Stalking is a crime that can happen to anyone, male or female. If someone looks at another person and some type of bond occurs an obsession can begin. It may be based on the target’s looks, but could also be a certain mannerism. Age is not a factor, nor does it matter if the target is married or in a relationship. A voice on the telephone, a photograph, something that brings the attention of the stalker to the target.
The obsession is often coupled with the delusion that the targeted person feels the same way about the stalker. Since obsession is a mental process and changing someone else’s mind can be difficult, this crime can be a challenge.
If the stalker is getting a reaction from the target it doesn’t matter whether it is positive or negative. Yelling, pleading, trying to reason with a stalker does not work well because they are getting the target’s undivided attention. Confronting a stalker is not recommended.
This means that you cannot prevent someone from becoming obsessed with you, but you have options on how to handle it. All interactions may be more effective if given in a calm, clear voice.
- Keep a log or download an app such as stopastalker.com
- If a call comes in, either do not answer or say “Do not call me again” and hang up. Log the call.
- If the person comes around, say “Do not come around me again.” Log the incident.
- If a no-contact order is in place, call law enforcement.
Stalkers are manipulative so try to avoid being pulled into a conversation or opening your door. Fatal words may be if the stalker asks to talk with you or meet with you “one last time.”
The anticipated reaction of the stalker is based on how long he/she has been focusing on targets and how far they have escalated. Stalkers who are just starting the behavior may go away more easily than a stalker who has become violent. The current target gets the stalker at the end of his or her last obsession. Some are extremely dangerous and can escalate to violence within three weeks of the beginning of the obsession.
Safety planning is essential and domestic violence programs can provide information to assist in developing an individualized plan.