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It is very scary to be a victim of stalking.

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Whether or not the stalker intends to frighten, intimidate or threaten someone does not matteras long as the stalker knows that such behavior could cause a reasonable person to feel frightened, intimidated or threatened. Unwanted behaviors may not seem that alarming if considered separately as single incidents, but when the pattern of behaviors is considered altogether and over time, stalking becomes apparent and alarming. Read the full legal definitions of stalking in WA state. Read the full definition of cyberstalking in Washington state. People react in all sorts of ways to stalking, from minimizing it to experiencing much fear and stress. Being stalked can take a big toll on someone.

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S talking is one of the most dreaded crimes against women. Do you know the many forms that stalking can take, or and what you can do about each?

Read on for expert tips for recognizing and stopping a stalker One woman in 12 will be stalked at some time during her life, according to a study conducted by the U. Department of Justice. State laws also vary in their definition of how much fear and emotional distress a person must cause his or her victim to be legally deemed as a stalker, the BJS reports.

You are not alone.

Stalking 1: Lurking Around Your Workplace or Neighborhood Are you constantly bumping into the same guy after work or at the grocery store? Does he park next to you in the garage or near you on the street? Running into him every night at the gym does not make him a stalker. But seeing him later at the mall or lurking in your neighborhood when you get home may be cause for concern.

Occasional meetings could be coincidences if you live or work in the same area.

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But repeated meetings could al stalking. He or she gathers personal information about you, your friends and family.

They may photograph you, ask your friends about you or collect information from other sources such as public records or online research firms. Some go so far as to hire a private detective to follow you in an attempt to learn every detail of your private life. How much is too much? Multiple calls every week from someone you know only casually is likely reason to worry, though calling can take the form of hang-ups or long silences on your voic too.

If you know who the person is, tell him or her firmly to stop.

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If the calls persist, keep a log of the times he or she calls and inform the police. Stalking 4: Giving Inappropriate Gifts Some stalkers start out by sending unwanted flowers or gifts. When their affections are not returned, they may escalate the situation by sending more gifts, including those that are inappropriate or even pornographic. A typical tactic is to send the gifts to your office.

What is cyberstalking?

Some stalkers follow up their gifts by calling to see if you received them. If you have a company receptionist, ask him or her to screen deliveries for you and refuse those from your suspected stalker. The receptionist also may be able to describe the person who dropped off the package. The stalker appears and gallantly changes your tire or has a spare gas can that solves your problem. Then find a safe place to wait. Some hero-complex stalkers are even more subtle in their approach.

They may follow you on a rainy day and offer the use of their umbrella. Or they may pick up your keys, then present them to you, saying you must have dropped them.

What can i do if i’m being stalked?

Some even try to manipulate the object of their stalking into contact by filing a frivolous lawsuit. These legal tactics can range from the ridiculous to the ruthless. The stalker draws you into his orbit by forcing you to defend yourself. Other forms of manipulation include threatening to hurt themselves, thereby forcing their victim to intervene.

In some cases, their messages include links to suggestive websites. Internet stalking is often an extension of physical stalking, though not always.

What’s the difference between cyberbullying and cyberstalking?

In some cases, the stalker may not even know the real identity of his victim. He may have only seen his or her profile on social media and become obsessed. This does not make Internet stalking also called cyber-stalking acceptable.

Most law enforcement agencies have cyber-crime units, and Internet stalking is treated as seriously as physical stalking. Stalkers often try to isolate their victims from family and friends.

When hurtful or damaging information is made public, your first reaction may be to withdraw. He will then try to move in, becoming your knight in shining armor. Instead, do your best to stay strong and maintain your social circle.

Stalking 9: Acting Violently or Threatening You Using threats or violence to frighten their victim is a common strategy for some stalkers. Your car may be vandalized or your home burglarized. If you suspect a stalker is to blame, or ifyou receive threats or someone claims responsibility for the crime, report it immediately to the police. The information you provide may help the police piece together evidence from the crime and take action against your stalker at the same time.

If the situation continues, report him to the police. A stalker counts on your feeling that his actions are ordinary demonstrations of affection.

Resist the urge; he may be dangerous. Health Topics.

If you are being stalked:

Health Tools. Emotional Health. By Stephanie Tallman Smith. Last Updated: November 15,