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Why Stalkers Stalk—and What to Do If You’re a Victim

Woman and threatening figure in background
 

Being stalked can be paralyzingly frightening. Victims aren’t traumatized just once; they’re perpetually unsettled by attempts at contact and often begin to feel like there’s no safe place to go.

The Bureau of Justice Statistics reports that about three million people are stalked every year, most by people they know—often a former intimate partner. As many as 10% of stalking victims fear for their lives, and all victims face massive disruptions to their routines. While stalking, like domestic violence, has been around for generations, it has been only in recent years that the issue has been taken seriously, and many victims may be hesitant to seek help.

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What Is Stalking?

At its core, stalking consists of repeated attempts to gain control over or terrorize someone. Stalking exists on a continuum. On the lower end, it might involve repeated phone calls, letters, or email contacts. In its more extreme manifestations, however, stalking might involve repeatedly going to a person’s house, making threats against a person, harming pets, stealing possessions, or interfering with a person’s relationships with friends, family, or coworkers. Stalkers may alternate between patterns of domestic violence and stalking.

Each state establishes its own legal criteria for stalking. Laws generally require multiple unwanted contacts and mandate that a victim fear for his or her safety. A coworker who comes back to see a person at his or her office daily, for example, would not be stalking, and a secret admirer who sends flowers once per week is not necessarily a stalker. Repeated contacts rise to the level of stalking when they’re designed to gain power over a person and cause emotional terror.

Why Do People Stalk?

Stalkers often emphasize that they “love” their victims and occasionally say they stalk to keep others safe. For example, an abusive ex-husband might say he stalks his ex-wife to ensure she’s properly caring for their children. Psychologically, however, stalking is a crime of control. Stalkers see their victims as possessions who are rightfully theirs, and stalking behavior is frequently activated by a breakup or an ex-partner’s new relationship.

Some mental health issues can lead to stalking. People with personality issues such as a borderline personality diagnosis may have trouble letting go of relationships and sometimes use manipulative tactics to control people. Erotomania is a delusion in which a person believes that another person—often a celebrity—is in love with him or her, and this can lead to stalking. However, not all stalkers have mental health conditions, and the overwhelming majority are men. Cultural and gender norms may contribute to stalking behavior.

What Can Victims Do to Get Help?

If you’re being stalked, don’t make excuses for the stalker or tell yourself you are overreacting. Tell a friend or family member what’s happening so you have a support person and a witness. If you are in immediate danger or are being followed, dial 911. There’s no price for overreacting, but underreacting to stalking can, in extreme cases, be fatal. Other things you can do to remain safe:

  • Change your routine frequently so that it is more difficult for your stalker to find you.
  • Instruct friends, family, and employers not to give out information about you without your express permission.
  • Keep a log of every incident so you have evidence if you need to press charges.
  • Seek a restraining order against the stalker, and call the police immediately if he or she violates the order.

References:

  1. Help for victims. (n.d.). Stalking Resource Center. Retrieved from http://www.victimsofcrime.org/our-programs/stalking-resource-center/help-for-victims
  2. King, M. W., & Sivak, A. (n.d.). Stalking: New studies shed light on a crime that terrorizes its victims. National Crime Prevention Council. Retrieved from http://www.ncpc.org/programs/catalyst-newsletter/catalyst-newsletter-2009/volume-30-number-11/stalking-a-new-study-sheds-light-on-a-crime-that-repeatedly-terrorizes-its-victims
  3. Stalking. (n.d.). National Institute of Justice. Retrieved from http://www.nij.gov/topics/crime/stalking/
  4. Stalking. (n.d.). USDOJ: Office on Violence Against Women: Crimes of Focus: Stalking. Retrieved from http://www.ovw.usdoj.gov/aboutstalking.htm

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Comments
  • Melissa April 5th, 2013 at 7:58 PM #1

    I was briefly stalked by this person a few years ago. He was a former neighbor and started stalking me when I left the neighborhood. It went on for about a week and a threat from a few friends put an end to it. He would follow me around. Nothing big you might say but trust me it still makes me nervous to this day.

  • laurel April 6th, 2013 at 7:20 AM #2

    One of the best pieces of advice that I ever remember hearing about this is that sometimes in the beginning you have to ignore the stalking. For example if he calls you over and over again and you ignore it but then give in and take the 100th phone call then he knows that this is how many times that it takes to engage you so he will begin the pattern all over again. I think that you do have to report that this is happening to you, but you don’t need to engage with the stalker on your own because that is sure to lead to trouble.

  • Gregg April 6th, 2013 at 1:11 PM #3

    Let me tell you something- any guy stalking a woman like this is certifiably crazy. You can’t ignore them because most of them Won’t be ignored. They are looking for ways to get under your skin, and if they see that it is unnerving you then they will keep on doing it. This is the time to shout from the rafters ladies that someone is stalking you because most of the time these are men that ultimately won’t be denied.

