Of course, the first thing is to tell the stalker FIRMLY and strongly
Make it completely clear you want NO contact with them. EVER.
Under ANY circumstances. Then, never give them a response again.
Don't speak if they call, just hang up. If confronted in person, try to get away, and again, don't speak to them.
Don't assume the restraining order made it clear that you want nothing to
do with him/her.
Stalkers are DENSE!
If they "got it" they wouldn't be stalking you.
Every situation is different and every stalker is different… but most often stalking DOES lead to violence. Stalking can lead to injury and even to death.
It is VITAL to seek the advice of local victim specialists and/or law enforcement
to devise a safety plan to address your specific circumstances.
(that's my legal disclaimer)
What to do if you are being stalked:
If you are in Immediate Danger, Locate a safe place:
Home of family and/or friends (unknown to stalker)
Domestic violence shelter
(stalkers may be less inclined toward violence or creating a disturbance in public places)
Even a hospital Emergency Room
THEN CALL THE POLICE IMMEDIATELY!!!!!
Call law enforcement, dial 911, or contact an emergency number.
REPORT EVERY INCIDENT TO POLICE AS SOON AS POSSIBLE!!!
Avoid direct confrontation with the stalker as stalking sometimes escalates into violence.
Do not be confrontational. Try to not respond at all.
You may be tempted to try to "talk to" or "reason with" the stalker.
You CAN NOT reason with a stalker.
The very fact that they are stalking shows they are not reasonable people.
As soon as possible, file a report with law enforcement and contact victim services, mental health professionals, and/or social services in order to receive additional assistance and referrals available in the community.
DO NOT place your address or phone number on the police report.
Documentation can be the KEY to successful prosecution!!!
Report to the police ANY illegal acts of stalking (such as stealing/destroying property, entering residence without permission, assault, phone calls, letters, etc.) The reports can be useful in future proceedings.
Documentation of stalking should be saved and given to law enforcement, including photos of destroyed property or any vandalism, photos of injuries inflicted by the perpetrator, answering machine messages saved on a tape, letters or notes, etc.
Handle all gifts, letters, notes, etc. with latex gloves and place them in Ziploc baggies, to preserve fingerprint evidence.
Label baggies with date and time, location, etc.
Keep one notebook for logging every date, time and incidence of harassment/stalking including phone calls, hang ups, etc.
Make sure everyone in your home knows to log calls.
Be as detailed as possible.
Make copies of all documentation, as evidence does get lost. Keep one set of copies somewhere other than your residence, as stalkers have been known to break into victim's home to try and destroy evidence.
Make a "Stalker Profile" including your stalker's name, address, phone number, arrest or case numbers, height, weight, and physical description, or photo if available. Attach copies of this to copies of the Protective Order, and give them to your neighbors, co-workers, friends and family, kid's school or daycare, or anyone else you think needs one. Make sure they are all aware of what is going on.
This could save your life one day.
Also, if your neighbor sees the stalker on your property and you aren't home, they can call, and with the copy of the P.O., the police can arrest him/her even without you there.
The advice above is very important. So many people seem to have a hard time with this one. They feel embarrassed by what is happening, and the last thing they want to do is involve their neighbors, friends, or co-workers.
I have a few things to say about that:
1. Make no mistake, your friends, family, neighbors, and co-workers ARE involved. If someone is stalking YOU, that places everyone you know at risk also, in some way. It is MUCH better that they be informed, and KNOW what is going on, than be surprised later. Or inadvertently give the stalker information, assistance, or even, as in one case, access to your home.
2. The fact that you are being stalked says NOTHING about YOU or what type of person you are. It says VOLUMES about what type of person your STALKER is. YOU have done nothing wrong, and have nothing to be embarrassed about.
3. Sharing this information, and letting others know what is happening, truly may save your life someday. Your friends and neighbors, and family, need to be included in any safety plan.
You know the nosy old woman who's always looking out her window? (every neighborhood has one) Well, she just may be the one to notice that the man/woman you gave her a picture of is sneaking around your bushes, and call the police. It's been known to happen.
4. If we were all so embarrassed by what happened, or is still happening to us to talk about or share it with others, this site would not exist for others who are going through the same thing to find, and get help, and support, and answers. We all need to stand together, and take back our power from these creeps who are trying to steal it.
These are other immediate steps to take:
Get a cell phone, keep it with you AT ALL TIMES, even in the bathroom. Get a spare battery, so it doesn't have to be on the charger. It should ALWAYS be in arm's reach. Sleep with it! Take it everywhere! Make it your best friend!
Get an alarm system for your home, and your car. Make sure you have the alarm system MONITORED, and ask to have a panic button installed. Some companies also have a portable panic button for if you are in your driveway or yard.
GET A DOG!!! This works amazingly well! I recently had a woman post that she wouldn't have realized her stalker had been in her home, except that the dog was acting strangely and sniffing one spot. When the stalker came back and peeped in the window, the dog went nuts, barking and scared him away, but not before she got a look at him.
Get a locking gas cap for your car. (sugar in the tank is a classic stalker trick)So is pulling distributor wires, slashing tires, etc. That's why the car alarm.
DO NOT go anywhere alone if you can help it. Always go out with someone else, even to the store. At the very least, make sure someone knows WHERE you are going, and WHEN you will be back.
Have security, if available, escort you to and from your car at work or school. (if you followed the above advice, they should be aware of the situation)
Park in open, well-lit areas.
Carry your keys in your hand, so you don't have to fish through your purse for them.
Consider carrying mace or pepper spray to protect yourself. But keep in mind that your goal is to never get close enough to have to use it.
When the stalker gets your home telephone number, don’t change it. Instead, always let an answering machine pick-up. Get a new, unlisted number, and give it to everyone who calls but the stalker. Eventually, only your stalker will be using your old number.
Whenever you close off one avenue for a stalker, he will find another and it could easily be worse. I have seen SO many people ignore the advice on this, and in EVERY case, the stalker shows up within 2 or 3 days. And trust me, they ALWAYS get your new number somehow, anyway.
If it upsets you when he calls, put the machine in a room you don’t use. Turn off the ringer to that phone. You can even have someone else monitor the tapes. This way, the stalker will think he is still getting through to you, although you will never make the mistake of picking up when he calls.
Block your address at DMV and Voter Registration. If you don’t, anyone can get it for the asking. This is how Robert Bardo found actress Rebecca Schaeffer and was able to murder her at her front door.
Never give out your home address or telephone number.
Get a post office box and use it on all correspondence. For those places that will not accept a post office box, change "PO Box" to "Apt." and leave the number.
Put this address on your checks. Do not put your social security number or phone number on your checks.
Again, DO NOT PUT YOUR ADDRESS ON POLICE REPORTS or
Do not accept packages you did not order. This includes flower deliveries, pizza, anything. Stalkers can do bizarre things.
Have co-workers screen calls and visitors at work. Again, if you followed the above advice, they should be aware of the situation.
Work is where you are probably the most vulnerable, so knowing that will allow you to take whatever steps you need to protect yourself.
My only other suggestion is to take the time to read the links I've provided on my site. Many of the safety tips here are from those sites. They are very valuable sources of information.
Get in to see a counselor or therapist if you think you need to. Join an online, or face to face support group. There are many, and they offer valuable friendship, support, and information. A local Women's Shelter or Women in Distress is one of the best places to go for both support and advice.