Having a stalker is a woman’s worst nightmare. She feels helpless, unsafe and more importantly terrified. She feels that she is being watched and followed everywhere and home isn’t a safe haven anymore. She locks herself up in her but keeps staring at the door to check whether her stalker has tried to break in. That’s how terrified a woman can get is she is being stalked.
Stalkers are everywhere. You hear about your neighbour or your friend being stalked by some guy who is desperate to have her, celebrities too are stalked by their fans, crazy exes stalk their girlfriend/boyfriend to get back together or take revenge. Their actions lead to severe mental trauma for the victim and could cause suicidal tendencies.
These stalkers are sick-minded people who are obsessed with their victims. They build a world of their own that is far from reality. Their fantasies and imaginations show them what they want to see and justify each action of theirs. Every action of their victim’s has a justified explanation of her interest in him. Even a hard slap will appear to them as the first physical contact between the two of you. In a country especially like India, which is one of the countries that is most unsafe for women, taking your stalker lightly can be your biggest mistake.
Signs you have a stalker who is following you everywhere
You find yourself being stalked all around. When your stalker tries to get to you through digital modes such as calling and texting you from different numbers, it is digital stalking. Another very common mode of stalking is cyberstalking, where he tries to harass you on social media or via emails and other online platforms. And then there is worse, which is physical stalking, where your stalker follows you around everywhere, tries to talk to you or hold your hand, and even pass on some twisted gifts to frighten you more. A stalker can be someone unknown, your utilities provider, a friend, an acquaintance or even a family member. Look at these signs to clear your doubts of being stalked.
- You see the same person wherever you go. You don’t know him but he is somehow everywhere. You feel that you are not alone and someone is watching you.
- You get creepy texts and calls. At first you think that it is a prank, but they keep on increasing
- You find gifts at your doorstep or your office from some ‘secret lover’. That secret lover knows the addresses of the two places you spend most of your time. Think about what else he can know about
- You start getting friend requests and creepy messages from several unknown IDs, all confessing their feeling or threatening you
- The same person is always there to help you out with your heavy bags or fixing your tyres. Who knows, he could have been the person to damage them at first
15 tips to get rid of a stalker and be safe
Many people ignore their stalkers, thinking that they will soon get tired of their actions and stop stalking them. But instead, these stalkers take your silence as a sign of encouragement and go far beyond the line. The frequency of their activities increases and it eventually leads to a far worse crime.
Stalking is a crime and it should be stopped at its early stages. These stalkers could be mentally ill or potential kidnappers, rapists and even murderers. Don’t take them lightly.
If you are being stalked, it’s time to put an end to it. Be brave and follow these tips to get rid of your stalker for good.
1. Tell your family and all other people that need to know
Your family is the first that needs to know that you are not safe. In some conservative families, parents on knowing such information immediately put you under house arrest. But if you are able to convey how it’s not your fault, they will sooner or later come around. Your close friends, boss and other people who see you on a daily basis need to know that you are being stalked so that they can be of help and check on you regularly.
2. Upgrade your house security
You don’t know how dangerous this stalker is. One day he’s following you and the next he could be threatening you at your doorstep. Warn your security guard about him and put up CCTV cameras in front of your main door. If necessary, change your house locks to ensure that he cannot reach you when you are at home.
3. Avoid going out alone
Make sure that whenever you go out, there is someone there to protect you and look out for you. Don’t take someone like your younger brother or he could be harassed along with you. Take someone who is physically stronger than your stalker to minimise the chances of you getting attacked by him.
4. Be prepared for attack
Carry some kind of weapon in your bag like a Swiss knife or the very popular and handy pepper spray. A stalker has predatory traits and will watch closely to find an opportunity to communicate with you or harm you when you are in a vulnerable position. Make sure that it’s not you who is the victim and don’t refrain from physically hurting him if it comes to it. He is traumatising you and must pay for it.
5. Ensure that your family is safe
When the stalker faces any kind of rejection, his anger and obsession grows even more. He looks for your weaknesses to hurt you. Your family and your friends could be his first target. Ensure that they take protective measures for their safety so that you don’t have to feel guilty for involving them in this.
6. Change your contact number
If your stalker knows your phone number, he will harass you will continuous calls and lewd texts. You block his number but he uses other numbers to get to you. In such a case, it is better to change your phone number and share it only with people who you need to contact on a daily basis. It will help get rid of him if he doesn’t know any other way to reach to you.
7. Go invisible on the Internet
Deactivate all your social media profiles for some time. If that sounds extreme, then the least you can do is make your profile private and unfriend all unknown contacts from your friend list. We sometimes accept requests from unknown IDs thinking that it will make us more popular. One of these IDs could be of the stalker and unintentionally you yourself have let the predator into your life. It’s time to clean up the mess.
8. Cry out for help
If your stalker tries to corner you on the road then you can shout for help and make the public know that you are being harassed. These stalkers feed on fear and by showing them that you are not afraid to turn them in, they can get scared and back off. Use this measure only if he tries to force you into a conversation or tries to hold your hand. Making him face public humiliation for a minor incident will make him revengeful.
9. Go out of town for some time
Now don’t think that by doing so he will think that you are scared of him. Taking time off from him is important for your mental health and peace of mind. It will give you time to think clearly. Don’t tell anyone where you are going so that he is not able to extract any information from your close ones. Before going away, ensure that your family is safe, because he may go after your family.
Related reading: 10 Bollywood films that glorify stalking
10. Make your end clear
If he tries to contact you then tell him straight up that you will not encourage any kind of harassment on his part. Make sure that he knows that you are not interested in him and when the time comes you will teach him a lesson and turn him in. Avoid any kind of further communication once you have told him your side. Ensure to discourage him as much as possible.
11. Tweak your daily routine
If you are being followed, then it’s important for you to ensure that he doesn’t know about all your whereabouts. Take different routes while going home and hang out in places that you have never heard of. Go out with different people so that he isn’t able to understand which one you are close to.
12. Try hanging out in public places
Hanging out in public places will make you less accessible to him. He will not be able to harass you or harm you in any way. The fear of drawing public attention will prevent him from doing so and he will go away. You will feel relieved and will be able to enjoy your time without the fear of being watched.
13. Collect as much evidence as possible
Do not delete any message, email or call from your phone. Record all the calls he makes to you and keep track of the gifts he sends you. Just collecting evidence is not enough; ensure that you have a way to link all the evidence to your stalker or else it will be of no use. Instead, your stalker could get alerted and try to destroy the evidence you had. Make several copies of the evidence and send it to two or more friends to be on the safe side.
14. Contact the police
Stalking is a crime. Now that you have gathered enough evidence to put him behind bars, go to the police and file an FIR. Ensure that you and your family get police custody so that his mates aren’t able to contact you. Make sure that the police understand the gravity of the situation and are of immediate assistance.
15. Go public with your issue
Share your incident on all social media platforms to make people know your story. This will help others to know how dangerous this person can be and you will have many more people to support you. Sharing your experience will also motivate others to take steps against their stalkers. You will be surprised to know how many people are like you.
We know that just the fact that you have a stalker can numb your feet. You feel afraid of the consequences of going against him. The truth is that if you don’t do anything about it in its early stages, it is just going to grow and affect other people in your life too. Even five minutes of courage can change your life. It is for you to decide whether you want to be the victim or the survivor.