  • SabrinaM April 8th, 2013 at 4:01 AM #4

    Most women will not ask for help because they feel like they are being blown off or accused of being crazy if they state that someone is stalking them

  • Kungfu April 9th, 2013 at 12:18 PM #5

    People do not just stalk because they think they are in love with the stalked person.
    You can be stalked by anyone for a plethora of reasons. You can be stalked because you gave someone a bad look, said something offending, and a whole slue of other reasons.
    Bottom line is if you have asked to be left alone, and someone continues, follows you, checks on you, calls you then its stalking.

  • Morris Williams May 19th, 2013 at 10:18 PM #6

    My 4 year old son is being stalked by a woman who was his foster mother for 11-months! She wants him calling her “mommie” and has gotten way too personal on the leve@l of wanting him to spend weekends with her and when ever she chooses! I am trying to get her out of our lives because she’s gotten extremely creepy whereas, she actually thinks that she is his mother and offers way too much input in his life. The last straw was when she waited down the street from my house and took him off of his school bus before it got to my house. The bus had passed my house and when I looked outside she had him by the hand and when I went to get him from her she held his had tightly, would NOT let him go and when I went to pull her hand off of him, she proceeded to physically assualt me, following me to my apartment and actually forced her way into my apartment! She would not leave my front door, keeping it open insisting that I talk to her. She frightened my son in her actions and only left when comfronted by a relative. I am now afraid that she may try to take my son while I am not around. She and his relationship (my son) I felt was unhealthy for him, because she doesn’t take care of him the way that I do, she won’t let him grow up(constantly) babying him, by talking like he’s a baby, letting him do what he wants to do, constantly carrying him around and feeding him, letting him sit on her lap ALWAYS, etc, and I just feel that she is messing him up and that it is time to let her go. She called and said that, because of me not wanting him to see her, that she feels like “killing” herself and at this point I just don’t trust her anymore and want to be left alone! I am a single male with custody of my two sons, one age 2 and one soon to be 4, what am I to do to get this woman out of our lives????

  • annonyumus September 5th, 2013 at 10:44 PM #7

    So this guy has a crush on me and he has been stalking me everywhere I go like if I go bike riding with my friends, he is always there, its so intense and frightening…

  • Anonymouse October 7th, 2013 at 12:47 PM #8

    Actually, stalking law is unconstitutional. If you read through various appeals by individuals who have been on the defendant side of criminal prosecution for stalking, you’ll see the logic of their arguments. Stalking laws primarily are continually supported, despite being unconstitutional, under the guise of the concept of “public trust.” Not only that, but the unconstitutional legal fiction, the “reasonable person,” was made to over-ride the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.

    Harassment laws have also been a problem in relation to the first amendment. However, the main difference between harassment and stalking laws has to do with culpability. A person cannot KNOWINGLY stalk you. A judge or jury has to deem that something is stalking (IT’S A MATTER OF OPINION RATHER THAN FACT).

    With that aside, stalking laws historically were made to deter, prevent, and punish behaviors that appear to be culminating in individuals, which were considered behaviors that would eventually lead an individual to murdering someone. It was a law developed in order to prevent murder. The irony of it all is that individuals now use it to push off people whom they don’t want looking into their private lives: Drug addicts, criminals, gold-diggers, and all kinds of people who don’t want to be noticed will allege that someone is a stalker in order to hide illegal behavior.

    So, the concept of “stalking” is wrongly used by the majority of individuals here. None of you know WTF you are talking about. Study some law, would you?

  • Cher Redmond January 20th, 2014 at 8:13 AM #9

    The clinical definition of stalking and the legal definition of stalking are 2 different things. This is not a courtroom.

    Study some psychology, would you?

    Kthxbai.

  • Cher Redmond January 20th, 2014 at 8:15 AM #10

    Truth.

  • Cher Redmond January 20th, 2014 at 8:17 AM #11

    I’ve been stalked for 3 years. Nightmare.

  • Richard March 14th, 2014 at 2:28 PM #12

    I found him and know everything…. cops soon to bust!

  • anony March 27th, 2014 at 7:58 AM #13

    I’am starting to feel stalked since I moved in a year in a half ago.These neighbors started out friendly but then started competing with stuff I was doing outside for no apparent reason.I would come outside they would come outside.I would water they would run outside .I have seen them hiding behind certain areas stalking and run off as they are seen.Lately I have changed around my routine as to avoid any of the creepy-wierdos and do stuff at different times.There are days they or one of them will still as I’am sweeping the back come out real quick and go inside or open their door for no reason at all.I have started to ignore them since they don’t matter to me.I have even seen a few of them come over to the gate as to push it over which they can’t anymore since I put some stuff there to support that fence and that angered them.I have seen them even copy stuff I’am doing and buying bird house I have they got one,colored clothes pins they got them.I feel creeped out as they are doing these things.I have been documenting this and want to put up some cameras they can’t see as to catch them everytime I come outside they are stalking me,throwing things in my yard.

