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!
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
- 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.
- Do not respond to your abusive ex-husband or ex-wife’s pleading, romantic, nostalgic, flattering, or threatening e-mail messages.
- Return all gifts he or she sends you when you’re coping with a stalker.
- Refuse your abusive ex-husband or ex-wife entry to your premises. Do not even respond to the intercom.
- 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.
- Do not answer your abusive ex-husband or ex-wife’s letters.
- Do not visit the stalker on special occasions, or in emergencies.
- Do not respond to questions, requests, or pleas from the stalker, forwarded to you through third parties.
- Disconnect from third parties whom you know are spying on you at his or her behest.
- Do not discuss your abusive ex-husband, ex-wife, or stalker with your children.
- Do not gossip about the stalker.
- 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
It’s important to reach out for help if you’re dealing with someone who wants to stalk you. These tips are for information only – they’re not a personal plan to protect yourself from a stalker. Call your police station or women’s advocate organization for help stopping a stalker.
Don’t try to appease the stalker
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).
If you have to be in conversation with a stalker, learn the Signs of an Abusive Boyfriend. The more you know about abuse, the better able you’ll be to protect yourself from stalking behavior.
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.
9 comments On How to Protect Yourself From a Stalker
I broke up with my boyfriend two days ago. The first night he tried both of my doors and rang the doorbells and knocked, good thing I had exchanged keys with him. He had brought me spaghetti and left it outside, texting me and trying to get a reponse out of me, which I didn’t give.
Today I went on a trip with a friend and my ex texted me numerous times, all things that were trying to get my attention, complimenting me, reminiscing, trying to make me feel bad for breaking up with him, and telling me about his goings on ( part of which he said he saw my aunt because he had to use the bank she works at, telling me how it made him nearly cry because she reminded him of me), saying he’s worried about his dad. I told him as I had said before that I don’t want to talk to him, and I don’t want him driving by my house.
I have my day planned for tomorrow to avoid him at all costs again. I hate having to live in fear like this, keeping curtains closed, trying to avoid having lights on in the evening. Tomorrow I am going to threaten him that if he doesn’t leave me alone I’ll contact the police, but i think that I should actually go to the police and see if they can give me some advice before I text him that. I know people can be unpredictable when they’re scared sometimes, ie. Ex’s. I don’t want to end up like a ‘pistorious’ case.
I have been reaching out to my social support network, and didn’t actually realize how I’ve become afraid until tonight, when I got that dreading feeling, like I had to be careful what I was doing or he might harass me further. I will tell my parents so that they know, and hang out at my friends house in the evening tomorrow, when he will be most likely to try and see me. He doesn’t know where that friend lives. This is just a bad feeling, no wonder I had such a hard time leaving the relationship, he wouldn’t let me, and still isn’t.
If I could get some affirmation of what I’m doing that would be great. I’m not really worried for my life, but I just know there’s always potential for things to turn. I’m going to get some information from the police no matter what tomorrow. If anything I need to feel empowered that I can control this situation. I just felt like I needed to reach out on this because I don’t want to bother anyone so late about this. My parents especially. And I don’t want to have to stay with someone because I like being alone at night right now.
Maybe someone can help me, and NOT judge me because I honestly have nowhere to turn ..
Two years ago my marriage was falling apart – he was having an affair and things were bad. I met a man, we became friends and over the course of time, more. He had a long distance relationship and lives in the home they once shared, (she owns, he pays the mortgage). He said they were over the romantic aspect, and were now just financially linked. I never ever saw her around and mutual friends that had known “them” for years said they had an “odd arrangement” that seemed to corroborate his claims. My marriage deteriorated and I separated from my husband. During this time, my boyfriend’s ex girlfriend found out about me while looking through his phone. She got my number and held on to it for months. Fast forward – Six to Seven months later – things deteriorate with my boyfriend and I. It seems the “ex girlfriend” is NOT an ex after all. He’s been playing both of us. She calls me one night and we hash everything out. They’ve had an on-again (mostly on) and off again relationship / long distance and I’m not the first ‘affair’ he’s had over the span of their ten year relationship. Nice. She friends me on Facebook.. I break things off with the boyfriend. She says she’s going to as well. Except they stay together. He comes back around a few weeks later.. and I caved in. (yeah.. it was a hard time for me). This was a year ago. We’ve been on the down-low seeing each other. They stayed together (in his words) for financial reasons. I (for pretty much the same reasons) let my husband move back in about 8 months ago. So now we’re both cheating. Not a pretty story – judge all you want BUT.. here’s where the stalking questions come in. I changed my phone number about 4 months ago. About a month ago… I started getting phone numbers from a woman (sounded suspiciously like her) but whoever it is dialing *67 and blocking her number. I can’t prove it’s her. She’s asking for me by name and even wanted to confirm my home address…. I didn’t confirm. She calls several times a week – and I believe she got my phone number when HE carelessly left his phone bill (unopened) out on his dining room table (steamed it open?). Illegal right? This weekend, she saw me in public and then messaged me on Facebook. She accused me of contacting her boyfriend and made it sound as though I’m doing the pursuing and that he’d confessed and that I’m pursuing both of them. She’s called my cell phone twice since then. (Btw.. I’m not doing the pursuing and i don’t make any attempts to contact her at all – EVER). I suspect she has driven past my house. She knows my address. I have her blocked on Facebook now, but how can I prove it’s her doing the calling, and is this enough to make a report to the police?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
I’ve been stalked by my X it is the most horrible thing to happen to a person
I am now being stalked at work by a creep at work who parks and waits for me to get to work and whenever I go to lunch has been parked..there is only one way out and I cannot avoid this creep or I would..I’ve changed my parking and my hours several times and the creep seems to always figure it out..I am getting so annoyed that I wanna hurt this person but know It’s meaning the creep is not worth it…I do not want to get work involved because parking is no crime but I know what it’s(meaning the creep) is doing simply because I’ve been stalked before..the weird part is I don’t know this creep and never want to get to know it(meaning the creep) I just wanna be left alone