Repeated Actions Causing Fear
Stalking is defined as a course of conduct (two or more actions) directed at a specific person that would cause a reasonable person to feel fear.
Stalking can look different to anyone. Often, perpetrators of stalking exploit a victim’s specific fears or phobias and communicate threats covertly in ways that seem harmless to outsiders:
- Leaving flowers on the doorstep
- Placing coffee in the car
- Ringing the doorbell
- Calling work/showing up at work
- Calling or texting phone an excessive number of times (anything out of the normal). For example, it may have been normal in your relationship to receive 5 texts a day but now you receive 35 a day. This would be considered harassing.
- Calling friends/family
- Showing up at the residence
- Showing up at events
Many victims of stalking will feel as if they are going crazy or being dramatic. Many victims will say they don’t feel scared but are annoyed by all the texts they are getting. Just because someone is not scared, does not mean it is not still harassment.
Steps to Take
If a victim believes they are being stalked, they should document what is happening. Document any text messages, phone calls, emails, third party contact, damages, drive-bys, etc. Victims should also make up a safety plan for what they will do if their stalker attempts to make contact with them in person or makes a threat to harm them.