Monday, October 24, 2016

What do I do if I'm being stalked?

This is an incomplete list of what you need to do if someone is stalking you or threatening you.

1. Make copies of everything that they send you - on social media, texts, emails, etc. Keep a diary of all events. Keep it factual - who? what? when? where? what happened? why?

2. Quit responding to the person. Silence usually makes things get worst before they get better. Be aware of this! Think about changing all your phone numbers. Don't use your voice on your voice mail. Screen all calls. They often use other people's phones, email or social media accounts to access you.

3. Get off all social media. Merely "unfriending" them is NOT enough. Don't reply to social media posts. Be silent. And remember their family members or a friend might be "helping" the person or "feeding" the person info on you.

4. Go to the police and file a report. There are anti-stalking laws in Texas. The policing agencies are overwhelmed with complaints  - but you need to document and they might contact the person and ask the person to stop. This will either work or they will escalate and get mad.

5. Develop a safety plan. Go on the internet and do research.  Have clothes, money and other necessities in a bag or stashed at someone's home in case you must "disappear" for a few days.  Have a place to go where he/she does not know - a co-worker, a friend they don't know or a shelter.  Going to a shelter is usually not the option you want but it might get you access to a bunch of free services. Do not go to your best friends home or your parent's home.

6. Notice your employer and neighbors of the stalking situation and ask them to be on alert. Ask your neighbors to call the police if they see suspicious activity around your home.

7. This person will escalate if they cannot contact you.

8. Be careful! Murder-suicides happen all the time. You might need to be on high alert for years! People that are mentally unstable cannot control their actions and they sometimes fixate on a person for years.

9. A restraining order is easier to get than a protective order -- but neither will protect you from fists, chairs, bullets, knives, etc.

10. Change your routine. If possible, drive someone else's car that is not in your name or rent one. Wear a disguise or hat to cover your face and hair. If a female with long hair, pull it up.

11. If possible, move, change jobs.

12. It's hard to out think someone who is "crazy". I know. I've been stalked. I had to go into hiding. Within 2 weeks of changing my Texas Driver's license it showed up on the internet on a free website. Scared me! I defeated everything I'd put into place.

13. Get security system at home. Go to Best Buy or a similar store. They cost less than $900 and are easy to install and use - no wiring required.

14. Do internet research on stalking and follow the advice.

15. You cannot ever be too careful. You are not paranoid - YOU ARE IN DANGER - BE CAREFUL!

16. It's rare but sometimes if really bad you can change your social security number.

17. On a regular basis "google" yourself and see what's on the internet. It's scary!

18. Protect your identity. Often to "punish" you then will attempt to destroy your credit. So put alerts on all credit reporting agencies and monitor your credit.

19. Just because they are "silent" for 6 months don't get sloppy. My stalker disappeared for months then started up 6 months later after I moved my home. And, he had "strange" men calling me at all hours of the night - he must have posted my phone number somewhere.

20. Sometimes they just do "little" things (like just move all all your flower pots on your porch) to let you know they are watching. It's really scary.

21. Keep your home, automobiles locked and ideally garaged at all times. Don't walk to your car alone - have someone at work walk with you or have security at a store walk with you.

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