What should you do in the case of stalking?
Stalking has a background history in most cases. As with other forms of transboundary behaviour, stalking does not begin only when the harassment and obsession become prevalent. There are often already noticeable signs or hints. For example, if an acquaintance always asks strange questions and generates unpleasant feelings in the respondent.
It is important to trust your own feelings and give yourself permission to set boundaries. Often, however, overbearing persons do not respect such limits. Therefore, the stalker is responsible for the harassment, and not those affected by stalking.
However, with a few tools, clear techniques and outside support, women affected by stalking can become more assertive. We give some general advice on this website that cannot replace counselling. Because every woman and every stalking situation is different.
Four important steps: What you should do in the case of stalking
If you are being stalked, the following steps may be important:
1. Set boundaries!
Explain to the stalker that you no longer want to have contact with them, and that there is nothing left to talk about. Remain consistent and stop responding to any attempts at contact. It is a good idea to have a neutral answerphone message on your telephone. Be extra cautious in situations where the stalker might suddenly confront you, and try never to be alone in these cases.
2. Tell trusted people about it!
There are situations in which it can be important for you that other people know that you are being stalked. Therefore, tell the people you can trust about the situation that you are in. Ask for their support, help and protection. (These can be counselling centres, friends, relatives, acquaintances, neighbours, employers, colleagues, the police.)
3. Keep a diary! Collect evidence.
All text messages and emails should be collected in one folder. All messages on the answering machine should be stored. Take photos, keep and store all the messages and gifts that are sent to you by mail, as evidence. Document threats and share them with your trusted contacts.
4. Stay firm!
Once you have made it absolutely clear that you no longer wish to be in contact, you must no longer react to any attempts by the stalker to contact you. Any reaction from you can be interpreted as a sign that you are still interested. And if there is a reaction, this gives the stalker hope, and the stalker will continue to wait for more reactions. This can sometimes be difficult for you, for example, if the stalker is the father of your children. There are also solutions here. Let us advise you.