According to the CDC, stalking is a, "pattern of repeated & unwanted attention, harassment, contact, or conduct directed at someone that would cause a reasonable person to feel fear." Stalking manifests in a lot of different ways, causing fear, anxiety, and/or anger in the survivor. Read below for more information!
Every year in the US, 7.5 million people are stalked.
61% of females and 44% of males who have experienced stalking are stalked by a former intimate partner. 25% of females and 32% of males who have experienced stalking are stalked by an acquaintance.
76% of intimate partner femicide victims were stalked by an intimate partner before being murdered. 54% of those women had reported the stalking to the police prior to their murder.
66% of stalkers pursued their victim at least once per week (many daily), using different methods.
About 30% of stalkers have stalked others before.
Methods of Stalking:
SOURCE: SEXUAL ASSAULT RESOURCE CENTER & RAINN
Stalking can have adverse effects on the survivor, including persistent fear, anxiety, nervousness, isolation, stress, and depression. 1 out of every 7 stalking survivors are forced to relocate.
What you can do if you're experiencing stalking:
Trust your instincts--if you feel something is off or wrong, it probably is. Don't try to downplay the danger you are in.
Take all threats from your stalker seriously. Call 911 if you are in immediate danger.
Talk to a trusted adult or friend. Keep in mind that if you confide in a teacher or counselor, they may need to report the abuse to someone else.
Call an advocate (like the ones at Helping Hands)! We're available 24/7 and are confidential. Check out the bottom of this page for additional confidential resources.
Create a safety plan (you can do this with an advocate)!
Do your best to avoid your stalker. Try not to respond to their messages, calls, etc.
If it is safe to do so, block them on social media, email, and your phone.
Keep evidence of the stalking, such as screenshots of text messages, emails, phone logs, etc.
Want to know how to best support someone who may be experiencing stalking? Check out our page on Bystander Intervention.
RAINN (Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network) is the nation's largest anti-sexual violence organization. RAINN provides online chat services as well as the national sexual assault hotline (note that the RAINN hotline will direct you to your nearest sexual assault center, such as Helping Hands).
The Stalking Prevention, Awareness, and Resource Center (SPARC) ensures first responders and other allied professionals have the specialized knowledge to identify and respond to the crime of stalking. The website also contains resources for victims, including tips for safety planning.
Helping Hands--a non-profit in Hood River, Oregon--supports all survivors of sexual assault, domestic violence, and/or stalking through safety, shelter, advocacy, education, and outreach. Call us if you have questions, need guidance for yourself or a friend, or just need someone to listen.