Stalking is a pattern of behavior directed at a specific person that would put a reasonable person in fear. Stalking is usually a series of non-criminal behaviors that by themselves and to outsiders seem normal, but within the context of the pattern and to the person they are aimed at they cause fear.
One example from a client that illustrates this is:
“Sometimes I unlock my car and find a rose on the seat-no note, just the rose. I know he got into my car and left it there to terrorize me, to let me know that he’s watching me and can get to me at any time”. Putting a rose in somebody’s car by itself may not be a criminal act, but within the larger context and pattern of behavior it causes fear and fear is what makes it a crime of stalking.
There is no one profile for stalkers. Every stalker is different and every stalking situation is complex. Start by understanding that the victim is never at fault for the stalking. If you are being stalked, you are not crazy, you are not over reacting, you are not alone, you have options. Talking with an advocate about safety and options is the best place to begin. Logging behaviors of the stalker with dates, times and details are important if any legal action is pursued.
Call our crisis line and speak to our legal advocate for more information about stalking. 541-673-7867
10 THINGS YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT STALKING
- Stalking is a crime
- Many people are stalked: 1 in 12 women and 1 in 45 men will be stalked in their lifetime
- Stalking can be very dangerous: 76% of women killed by their intimate partners were stalked by these partners before they were killed.
- Stalking is harmful and intrusive
- Anyone can be stalked-not just celebrities
- Stalking can occur during a relationship, after a relationship or in the absence of a relationship
- Technology can be used to stalk
- Effective responses to stalking include the entire community
- You can make a difference. Volunteer at BPA or go to www.ncvc.org/src for more information about stalking and how to fight it
- Help is available-you are not alone. Call BPA 24-hours a day, 7 days a week 547-673-7867 or 1-800-464-6543