1. Tell the stalker “NO” once and only once, and never
provide him any reaction again. If you continue to communicate with
him, he will believe that his actions will elicit a response. Never
communicate with him again. If he calls you on the phone (cell, home
and/or work) hang up when you hear his voice. Do not speak to
him. If he sends you a letter, do not open it, send it back: Return to
Sender. Do not accept any package you did not order,
flowers when you do not expect them, etc.
2. KEEP A JOURNAL AND
DOCUMENT EVERYTHING! Write down the calls, letters, third party
contacts if he tries to have a message sent via a friend, family member or
acquaintance, any presents or flowers (return unopened or not accepted), do not
open emails or attachments and do not respond, but print and keep a record in a
safe place with your journal.
3. Block your
address at the DMV and Voter Registration. Have an unlisted phone
number and do not unblock your number unless you trust this person. Never
give out your address or telephone number, and ask your family, friends,
coworkers, and your employer to never give this information out, and
report to you if someone is requesting this information. Get a Post
Office Box, and put this address on your checks, without your phone number. If
the stalker somehow secures your phone number, do not change
it. Purchase an answering machine with tapes and keep these recordings
in a safe place. Have co-workers screen calls and visitors at work,
and notify your workplace of the
4. Call the
police with documentation, and continue to provide them with proof of the
your local domestic and sexual violence services agency like the VRC
(315-331-1171), for additional assistance in documenting the stalking. Request
they provide you with additional resources, referrals, and
6. Shred all your discarded mail.
a cell phone and keep it with you at all
See Resources this website
for information under "Additional Links and Telephone Numbers" for
information on (if qualifying) free cell phone and service, and income
eligible lower cost phone service.
you think you are being followed, go directly to the nearest police
9. Purchase a dog; take a self-defense class;
keep gasoline in your tank at all times; acquaint yourself with your community,
area, school, and workplace; check your vehicle before entering and lock your
car door once inside; always be aware of your surroundings;
and alternate your routes to work or
10. Change the locks on
your doors and invest in an alarm system; and let your neighbors know you are
having a problem so they are aware of any stranger around your home,
apartment, or vehicle.
11. Communicate with the police and if
necessary, request an order of protection. If the stalker is a past significant
other, contact your local domestic violence agency for assistance in filing a
family offense petition in Family Court (New York
12. If the stalking worsens, you may have to move
to keep you and your family safe. You may have to change your social
security number and/or your name.
that the stalker can use technology such as hidden cameras, or global positioning
system via your phone or
14. Develop a safety plan for you and your family, at home,
school, work, and in the community. See
"Personalized Safety Plan" on this
The U.S. Department of
Justice defines Cyberstalking as
“the term to refer to the use of the Internet, e-mail, or other
electronic communication devices to stalk another person.” Stalking generally
involves harassing or threatening behavior that an individual engages in
repeatedly, such as following a person, appearing at a person's home or place
of business, making harassing phone calls, leaving written messages or objects,
or vandalizing a person's property. Most stalking laws require that the
perpetrator make a credible threat of violence against the victim; others
include threats against the victim's immediate family; and still others require
only that the alleged stalker's course of conduct constitute an implied threat.
While some conduct involving annoying or menacing behavior might fall short of
illegal stalking, such behavior may be a prelude to stalking and violence and
should be treated seriously. (USDOJ)
- Be extremely
cautious in meeting anyone online and then meeting them in person. If
you decide to meet the person, bring a friend, go to a public place, do not
provide this person with any personal information, and make sure that you are
not followed by this person when leaving.
- Do not share any
personal information in public places when online, and do not give anyone you
meet online any personal information on yourself. Do not post personal
information or provide a photograph of yourself.
- Check with your ISP
(Internet Service Provider) and Internet Relay Chat network that they have a cyberstalking
- If an online
situation becomes uncomfortable or hostile log off. If you are
concerned, contact your local police department.
What To Do If You Are Being
- If you receive an
unwanted contact, make it clear to that person not to contact you again (keep
evidence of your request). Do not respond to any contacts made by this
person again. Be very careful, because this person can change his/her
identity online and continue to contact you.
- Save all
communication as evidence and do not edit.
- You can download
free or purchase blocking or filtering software. Check with your ISP
for directions on how to block emails, chat rooms, etc.
- If the harassment continues
contact the harasser’s ISP (Internet Service Provider).
- Contact your local
police department and provide them with the evidence and explain your
concerns. You may contact http://www.cybertipline.com/.
Thank you to the U.S. Dept. of
Justice for the