If you think you are being stalked, you can contact any of the resources listed in the Student Resource Guide for help in safety planning and obtaining protective accommodations.
Here are some strategies that might help you remain safe and regain some control of your life:
- Notify the stalker to stop: You or an attorney on your behalf can send a registered letter to the stalker stating that he/she must stop the behavior immediately.
- Notify law enforcement and the Commonwealth's Attorney: Request that law enforcement agencies log your complaint each time you call whether they respond or not. Request a copy of the report.
- Obtain a Protective Order: You will need to go to the magistrate to get a criminal warrant and then file for a protective order. While the stalker may not respect the order, the police are required to make an arrest if the order is violated.
- Document everything: Record any information that you or any witnesses can provide. Use the Tracking Form to record any or all details.
- Tell everyone: Give friends, neighbors, coworkers and family members a description of the stalker. Ask them to watch for him/her, document everything listed above and give you a written account for your records.
- Take pictures: When you see the stalker, try to take a photo or videotape if it's safe to do so.
- Press charges: Call police or go to the magistrate immediately and request warrants each time the stalker breaks a law. The stalker should be arrested, bonded, and then released. Request that one of the terms of the bond be that the stalker may not have any contact with you at all. Obtain copies of all documents and the name of the magistrate, as well as arresting officer.
- Save all communications: Save and date all cards, letters, notes, envelopes, e-mails, and taped messages on your telephone answering machine that are from the stalker.
- Keep all legal documents: Obtain copies of warrants, protective orders, court orders, etc.
- Make it hard to track you down:
- Alter travel routes and routines.
- Obtain a post office box.
- Give your address and phone number to as few people as possible. Inform professional organizations that they are to provide no one with information about you.
- Call the Social Security Office and request that Social Security numbers be changed if you can prove that the stalker is using them to find you.
- Post a No Trespassing sign on the edge of your property where it is clearly visible.
- Report any threatening calls to the telephone company.
- Use *57, Call Trace, if available.
- Report to the FBI all threats sent by mail.
- If you move:
- Don't ask the post office to forward your mail. Have them hold it for you
- Take all important records with you: your (and your children's) medical, financial, academic records, Social Security cards, green cards, passports, driver's licenses, etc.
- Pick up or forfeit deposit money on apartments
- Take a self-defense class: You may find that you feel more empowered and self-sufficient, even if you never employ the techniques that you learn in your class.
For more resources and information, see the Stalking Resource Center.