Stalking victims often do not know where to go for help or where to start to ensure they remain safe. While there is never one list of items that will make you safe we have gathered some information to help you through this horrible ordeal.
First, understand that this is not your fault. You did not ask for anyone to torment you in this way. Do not blame yourself, but keep yourself safe!
Some simple tips to begin with protecting yourself are:
- Change your patterns.
- Tell your friends, family and co-workers (if appropriate) that you are being stalked and solicit their help. Provide a picture and description of the car if possible. This is not something you can endure on your own. Lean on those around you for support.
- Protect your personal information by securing documents and using a shredder.
- Ensure your home is secured. (i.e. deadbolts, window locks, security lights, alarm system, motion sensors)
- Be careful where you are sharing information. Social media sites are wonderful for keeping in touch, but that information may be monitored by the stalker. Set your privacy settings and restrict what you post.
- Change your phone number (to an unlisted number) if it is being used to stalk you. However, keep the number opened and on a monitoring service to collect further evidence. Ask a friend to check the messages and forward to law enforcement if necessary.
- Use the buddy system with a trusted friend or family member. Let the trusted person know where you will be at all times. Text/call to let him/her know you arrived at your destination.
- Ask someone else to record your outgoing voice mail message
- Install firewall security software on your computer.
- Add gravel to your driveaway. The crunching sound will alert you when anyone is approaching the house.
- Keep an incident log. Log every time the stalker contacts you. A great template can be found here.
- Ask your detective if the police department has CCTVs to loan victims to gather evidence.
General safety tips:
- Ask workmen for ID to prove they are who they say they are
- Do not answer your phone with your name. A simple “hello” is safest
Stalking: A Handbook for Vicitms by Emily Spence-Diehl offers a lot of good information for victims.
Disclaimer: This list is by no mean meant to be the only form of safety for you. Each stalking case is different and requires different safety aspects. Please ask the law enforcement officer assisting in your case for information on remaining safe.