentation can procure reparations in the form of monetary reimbursement in the court of law due to the illegal, criminal, felonious actions perpetrated by a stalking criminal.

  33. Thanks for your comment, Jerry. Coping with stalkers is scary stuff, and I’m glad this list offers accurate info!

  34. As a private investigator, I must say that this list is right on the money.

    If you know of anyone in the State of Idaho, USA, who is dealing with a stalker (or a third party), my investigations firm can help gather the evidence needed to obtain a restraining order, harrassment charge, and any other relevent legal proceedings.

  35. Cattie,

    It sounds like you’re in a very scary situation – especially being in a foreign country! The most effective way to convince his employer that he’s as abusive and threatening as he is, is to show them evidence. That is, if they heard or saw his threats, they’d be convinced pretty fast that he’s a potential stalker and abusive, too. But, that may be hard to do.

    If I were you, I’d take the return tickets home! As hard as it would be, I’d find a new way to earn money at home….because personal safety is far more important than living in fear.

    Can your employer or some other supportive network (even your country’ Embassy) help you out? You need to talk to someone where you are, to get protection and a plan of action.

    Good luck, Cattie. And don’t let it get too late, like it did for Jaye above.

    Best wishes, and feel free to write again,
    Laurie

  36. Give me tips on how to expose my ex- cruel actions before I go insane. My self esteem is sometimes very low with hopelessness every time he stirs my peace. Hardly 10days go by before an absurd thing is centre staged between us ( manufactured orchestrated by him ; Im always on the reeiving end}.

  37. Im separated and both of us living in same foreign country.My spouse has been very distractive manipulative and self absorbed.His threats to me of destroying me leave me scared of returning home of which is a less secure country.He brags to my relatives how he knows powerful agents and is influencing in status. Some believed his side of story but after continued drama,they think he is sick and dangerous .His employer loks the other way/hands off even when it is obvious he is stalking or abusing me emotionally. He tried all means to defame me , denied all abuse and planned to send me back to my country by convincing and processing my return tickets thru his employer.I refused to thru my attorney and the host State immigration retained me here due to my security and I got no other livelihood back home.
    Question is, can he really hire somebody to murder me with a 100$ as he used to scream at me ? I miss home but I dare not risk.
    Other Qst: His employer dos not think of him otherwise and they have been very unsupportive or trying to save face for the company. How do I convince them that my ex is sicker than he portrays himself in public?

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