  • mensa June 29th, 2014 at 2:01 PM #14

    Your delusions are dangerous. The fact that you could even fantasise that ‘digging around’ or whatever you want to try to minimise what you’re doing with complete lies speaks volumes.

  • m July 19th, 2014 at 9:06 PM #15

    I was sexually assaulted by a man I knew after the incident he started showing up at my workplace more often coming in the store everyday sometimes 5 times a day. Seeing him kept retraumatizing me. I realized his behavior was not normal he was stalking me and emotionally abusing me. I wanted to know why did he start stalking me after the assault and why did ge stalk me for so long I told him several times to stay away from my workplace when I’m working and that he was making me uncomfortable. I got a temporary restraining order against him and he violated still and continued to stalk me. I developed ptsd from the assualt and stalking and had to go to therapy and take medication to help me. Even though I moved away I still live in fear and i’m still traumatized by what happened I wont forget it.

  • Kenia July 30th, 2014 at 4:00 AM #16

    i gave my # to this guy cause i just wanted to txt he found me on this dating site he seem interesting so i decided that i wanted to txt him.but on that same day we txt for a little then i realize i didn’t wanna txt him no more i just wasent feeling him.and i didn’t told him anything i just stop txting him.because if would of tell him that i didn’t wanna txt no more probably he would start asking all this “why” questions. and i didn’t want to deal with that so then he txt me the second day and said that if i didn’t txt back and tell him if i like him or not he will find out the hard way. and that’s what scared me like he’s crazy i just txt him one day i don’t even know him at all.like it was just a few txts the day before he told me that.

  • Debbie August 21st, 2014 at 2:48 AM #17

    I have a stalker who I work with 22 years ago . He stalked me back then by following me. Then stopped I think . Now 22 years later I have found out that he lives down the street from me but i think this is a rumor. I’m not sure . I saw him in the MALL . WHEN i WENT BACK TO THE MALL TO SHOP AGAIN .he was going around trying to find things out about me from people in the mall who I worked with . now he as spread rumors about me to people in the stores . He tells the people he is trying to help me that he’s not stalking me but then i always see him watching me and following me . when he sees me he gives me dirty looks but he keeps watching me and following me . I confused , i think he is follwing me . what do you think ??

  • salome September 5th, 2014 at 3:17 PM #18

    I’m busy divorcing cause my husband got a bad temper and was constantly in the pubs and sometimes have affairs. Its been a year now and he kept stalking me.. Saying he will kill my friend and I mustn’t go anywhere alone.. As I will be availeble for men to date me. He also said that I am the only woman for him and he won’t stop. Spreading rumors of me. I lost my job and nearly everything because of his stalking. I went to get a court order but the people aren’t much help. Sending from court to police station and back several times.. My attorney cannot help me as I must get a order against him myself.. I am helpless and don’t know what to do anymore..

  • Donna September 14th, 2014 at 11:26 AM #19

    I am being stalked. He been message me on face book and phone my mobile number. He then began to follow me everywhere and my mom told him everything about me. He say he going to hurt me and make me pay he then start to say he will hurt my kids. he thinks I’m going out with him when I never ever did. my mom even told him I had a miscarriage and he took the piss. He is mad and crazy. He even smash a window to get into my house and smash up my house. I let it go on for over a year and a half until today. I went to police . I now found out my own mom was in on it and she wanted rid of me. My advice to people don’t let it go on go police.

  • Mary September 15th, 2014 at 4:12 PM #20

    A childhood friend (will call him “Johnny”) connected with me thru online high school network on Facebook and prior to this, we hadn’t talked or seen each other in 25+ years. They were getting married and he said he planned to invite several of us childhood friends to the wedding and he couldn’t wait for me to meet her. “Johnny’s” girlfriend (will call her Sybil”) saw him talking to me me as a friend on his FB and has become obsessed with my personal and professional life. One year ago “Johnny” asked if he could contact me to tell me this scary news news. “Johnny” says “Sybil’s” family has direct bloodlines of schizophrenia, he thinks “Sybil” is mentally unstable, and he discovered info on her computer that she has stalked me in person and on the internet for over 2 years. I don’t even have a clue who “Sybil” really is, nor do I know what she looks like, nor do I want anything to do with either of them. This reinforces that this high school idiotic stuff is so far removed from the life I live and I want nothing to do with this nonsense. “Sybil” initially gained access to my FB thru “Johnny’s” account and then by checking my friends list and conning a so-called friend I knew in high school into using her Facebook login. “Johnny” alerted me of such and said “Sybil” gained access to me thru my Facebook by “Sybil” contacting a high school girl in our network and staying she needed to borrow her login to watch me because I cheated with her boyfriend “Johnny”. What kind of person would believe this crap story and then share their login for purposes of stalking. I realized I really don’t know this FB friend as well as I thought I did 25 years ago and removed that “friend” from my FB. “Johnny” said he was afraid for me and thought I should know because “Sybil” cut/paste my pics from FB onto her computer and has kept pics of me and pics of my grown children and their spouses on her computer. This is like waking up to a bad dream in a Lifetime movie. “Johnny’s” ex-wife went to high school with me and has confirmed that what “Johnny” says about “Sybil” is true and she isn’t surprised “Sybil” is stalking me as she is off her rocker and has been known to do crazy things. The ex-wife understands my concerns and remarks that “Johnny” must be off himself. What should I do besides document everything to the best of my ability? I live in a high rise building and have security but find this so bizarre. I can’t believe this is happening to me! But unfortunately this is real! Help! Please! Any organizations or non-profits I can document this with? How do I get help with this craziness?

