Have you experienced a stalker? Someone harassing you for months or even years on end? If so, you’re not alone.
It’s estimated that 3.4 million people report being victims of stalking each year (according to the U.S. Department of Justice’s Bureau of Justice Statistics.), & that is only the reported cases. Chances are the real number of stalking victims is much higher as many victims either don’t want to report it or are told they don’t have a case, which means a report is never made. Personally, I’ve experienced stalking twice. The first time, the policeman actually laughed at me when I tried to report it. The second time, the policeman was much kinder, but said that there was nothing that could be done from a legal standpoint as this person’s behavior stayed just barely legal.
Although the laws have improved, they still haven’t entirely caught up with reality, which means there isn’t usually much that can be done to protect ourselves from a legal perspective. We’re forced to seek other means of self-protection, as frustrating as that can be.
What can a victim do to protect himself or herself?
One thing I’ve realized is these people tend to be narcissists. They think their wants & needs rise above anything & everything else. They also think they’re above the law- they are so smart, they can harass you & stay legal. They also seem to think if they just push hard enough, you’ll cave, & see that you should be in a relationship with them. You’ll see how much they care about you by them harassing you! I think some stalkers who have been romantically involved with their victims even think it’s romantic. See how much they love you? They just can’t let you go! They can’t live without you! Amazingly dysfunctional, I know, but this is often their mindset.
Keeping in mind stalkers are often narcissists, you need to remember- narcissists are constantly in search of their precious narcissistic supply, which basically means any attention is good attention as far as they’re concerned. Good or bad attention, love them or hate them, they’ll take any attention or emotion they can get.
The best way to counteract a narcissistic stalker is to ignore them. They can handle any positive or negative emotion you feel, but they simply cannot handle apathy.
Show a narcissist they don’t mean anything to you, act like they don’t even exist, & that you aren’t afraid of them, & they will be completely frazzled. They won’t know what to do! I know this can be very frustrating to do. When someone is stalking & harassing you, you can’t help but want to tell them to get lost (putting that nicely) at some point. However, doing so will only make things worse. Ignore them no matter what! Even if you see them in a public place, ignore them! Yes it’s hard, but at some point, most narcissists will quit bothering you & find another target.
Another thing you can do is document everything. Take pictures. Save emails & texts. Take screen shots (hit that “prt scr” button on your keyboard, open Microsoft Paint or any picture editor & paste into a document. Instructions for android & iphones are available online.). Save every electronic document somewhere that can’t be destroyed. External hard drives die. CD’s break or become corrupt. Flash drives can be lost. An online cloud service is an excellent alternative.
Block your stalker electronically every way possible. Block them on social media, block their email, block their phone number. Granted, if they want to reach you badly enough, they can create other social media profiles, email addresses or spoof their phone number, but at least you can make reaching you a real challenge. Then block the new profile, email or phone number. Keep blocking!
Share your story with close friends or family who believe what you are going through. It certainly can’t hurt to have others know what is happening.
Stay on your toes. If you can, don’t go out alone. Stalkers are often nothing but bullies which means they’re cowards. Having others around you lessens your chances of them bothering you.
Put “no trespassing” signs on your property where they can be seen very clearly. Here in Maryland, if someone trespasses in spite of your sign, you can call the police to escort this person off your property. Having a police record of this person’s actions will work in your favor. I would guess this works in other states as well- it’s best to check into your own local laws however.
Lastly, if this stalker knows your friends & family, you need to be prepared- they are often quite capable of turning people against you. As ridiculous as it sounds, many stalkers are great actors (typical narcissistic behavior), & convince others that you are the one with the problem. The stalker probably says that he or she loves you & is just trying to win you back or be your friend. The stalker is the innocent victim- you’re the one with the problem. She/he has no idea why you’re being so mean & unreasonable- all the stalker wants to do is talk or apologize. And sadly, many people naively believe such nonsense because the stalker is just that good of an actor. I can’t tell you how many people I’ve lost in my life because of my two stalkers.
I truly hope that you did not need to read this post, Dear Reader. Being stalked & harassed is such a nuisance at best & depending on the person, can be very scary at worst. I wouldn’t wish it on anyone. If you are in this situation, then I hope my post can help you to manage this situation. My prayer is that anyone reading this article will be kept safe & their stalker will leave them alone permanently.