Stalking is repeated and unwanted attention by an individual or a group towards another person. It may include following the victim and monitoring all their activities. It’s not just one single act but a series of actions as a whole that makes the process quite a frustrating experience for any person.
Most women have been stalked at least once in their lifetime and many of us do not take it seriously considering it a form of eve-teasing or we may not be well-educated about the seriousness of the crime. This is a topic which is not often discussed and due to this most cases go unreported. But it’s much more than that. It’s a very serious crime. So, a stalker has to be stopped right in his tracks or it could lead to serious consequences.
Unlike other crimes stalking is difficult to recognize and most stalkers take advantage of this. Most of the stalkers use technology and now the social media to track the victim’s daily activities.
Stalking can take place anywhere – outside schools, colleges, and at work place and so on. If it’s at work place then it takes the form of sexual harassment.
Many stalkers make use of social media to track the victim’s activities and the victim may not be aware that such monitoring is going on because most stalkers end up being a close friend, a family member and even an ex boyfriend/ girlfriend or it could be someone whom you trust. Most stalking victims are stalked by people whom they know closely.
I came across these interesting facts and would like share it :
* Persons between the age of eighteen and twenty- four experience the highest rates of stalking victimization.
* Most stalking victims are stalked by a current or a former intimate partner.
* Stalkers use a variety of methods to harass or threaten the victim.
* Stalkers rarely go away even if the victims ignore them.
* There’s no evidence to prove that stalkers are mentally ill people. They may be normal individuals in most cases. While many of them may suffer from mental illness.
How does stalking affect the victims.
* They may feel fear, anxiety, helplessness.
* They may have nightmares.
* They may suffer from sleeping disorders.
* Eating disorders
* One might loose or gain weight.
Steps that can be taken to end stalking.
* Establish minimal contact with the perpetrator.
* Confide about the act to a family member and let him/ her accompany you while traveling.
* Make a note of the perpetrator’s car or bike number.
* Always be prepared and make use of mobile applications like Nirbhaya/ Scream Alarm/ Help me on mobile and many other applications.
* Keep your loved ones informed about your whereabouts.
* Make a note of all the events and collect evidence.
* At last file a police complaint and get the assistance of police authorities.
A person committing this crime may be liable for imprisonment and fine. January 2014 has been celebrated as the Stalking Awareness Month. You can learn more about stalking and take the quiz at http://stalkingawarenessmonth.org/. I scored a 90 %.