Written By: Steve Kovacs
Stalking occurs to celebrities like David Letterman and it occurs to regular folks like you and me. Being a victim of stalking is one of the worst situations men and women can be involved in. Stalkers can be the single most difficult people to deter or stop in the area of personal protection. As Denver Psychiatrist Doreen Orion MD a ten-year stalking victim herself said, “Often there is no end, no resolution. It just drags on and on with the victim never knowing if it is finally over.”
When we hear about stalkers and their frightening behavior against their victims we’re shocked. We also sometimes hear about how stalkers kill their victims. Stalking rarely leads to murder, however, it can and does lead to assault, harassment and unbelievable fear and anxiety to victims.
Common sense tells us the best thing we can do is not get involved with people who may turn into a stalker. That sounds easy enough, doesn’t it, but is it? Quite often people do the exact opposite of what they should be doing in regards to stalking. To start: it is good to know traits of those who may stalk. By knowing what types of personalities are apt to stalk, we can stay away, and thus keep off their radar, which can make all the difference in the world for you. Here are some common traits of stalkers:
- Sociopathic Thinking: This means individuals showing impulsive behavior, being indifferent to the rights and feelings of others, having difficulty sustaining relationships and a lack of regret for their actions
- Obsessive Personality
- Does not seem to take no for an answer
- Few or no personal relationships
- Low self esteem
How about if you’re already dealing with a stalker?
- The single most important thing to do with a stalker is to tell him or her in a firm, matter of fact and unmistakable way to stop their behavior, but tell them only ONCE. This is where most people make a mistake when dealing with stalkers; they continue to deal with them in some way. Harassers and stalkers want a REACTION from you. Any repeated contact is just that. Dry up their obsession similar to starving a fire by depriving it of oxygen.
- Return any mail unopened.
- Instead of changing your phone number, get a second unlisted one for family and friends. Save messages on your old number so you can preserve any evidence of harassing and stalking behavior—however, do not answer that old phone.
- Do not delete emails. Keep them in a separate folder in case you need to use it as evidence.
- Here is an important one. Call the police. Some experts advise victims to call the police only when they have been threatened. Their theory being police probably will not or cannot do anything until an actual threat has been communicated. Nonsense! Call them if you’re concerned–that’s what they’re there for. No one has a crystal ball and can tell you when your harasser or stalker may get violent.
- Utilize a legal restraining order; however, most stalkers do not abide by them. (call your local police department, court system or attorney to find out how to initiate them).
- Self-Protection measures to consider:
- Equip your house with an alarm system. They are great deterrents to many types of crime including someone intent on harming you.
- Make sure you have good, deeply set, dead bolt door locks.
- Consider buying a dog, they can be extremely effective for our security and safety.
- Consider having ready at hand, self-defense tools such as civilian Taser’s, pepper spray or a firearm.
Finally, if you have been a victim of stalking there are support groups to help you. Seek them out locally or nationally. These groups offer detailed strategies to help combat and cope with stalking-you are not alone.
Steve's a three-time survivor of violence in his youth and was an award winning police officer being the recipient of the 'J. Edgar Hoover Foundation' award for Fidelity, Bravery, and Integrity. Steve was SWAT trained by the FBI, FBI Hostage Rescue Team, and the LAPD.
For several years, Steve also did radio political and current event commentary and taught college Criminal Justice. He is the former host of the long running 'The Kovacs Perspective' Internet radio talk show.
Presently, Steve is the owner and Managing Director of one of the oldest martial art schools in Ohio, 'The Mayfield Academy of Self-Defense'.
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