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 serious, often violent, and can escalate over time. Each year, 6.6 million people are stalked in the United States.
Signs of stalking include:
Repeated, unwanted, intrusive, and frightening communications, by phone, mail, and/or email.
Following or laying in wait for a victim at places victims tend to frequently visit including home, school, or work.
Making direct or indirect threats to harm the victim or people close to the victim
Damaging or threatening to damage a victim's property.
Harassing a victim through the internet, including email and social networking sites.
If you or someone you know is being stalked, you may feel vulnerable or unsafe, amongst many other feelings of powerlessness. While the victims of stalking cannot control the stalking behavior, they can be empowered to take the following steps to keep themselves, family and loved ones safe.
If you believe you are being stalked, tell your family, friends, and coworkers, as they are the people who can provide support and help watch out for your safety. If you believe your vehicle is being followed you should immediately drive to a well lit and populated area or to the nearest law enforcement agency. If you are in immediate danger, always call 9-1-1.
If you suspect any stalking behavior, you should report it to the Lakewood Sheriff’s Station at 623-3500. Be prepared to provide information that establishes patterns of stalking behaviors such as dates, times, and locations, vehicle descriptions, or saved communications.