Prevention of Stalking
The history of stalking is as old as the history of human relationships. In recent years the problem has become more pronounced. In most cases, it usually involves an unwanted romantic interest, such as an estranged husband/wife or an unwanted boyfriend/girlfriend. Stalking may involve persons who are barely, if at all, acquainted as well as people who are known to each other.
What is Stalking?
Stalking is the act of a person who, on more than one occasion, follows, pursues, or harasses another person, and actively engages in conduct that causes the victim to believe the offender will cause physical harm or mental distress to them.
What Should Victims of Stalking Do?
- Report the Crime. This is always the first thing a victim of any crime should do.
- Maintain a Record. Keep a record of each encounter with the stalker. The record should include dates, times, locations, complete description of the offender, words spoken, actions taken during the incident, actions taken after the incident, and a list of witnesses present during the incident. The victim should tape-record all threats made over the telephone.
- Seek a Protection Order. Get an Exparte Order of Protection. A protection order is a restraining order that will limit the contact the offender can have with the victim. Call the Circuit Clerk at 417-868-4074 for further information about an Exparte.
It is difficult to prevent stalking, particularly if the offender is determined. The following are among the prevention techniques that can be adopted.
- If the victim works outside of the home, notify the supervisor. An employer can lend support and possibly help with intervention.
- Obtain a cellular phone for 911 emergencies. There are some programs available for victims to obtain a free cellular phone for 911 services.
- Install a duress alarm system designed to call 911 at home and/or work for emergencies.
- The victim should be very cautious with his/her motor vehicle. Make sure it is always locked, whether the vehicle is occupied or not. Always check the backseat to make sure no one is in your vehicle.
- Try to go out with other people (travel in groups) or at least have an escort to and from your vehicle at work.
- Carry a battery powered high-decibel alarm device.
- Change the locks on your home and vehicle if you, at any time, gave the stalker a key. It could have been copied without your knowledge.
- Do not carry weapons of any type if you have not been specifically trained to use what you’re carrying. Remember that the weapon could be taken away from you and used against you.
Help Stop Stalking!
Stalking is a form of terror. It is a sign of impending danger and can change a victim’s life forever. An untold number of victims feel this terror everyday.
You can help stop stalking by reporting it. Keep in mind that the offender may be stalking you because the last person he/she stalked did not report the crime. The problem might have been solved if the last person took action, refused to become a victim, and reported the crime of stalking to the police.