Risk Assessment of Stalking and Safety Plan Suggestions…
What is stalking?
While legal definitions of stalking vary from one jurisdiction to another, a good working definition of stalking is a course of conduct directed at a specific person that would cause a reasonable person to feel fear.
Stalking is another form of Power and Control; in reality it is mental abuse.
Stalking is serious, often violent, and can escalate over time.
Questions to ask a victim: Has anyone ever:
- Followed or spied on you more than twice?
- Made repeated, unwanted phone calls to you?
- Stood outside your home, school, office?
- Left unwanted gifts or items for you to find?
- Vandalized or damaged your property?
- Repeatedly threatened you/those close to you?
- Showed up at places you were for no apparent reason?
Safety Plan Suggestions for Victims of Stalking
- IF YOU HAVE AN EMERGENCY, CALL 911
- Do not attempt to negotiate with a stalker, do not have any contact or communication.
- Telling a stalker ten times to leave you alone is nine times too many, be consistent.
- If you have an order of protection, carry it with you at all times, keep extra copies.
- If you think you are being stalked, call the police. Make sure each incident is reported to the police, keep the complaint number and obtain a copy of the report. Immediately begin to keep a behavior log for your case.
- Allow an answering machine to screen all of your phone calls and save the messages. Save any letter(s), emails, text messages, packages or gifts from the stalker.
- Vary your routes to and from work or school. Inform your building, office or campus security guards that someone is stalking you. Travel with a companion whenever possible.
- Keep your windows and doors locked securely at home and in your car.
- Obtain a cellular phone for use outside of your home and in your car. You do not have to have service or a contract with a cellular company to dial 911, just be sure to keep the cell phone charged.
- Install deadbolts (one keyed AND one keyless) on every exterior door. Have your existing doorknob locks changed as well as any existing keyed deadbolts and keep extra keys. Secure windows with safety devices appropriate for the type of sliding glass door or window. If possible, install a motion sensor light and an alarm system. Keep lights and a radio or television on at different times. Don’t sleep near a window and keep your shades drawn.
- Tell trusted family members, friends, neighbors and employers that you are being stalked. Provide them with a photo and description of the stalker and any vehicle information they he/she may drive.
- Obtain an unlisted phone number or a phone number in someone else’s name. Use a pager and give the number only to close family members and friends that WILL NOT have contact with the stalker.
- If you feel that you are being followed, drive to a police or fire station. Do not drive home.
- Install wide-angle viewers and positively identify all visitors before opening your door. Have a “peephole” installed on exterior doors and use them before opening your doors.
- Visually check front and rear passenger compartments before entering your vehicle, check your tires and vehicle for damage. Always park in well lit areas.
- If you have children, notify their schools of the situation, provide a photo and description with explicit instructions in writing.
- Maintain a private post office box if your residence is confidential.
- Obtain Caller Id, order a complete blocking of your phone number to ensure your number is not disclosed. Utilize anonymous call reject or call blocking. Notify the annoyance call bureau of harassing phone calls. After you have filed a police report, you may be eligible for call tracing.
Take care and STAY SAFE!
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