  • Jenie September 25th, 2014 at 4:06 AM #21

    My stalker, a male, stalks me everyday. I’ve caught him peeping behind bushes, and when I’m in the yard driving by over and over again. I had my husband sit with me once and he hurriedly passed by on foot and returned just to stare. The final straw was when I caught him standing about 50 feet away staring. So sick of this!

  • TallGuy September 25th, 2014 at 6:18 AM #22

    How often is a stalker a former employer?
    My apt and car have been majorly and minor lay vandalized 68 times in 4 years.

  • Jenie September 25th, 2014 at 7:28 PM #23

    Tonight no issues!!! Thank god!!!

  • Jenie September 25th, 2014 at 9:01 PM #24

    Looks like I spoke too fast. Clumsy stalker guy tripped over something in the bushes. Can’t figure out why he chose me.

  • sydneywaves September 26th, 2014 at 5:19 AM #25

    There is a guy in my Photography class in High school and he likes me a lot. He got my number and texted me and we made friendly conversation. Then he was asking if I wanted to go on family trips with him, if he could go to my sports games. Then the final straw was when he told me good luck at my game (i didn’t tell him) and he was standing in front of my homeroom. Luckily i was walking with my best friend and he walked away. I am so nervous. He even texted me “when can i text you at night because i want to know if i can text you after work” which included this creepy smiley face :p after every text. Can someone help me? I am going to text him today that i am uncomfortable and don’t want to be in a relationship of any kind. Help!

  • Jenie October 7th, 2014 at 3:38 AM #26

    In the beginning, I used to feel flattered that someone was actually taking the time out of their day to come see me ( I had such a big ego). I figured the guy was shy and that maybe one day, if given time, he’ll approach me and say hello. Wishful thinking on my part, its been 17 years and I don’t see anytime soon he’ll stop stalking me… What am I doing to encourage him? I’m married for Pete’s sakes. Am I giving off some kind of vibe? Any advice? Please don’t tell me to approach him and find out what his problem is. I’m already creeped out by this whole situation and my conscience is warning me to stay far away has possiblle. I find myself more and more now retracing my past for any clues that might’ve set him off and I think I found a few. I thought about apologizing but would that really matter since hes presumably carried this grudge for years? What if it’s not that? Sigh. Yesterday, it may have been a coincidence, I saw him against just as I was getting out of my car. The sight of him raised the hairs on my neck and made my skin crawl. I’m tired of this already, definitely tired of him! I’m determined though to keep living my life and this minor annoyance won’t stop me from enjoying it.

  • nicole October 8th, 2014 at 4:41 AM #27

    I got stalked by a female for not being a friend to her anymore. She started showing to places i was at then punched me in the face. I punched her in the face to defend myself then ended up going to court over it–not fun at all. Turns out she was one of those borderline personality types. Whats worse is she took me to court when all i was doing was defending myself. Stalkers suck.

  • Anne Violet Smith October 15th, 2014 at 6:15 AM #28

    I engaged in mental health activities a worker was manipulating a lot of vulnerable woman I stayed some distence away when it was group’s of men he should interest otherwise not now I see him smug in places where I usually go I don’t want to get involved for my mams case

  • Brandy October 15th, 2014 at 3:01 PM #29

    I have a similar problem, as someone who could see my facebook wall at some point was putting me through the ringer. For example, she has copied my pictures and statuses obviously saving them for some reason apparently over a period of time and then manipulates them on a word processing program to make accusations to defame my character. The worst part is that this person hinges on my every word and cites any misspellings as evidence of my intellectual abilities. She degrades how I appear physically, how I mother my children, comments I make and any continuum of information to make it appear as I am degrading myself. And then, when she is satisfied with her remarks, she mails it to my home address. No return address. I cannot say with specificity who the stalker is, as she remains anonymous. However the fact she knows where I live and has sent multiple letters is quiet frightening. Ive called her out via facebook and deleted as many as 230 acquaintences, but the harassment stalking and fear inducing letters continue. Not one of the five agencies investigating has returned a single clue, and I am lost for words…

