Stalking can be extremely scary and traumatizing. In fact, stalking victims often have trouble concentrating and suffer from insomnia, anxiety, depression, and emotional stress. Stalking can disrupt every part of your life – your career could suffer from missed work, your children can be affected, and, most importantly, your family’s safety could be at risk.

What Should You Do if You Find Yourself in a Stalking Situation?

•    Call the police and file a formal complaint. Write down as much information as you can about the stalking behavior, including the time, date, and manner of the stalking incidents so that you can give the authorities a full report on what is taking place.

•    Tell your stalker calmly and firmly that they should leave you alone. Do not give in to demands or negotiate even though this may be difficult considering your past together.

•    Consider filing for a domestic violence order of protection, also known as a restraining order. These orders, while not right for every stalking situation, can make it illegal for your abuser to come near your home, place of employment, or school – and for he or she to contact you in any way.

•    Get a PO Box and consider changing your phone number or moving residences. Although these sound like serious measures, stalking is also serious and these decisions are about your own safety.

•    Keep any evidence you have of the stalking if you can, including notes and letters, voicemails, and photographs of property damage.

•    Alert those around you. Although it can be embarrassing, letting your family, friends, and employer know about your situation could help keep you safe from harm – and explain your emotional stress.

•    Get help from local domestic violence resources.

•    If you feel that you or your family is in immediate danger, call 911 and try to get to a safe, populated place. 

Molly B. Kenny
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Divorce and Child Custody Attorney Serving Bellevue and Seattle Washington