Facts About Stalking
- Mobile devices include call records, texts, web surfing and physical location histories.
- Many social media apps also track a user's friends, conversations and location.
- Do they show up and you do not know how they found you?
- Do they know information about you and you do not know how they found out?
- Do they stop by unannounced, and they often do it when you already told them you had plans?
- Do they ask you extremely specific questions about photos or messages you post online?
- Do they call or text you frequently or when you do not want them to?
- Do they monitor activity on your phone, social media, or computer?
- Do you have notes left on your car or home?
- Save all emails, messages, and other communications for evidence. Print out copies, but also keep the originals. It is important the electronic copies of emails, voicemails, tweets, etc. are not altered in any way.
- Save all records of threats against the victim's safety or life. This includes all written and recorded threats. Make sure to also log the date, time, and circumstances surrounding the threat.
- Find the IP address. If you are receiving abusive emails and don't know where they are coming from, find out how to obtain the originating IP address, and provide this information to authorities along with the rest of your documentation.
- State that you do not want them to contact you, and then stop engaging.
- Have a personal safety network of friends and family, and make sure they are aware of your situation.
- Get in contact with your local authorities and look into a protection order.
Stalking is defined as a pattern of behavior directed at a specific person that would cause a reasonable person to feel fear. According to the Stalking Resource Center, 7.5 million people are stalked in the United States each year.
Of those experiencing harassment, young women between the ages of 18 to 24 are the most likely to experience severe forms: stalking, online sexual harassment, and sustained harassment (lasting for more than two years). Stalking most often occurs in an intimate or former intimate relationship. Most survivors know the stalker. 61% of female victims and 44 percent of male victims are stalked by current or former intimate partners.
Stalking takes many forms. Stalkers can physically follow their victims. They can use phones, the U.S. Postal Service, couriers, and even florists to track their victims. Stalkers can also bombard their victims with instant messages, photograph them with hidden cameras, install surveillance software on their computers, and use global positioning systems (GPS) to track them in their cars. Nevertheless, no matter what tools they engage in this behavior is still stalking.
One common form of technology-facilitated stalking is spying and eavesdropping. This is a popular method among perpetrators because it is inexpensive and easily hidden.
The goal of the technology abuse can be to track or control a victim, to isolate the victim from supportive friends and family, or to damage a victim's credibility or work-life.
How can I be sure I am being stalked?
Tips if you are experiencing stalking through technology or social media:
Please see one of the multiple online toolkits listed below:
Other Stalking Resources:
Victims of Crime Stalking Resource Center
Tech Safety what you need to know about technology-facilitated stalking.
National Network to End Domestic Violence Technology Safety