  • Auris October 22nd, 2014 at 7:11 AM #30

    I am being Stalked by a person I have never spoken to,it is now going into the 5 year,I’ve gone to the Police and they made it worse by believing him,this parasite will drive up beside me and tell me ‘it wont be long before i;m dead,he is now sitting out side my home as I write this, I don’t go out any more, if I do and he catches me I get abused with Vile language and death threats,I am so scared at times I cant think, 2 of my cats have vanished,my dog has been poisoned 4 times, my friends are followed intimidated and abused,this parasite can do what he likes and the police wont do a thing to help,5 of my witnesses were not interview, in the early days when I did go out the stalker drove at me and my dog,pined me to the wall,still the police did nothing even with witnesses,this happened twice,both times the stalker was Drunk, I live by the sea, the stalker watches my home with binoculars all the time,if young people are getting dressed or undressed he watches them,he has been seen in full view of everyone withe the hands in the pockets rubbing himself,the police say the man has to fix himself somewhere….. I could go on and on about the intimidation and abuse day after day,even christmas day…….I dont know how many times I’ve been cautioned by the police,once was for being in my garden, the stalker went to the police and told them I was intimidating him…….. no justice till he kills me… and he will get away with it…..

  • Amanda October 29th, 2014 at 9:50 PM #31

    I’m sure you’ve thought of this already, but have you contacted Facebook? You can also block people and make it so that only people added as friends can contact you, so even if she registers a fake Facebook account she can’t message you. You can preview what your page looks like to non-friends by clicking the “…” Next to “view activity log” on your page. It’s horrible, but usually the police can’t do much until something actually happens. The law makes it really hard for people being stalked.

  • Amanda October 29th, 2014 at 9:57 PM #32

    When I was 18-19 (I’m 26 now), my best friend dated a very abusive guy, physically and emotionally, for about two years. As is typical, she disappeared and he drove most of her friends away. He tried to do the same with me, but I stuck by her, and when I found pictures online of him cheating on her (the girl posted them in a forum), she finally broke up with him.

    When he realized he had lost control of her, he severely vandalized her dad’s house, abused and raped her, just generally terrorized her. In his mind, she couldn’t end the relationship if it wasn’t mutual. Well, he saw me as the reason for their breakup, and began to stalk and intimidate me as well. Death threats, lurking parked outside my house, trying to run me off of a dangerous windy road.

    The good news is that eventually he moved on, and no one was hurt beyond repair. Eventually they will fixate on someone new. It’s just about trying to lay low and survive until then.

  • Anonymous December 18th, 2014 at 2:50 PM #33

    I think that most stalkers don’t see themselves as stalkers, or they lie to themselves. If they knew the person prior to stalking them, I believe they see the stalking as a joke. I guess they think that their previous title somehow validates them, and gives them a permanent place in the person’s life. They refuse to accept that they have an obsession. Maybe they convince themselves that there’s nothing wrong with trying to make a temporary relationship permanent. They don’t realize that if you’re no longer the person’s classmate, co-worker, associate, then you have an obsession, and you’re stuck. I guess with the ones that were never in a relationship with you, get stalking, and actually being in a relationship with the person misconstrued. I’m being stalked by an elementary school classmate, and her family. It’s a joke to them. They just simply dismiss the stalking, and they behave as though we still interact with them. The bizarre thing is she was never a friend when we were children, so you would think that you would be able to get someone out of your life that you never got along with. Her whole family stalks. They even have opinions on different aspects of my life, although they shouldn’t be in my life. They can be heard in the background of everything that picks up on a signal. It’s to the point where the family members/associates of theirs that I don’t even know behave as though the stalking gives them a valid place in my life when I never even met them. Sometimes they’ll even discuss me like they are annoyed, yet they’re the ones holding onto me. I’m twenty-seven. The former classmate is twenty-five. They don’t think the stalking is a problem. The problem is you become stuck when you continuously stalk people from your childhood. It’s not normal. The whole family dismisses the stalking. They have no intentions of ever exiting our life. It seems as though they’re trying to live a life that’s in conjunction with us. They’re not our long lost cousins. It’s not a marriage. Of course, it’s beyond being fed-up with them.

  • Anonymous December 18th, 2014 at 2:54 PM #34

    By us, I mean my family. Their whole family refuses to quit stalking.

