For most of us, stalking is something we only hear about on the news or in a popularized crime television show. Unfortunately, stalking is much more common in the U.S. than you might realize. About 18.3 million (15.2%) U.S. women and nearly 5.5 million (5.7 %) are victims of stalking during their lifetime. But what kind of behavior is considered stalking? According to the National Center for Victims of Crime, stalking is a complex crime that is often misunderstood and largely underreported.
Unlike other crimes that are defined as an incident. But stalking is a pattern of behavior, often of individual acts that could–in isolation–seem noncriminal. More specifically, stalking is a pattern of repeated and unwanted attention, harassment, contact, or any other course of conduct directed at a specific person that would cause a reasonable person to experience fear. Though being stalked is frightening and unnerving, there are lots of different ways to tell if someone is stalking you and ways to protect yourself. For example, you can use personal safety equipment like the Silent Beacon wireless panic button which enables you to call any number, including 911, while also sending multiple people your live GPS location. Along with carrying the Silent Beacon safety device, here are some Stalking Safety Tips on how to tell if someone has crossed the line from overly friendly to stalker-ish:
If you bump into the same person everywhere you go and tend to see them at places like your workplace or neighborhood, there may be somebody on your tail. Occasional meetings could be coincidences if you live near each other. But repeated encounters could indicate stalking behaviors. In addition, if somebody is showing up to your home, your workplace, or a public place continuously and unannounced, it might be a good idea to involve the authorities.
If your cell phone is receiving an abundance of calls from the same unknown number or an excessive amount of calls from someone you usually don’t interact with. This may be a sign of danger. How much is too much? Multiple phone calls, text messages, emails, or social media inquiries every day, and a refusal to stop are indications that getting authorities involved might be a good idea.
Sometimes, stalkers will begin by sending unwanted gifts, like flowers. Usually, when their affections are not reciprocated, they may intensify the situation by sending more.
Internet stalking is usually an extension of physical obsession. And if you are being harassed online, report what is happening to local law enforcement as soon as possible.
If somebody knows things about you like your address, phone number, hometown, or other personal information before you’ve mentioned them, that is a good indicator that they have been looking into you. This doesn’t automatically make them a stalker, but it is important to be wary from that point on.
While these instances sound frightening and alarming, there are many ways to prepare yourself. Some of our best Stalking Safety Tips include:
You know yourself best. If you are walking home alone or feel uncomfortable for any reason, go inside a public store. Call a friend or family member to tell them what is going on.
Make sure that you have a friend or family member with you when you go outside. That might make your stalker less likely to approach you or want to follow you because you have someone backing you up.
The Silent Beacon wearable panic button is a device that automatically sends an alert to emergency services. It lets them know you’re in danger and that you’re in need of help. Silent Beacon allows you to customize who you call for help, whether that’s 911, emergency services, a family member or friend, even phone numbers overseas.
In addition, the Silent Beacon is a GPS panic button device and uses your smartphone’s GPS to send your location in real-time via text, email, and push notifications to people who can help you in an emergency.
This feature adds a whole extra layer of safety, enabling contacts to find you if you’re incapacitated or unable to talk. Make sure you wear the Silent Beacon. You can carry pepper spray for safety when you go out and that you have them ready and accessible. Being prepared can be your key to safety if the worst-case scenario happens. If you’re concerned that calling for help would further agitate your stalker. Silent Beacon’s “Silent Alert Mode” will mute your contact allowing them to hear you without upsetting your attacker.
Take a few extra steps to ensure your social media profiles are set to private. Even after your accounts are private, be careful not to post sensitive or personal information. Stalkers can use personal information on your profiles to locate you, contact close family and friends, or create a sense of familiarity that might make you less suspicious of them.
Having an escape plan is imperative if someone is stalking you. Finding a quick way to get out of a building or area is what could save your life if the worst-case scenario occurs.
Be honest with yourself and your loved ones. If you feel like someone is following you or you’re being stalked, don’t be afraid to ask for help. Those who care about you might have great advice to give. And they’ll be there to console you if you’re scared. Must follow the above stalking safety tips.