WHAT IS STALKING?
Stalking is a crime!
Stalking is a course of conduct directed at a specific person that places a reasonable person in fear for her or his safety. It is against the law in every state and stalking across state lines or in federal territories is illegal under federal law.
Stalking can be very dangerous
Over 75% of women killed by their intimate partners were stalked by these partners before they were killed. Stalkers should be considered unpredictable and very dangerous.
Stalking is harmful and intrusive
Victims of stalking often lose time from work or never return to work, and some even relocate to regain a sense of safety. Many suffer from anxiety, insomnia, and severe depression as a result of being stalked.
Anyone can be stalked – not just celebrities
The vast majority of stalking victims are ordinary people. Most stalkers are not strangers to the victim.
Stalking can occur at any time in a relationship
Stalking often begins during a relationship. Stalkers may keep the victim under surveillance or threaten her or him. Others begin stalking after the victim has ended the relationship, and the stalker feels desperate to maintain or regain control. Still others become fixated on a victim without ever having had any relationship with the person. It’s not a joke and it’s not romantic. All forms of stalking are unpredictable, and all should be considered dangerous.
Technology can be used to stalk
Although newly-developed technology enhances our lives, it can also empower criminals. Cell phones, computers and surveillance equipment are just some of the technologies stalkers now use.
An effective response to stalking includes the entire community
Law enforcement, prosecutors, advocates, educators, reporters, neighbors… everyone can and should play a part in stopping stalking. Working together can make victims safer. You can make a difference.
Help is available
If you or someone you know is in immediate danger, call 911.
If you believe you or someone you know is being stalked, speak up and get help! Call the National Stalking Resource Center at 1-800-FYI-CALL for more information or visit their website at www.ncvc.org/src to learn how to fight it.
You may also call 1-888-DV LINKS (385-4657), The National Domestic Violence Hotline 1-800-799-SAFE (7233) or the San Diego Sheriff’s Department non-emergency number 858-565-5200 (IN AN EMERGENCY CALL 911).