  • colette December 19th, 2014 at 2:49 PM #35

    I need advice please so to know if I should go to police or not have man living next door on his own very creepy who has been bothering me for two yrs now leaves light on outside every night I gave a shower have tried to change this routine but he still does this every night he tots his car horn at me to get attention thought he was doing it for traffic now realize it’s not its aimed at me he parks moat days outside where he is in full view from my kitchen I close the blind he has appeared outside on one occasion at a shop up the road he has walked past my house a lot I wish he would go away my silly husband asked me if I went out with him I answered no he is affecting my mental state and marriage what should I do am I imagining all this need advice from someone out their who knows and has had a neighbor like this who threatens from a distance

  • Rae December 26th, 2014 at 5:52 AM #36

    I met my stalker after a failed romance. He tried making me jealous- that didn’t work. He’s hacked into my phone and does stupid stuff. He doesn’t scare me. I more so want to just punch him in the face. He’s annoying and a pest but that’s about it. I wish he would threaten me. Lol I have too many brothers for that. I’m probably going to get them involved at some point.

  • D dub December 28th, 2014 at 1:13 AM #37

    Im being stalked by my neighbors.2 retired nurses who are “roommates” lol.I’ve been living in my place for 15 yrs.First time i noticed them following me was a little over yr after i moved in.I seen then circling around me in their vehicle,like 7 times in a four block area,when i was walking to a family members house.And numerous other times 1 of them seems to be the main culprit.I have noticed them following me and turned the tables on them and confronted them 3 times face to face when they tried to deek me out when i spotted them.And they claimed i was paranoid and we live next door so of course we will see each other around the neighborhood I convinced them I didn’t believe them.My wife went to their place and confronted them and they just try and play it off.Anyways i got dozens of stories of them trailing me or opportunistic following.And all of you other people on here I believe u.I got words of advice”You don’t follow a killer”Oh yeah they spread rumors about me and my family and Im gettin fed up I dont believe in hitting women but I think I gotta scare them badly or something I think they get some kind of cheap thrill from doing this.

  • angelina January 1st, 2015 at 9:20 PM #38

    “nobody should be stalked or have the right to be stalked. however it happens anyway.”

    (something i made up.)

  • Lee January 2nd, 2015 at 3:23 PM #39

    My ex-husband stalked, threatened and harassed me for 18 months. I did everything I could to try to stop it-I begged him in tears, I contacted his friends and family and asked them to get him professional help, to no avail. Eventually, I contacted the police and filed reports, I went to Local agencies for advice and support, I filed for a protective order and in the end, even testified against him after he was finally charged, in two counties. None of this worked. He violated the orders over and over again and the magistrates refused to do anything about it. The prosecutors filed the wrong charges and in the wrong counties and didn’t even have jurisdiction. To make matters worse, most people did not believe me, including many of my own family members and friends. This is an important part of what I am trying to communicate in this message. It is difficult to understand what stalking does to victims if you have never been stalked yourself. I can tell you that after a few months of it, I began to deteriorate physically, mentally and emotionally and in a profound way. I ended up having a complete nervous breakdown and was hospitalized…in the psych ward. They told me I was in a catatonic depression and was severely dehydrated and malnourished because ny stress level was so high, I stopped eating and drinking. And, talking. And sleeping. I just stopped functioning. They fed me. stabilized me, and sent me right back to where I was. This is a very long story all of which I which I won’t relate in this format. So, one of the reasons why people did not believe me was due to the fact that I was a mess while he looked like the normal one…but that is actually, the profile. and then I ended up in the mental ward while he had been telling everyone not to believe me because I was crazy (what other defense do they have?). But, this is what happens, if no meaningful intervention takes place. He also used this nervous breakdown as his defense in court so I was not able to secure a 2- year protective order AND his criminal charges were dismissed. in the end, I
    moved me and my daughter to the opposite coast, in the middle of the night, to get away from him. he found out where We were, took my daughter away from me by force and there I was, left with nothing. He destroyed my entire life, took the house and everything in it, ruined my reputation, drove my boyfriend away from me, took my child. I wanted to die. So, if you are being stalked, my advice to you is to MOVE far away, as soon as possible, leave everything behind if you have to, tell NO ONE where you are going and never, ever return. Protective orders don’t stop them. Criminal charges don’t intimidate them in the least, they have no respect for laws-statutory, constitutional or natural. And remember, stalking will break you mentally but you are NOT the crazy one, HE is.

  • Lee January 2nd, 2015 at 4:04 PM #40

    Brandy,This is so concerning, I wish I could really help you. I am a private investigator and have worked in the criminal courts for 18 years BUT I was stalked, threatened, harassed, followed by my ex. he got away with all of it. anyways, I am wondering if the FBI might be able to help you because of the mail you’ve received…the postal service is a federal agency. it’s worth a shot, federal agents are typically better educated and better trained, and the FBI has more resources than the local authorities. you need to determine where the closest bureau is and call them there.

