Are You Being Stalked?

If you are in immediate danger because of your stalker, Call 911.

 

To meet the legal definition of stalking, the behavior must:

  • Be repeated, unwanted contact

  • Be a credible threat

  • Cause a reasonable person to fear bodily injury for themselves or their families

 

If you are being stalked:

 

  • Avoid contact with the stalker

  • Don’t respond or react to the threats or contacts

  • Change your phone number, screen name and email address

  • Document and report the behavior

  • Keep any notes, answering machine tapes, emails, or other evidence

  • Contact law enforcement or your local rape crisis center or domestic violence shelter for assistance

  • Vary travel routes and routines

  • Don’t post messages indicating where you will be and when

  • Carry a cell phone with you at all times

  • Lock your doors

  • Use a post office box number for your address

 

SAHC can help with:

  • Assistance in filling out a Protection Order

  • A free anti-stalking resource kit

  • Assistance with the address confidentiality program

  • Police accompaniment

  • Legal accompaniment

  • Personal advocacy

Stalking

 

Stalking is defined as "a course of conduct directed at a specific person that would cause a reasonable person fear." But, unlike other crimes such as speeding and murder, there is no "master list" of behaviors that constitute harassment. Harassment, using the West Virginia definition of "willful conduct," could include numerous behaviors.

The following is a list of behaviors that could potentially be considered stalking or harassment:

  • Surveillance or watching the victim (sitting in a car in front of the victim's house, going through the victim's trash, contacting the victim's family and friends, etc.)

  • Pursuing/following the victim

  • Unexpected appearances where the victim works, lives, goes to school or visits

  • Approaching or confronting the victim, perhaps even in violation of a protective order

  • Telephone harassment, which might include playing disturbing music, hang-ups or threats

  • Sending/giving unwanted gifts, letters or e-mails to the victim

  • Monitoring of telephone calls or computer use

  • Use or misuse of technology to stalk and harass (see below)

  • Spreading rumors or otherwise defaming the victim's character

  • Vandalism or other destruction of property

  • Threat to the victim and/or her/his family, friends and pets

  • Physical attacks