  • Elle January 10th, 2015 at 1:13 PM #41

    I was stalked for years by a police officer.
    I’d like to thank this forum administrator(s) for offering an important place for stalking victims to share their experiences and learn about others. Stalking victims have few -if any, opportunities to safely talk/write about our personal stalking nightmare without being mocked, doubted, judged or dismissed, and my heart goes out to all who’ve been/are there.

    The myriad of ways that stalkers damage our lives completely and eternally changes our perspective of that which we grow up taking for granted such as; we have the “right” to not be terrorized, believing there are people we can turn to for protection… and justice -people who actually take stalking crimes seriously, that the law (and those hired to enforce it) will protect us -and punish the ‘bad guys/gals’, that this could “never happen” to me… and more.

    Because my stalker was in law enforcement there was literally no one on earth who would give me the time of day. It would take up too much space to list everyone I contacted/begged to just get it to stop. A few of them include; the stalker himself (and those he incited to participate), the police dept. (they literally laughed at me), the city council, city manager, mayor, DA, governor’s “victim assistance” personnel, and on and on. At best I was simply ignored. When I was eventually attacked by the stalker and 3 of his cronies (statistics show that a stalker will attack the victim 97% of the time -I didn’t believe the statistic, till it happened to me…) the police went to work like a well oiled machine -to protect their fellow cop.

    While the attack was still underway, one of the attackers called the police -on me. Since the cops were acutely aware of the situation and had already been vigilant about protecting my stalker’s activities, I was yelled at screaming “I don’t care what happened” by our “finest” when I tried to make a statement. They took a statement from the attackers (men between 6-6’4″) who stated that I “snapped” and attacked one of them -it’s still not clear who I “attacked”, it was never specified in their ‘report’. I’m a 125 lb woman… The police didn’t question anyone at the scene and there was no standard follow-up investigation. The detective in Robbery, Homicide and Assault and Battery told me, and I quote, “I won’t let you file a complaint against these people”. A cop called my home 3 times in 1 day to inform me that dispatch had been instructed to ignore any and all calls from me, and that the cops would do absolutely nothing to ‘protect’ me. Well duh.

    I couldn’t find an attorney who would touch it. They all said, “No one wants to fight city hall”. That is, unless you are ‘someone important’ who’s experience would draw attention, tourists and thus, money to the town such as the Koby Bryant alleged rape case that occurred very close to my town.

    I’d already moved out of my home once before to save my sanity and did so again following the attacks, paying both mortgage and rent. I had to drop out of school (I was a PhD candidate), quit one of the jobs I was working and abandon all hobbies, interests and social activities. As victims know, stalking consumes you. Moving out of my home was worth it for my sanity and for my life. I still have my home and made back the money I spent fleeing my stalker-attacker, it’s the time (years), psychological and emotional costs that I’ll never recover and that which almost destroyed me.

    I realized that this psychopath could bash my head in and claim “self defense” and the police would dutifully file their (felony) false reports and do their best to discredit me, as they were already so accustomed to doing. Regarding more statistics, they show that once your stalker has attacked you there is then a 95% chance he/she will murder you. I didn’t believe the ‘attack statistic’ and learned otherwise and did not want to test the murder stats. While I was renting elsewhere the stalker’s house went into foreclosure. He lives about 1 hour south of me and is alive and kickin’. I still get ‘messages’ from him in the form of calls (on my cell phone -it’s virtually impossible to obtain a cell phone number -unless you’re a cop), and vandalism. It has his signature all over it.

    My life will never be the same and I will experience (as most victims of stalking and/or violence do) PTSD for the rest of my life. It lessens with time but will always be there. I work hard to keep it in check and (sounds crazy but…) actually take the ‘good’ from the nightmare. I’ve worked hard to keep it from leaving me bitter, paranoid and hateful. It changed me but I’ve forced those changes to work for rather than against me.

    I’ve changed my definition of “trust” and learned who I truly can and cannot “trust” -to a degree, and who I can turn to for protection. Well, the latter would be me. When it comes to my personal protection, I will ‘turn to’ me. Heaven forbid it will happen again in my lifetime and of course I’d go through the motions of reporting (if “allowed”) stalking, threats, etc. for purposes of documentation only -along with my personal documentation.

    Self defense skills can’t guarantee protection but it certainly doesn’t hurt. I wanted something an attacker couldn’t take from me. I took, (and still train) and highly recommend Krav Maga. I urge you to check it out on the net and join classes as soon as you can. Unlike other martial arts Krav Maga doesn’t take a lifetime to learn well enough to be of use. I’ve taken many forms of martial arts and have never seen anything like Krav Maga. It’s straightforward, brutal, crazy-effective, easy to learn and you learn it very quickly. On average, in 1 month’s time you’ll be at a point where you’ll be required to wear head, mouth and body armor for protection -it works ladies -and gentlemen.

    In addition to Krav Maga I have non-lethal types of defense such as pepper-mace spray (be sure to get this combination!) and stun gun -people, especially women should have these at hand these days anyway. In addition to that (and I also strongly urge, particularly all former/current victims to consider) ‘the other’ (not so non-lethal) forms of self-protection. Learn your states laws, take the class, submit you application to the sheriff -all up-front and legal.

    I for one will never turn to, or assume there are people who care about or will protect me. It’s up to me. It cost me a lot and there are ‘costs’ I’ll never recover but my nightmare-experience did make me stronger, smarter and extremely capable of protecting myself and as importantly, taught me to recognize and (maybe) preclude this happening again. Stalkers and psychopaths don’t need a “reason” to do what they do. How many times have we victims heard, “Well what did YOU do to ‘make’ this happen?” -one of the many forms of Secondary Wounding, often unintentionally but hurtfully doled out by the people we are the closest to. We don’t have to “do” anything to be stalked. We cannot control the behavior of disturbed individuals. We can however learn to protect ourselves, even when those who we pay via taxes refuse to do so. Thanks for letting me ramble endlessly. We can lean on one another for validation and emotional support and learn from one another’s experience.

    Don’t be discouraged by those who doubt, mock, criticize and judge you. Don’t let these attitudes further wound you. YOU know what is happening/happened and you don’t need validation from those who don’t understand and those to whom this has never happened, and heaven forbid it does. You can protect yourself. You don’t need “permission” from ANYONE to protect yourself from stalkers. There is a saying, “For those who understand, no explanation is necessary. For those who don’t, none is possible”.

  • Barbara M January 26th, 2015 at 9:43 PM #42

    My spouse has been stalking me for years and it has gotten progressively worse as he has enlisted others to participate in his sick evil terrorizing games on me. And I too sought out law enforcement to no avail. He kept me totally isolated in his home for 2 1/2 years. I had no car, and the $900 a month I had to live on was used for groceries and household supplies. When I finally was able to purchase a car , he immediately began vandalizing it in a very short time this auto has been ruined and I still have a payment of $270 monthly. He has hacked into every cell phone I ve bought and the I pad. I have no safe way to communicate with anyone. I was able to move out into a wonderful friends home but the terror continues on a daily basis. Naturally my husband has made me out to be the mental case and he has been successful at doing so . My family is estranged from me…my friends don’t understand and get frustrated by me… By chance I had an x ray taken of my right foot. The technician asked me if I had foot surgery as their were lead pins in that foot! I was flabbergasted . The owner of this medical practice has a daughter who is a friend of my former step daughter so next thing I m being told that I lied about not having a surgery! Can anyone believe this? My husband has made several attempts on my life that were scary but lead poisoning is most scary. If I told anyone every thing he did to me on a daily basis they would never believe me. He is the crazy one. When we first married he talked daily about killing his former wife and her Mother in great detail. I read a true story of a man who murdered his former spouse, even in lue of the fact that he was now happily married. After I read it, I told my husband if he ever spoke to me about killing these women I was going to law enforcement. That stopped it as his former brother in law is a high powered attorney and his wife’s sister is now a federal judge. I wish I had relatives in high places but he would still convince the world it is me not him. When we lived together he brought women into our home. U could hear them and smell them but I couldn’t get it on film as he was watching me via my phone. He humiliated me in everyway possible . Every time I found employment he somehow sabotized the whole thing. He got dental insurance on me yet I was never allowed to use it. He destroyed all my contact lenses, he gave me a foot fungus and I paid a fortune for the med and u have to razor the feet weekly and file the infected toenail daily. He threw the razors away blades and med. All the time knowing I didn’t have transportation to replenish what he destroyed or the $$$. His cruelty has no boundaries and I ll be lucky to survive it all. It has taken an unbelievable toll on my life and the quality of life I desire. No one understands so it’s terrible to be tramuitizedndaily and tell no one. I ll never regain the years I have lost with my children and grands. Basically he has totally destroyed my life without one consequence. Why doesn’t law enforcement get it and help us???
    L.,

  • The GoodTherapy.org Team The GoodTherapy.org Team January 27th, 2015 at 9:35 AM #43

    Thank you for your comment, Barbara. If you would like to consult with a mental health professional, please feel free to return to our homepage, http://www.goodtherapy.org/, and enter your zip code into the search field to find therapists in your area. If you’re looking for a counselor that practices a specific type of therapy, or who deals with specific concerns, you can make an advanced search by clicking here: http://www.goodtherapy.org/advanced-search.html

    Once you enter your information, you’ll be directed to a list of therapists and counselors who meet your criteria. From this list you can click to view our members’ full profiles and contact the therapists themselves for more information. You are also welcome to call us for assistance finding a therapist. We are in the office Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Pacific Time; our phone number is 888-563-2112 ext. 1.

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