Lets Speak Up About Stalking, Personal Safety, and the Legal System
While a good number of misinformed people think that persistence is key when it comes to trying to get the attention of someone they’re drawn to, this couldn’t be further from the truth. When you’re not interested in someone’s advances, their refusal to leave you alone may move fast from being annoying to being scary. The fear is valid in this case, since a number of unhinged individuals will stop at nothing to get what they want, even resorting to violence and other crimes. It’s therefore important to learn more and speak up about stalking so that you may have a chance of protecting yourself or putting a stop to unwanted advances from a party that’s interested in you. Read on to see some beneficial information on stalking, personal safety, and the legal system.
What Is the Legal Definition of Stalking?
Stalking is legally defined as a pattern of unwanted and repeated attention, contact, harassment, or any other behavior that’s directed at a person and that’s enough to strike fear in any reasonable person. This is more or less the legal definition of stalking as shared by the Department of Justice. It’s somewhat similar to crimes involving sexual violence because, just like them, it’s about control and power. It’s important to speak up about stalking as soon as you realize that you’re a victim so as to involve the law and have the right action taken.
Such actions may involve taking out restraining orders for the stalker so that they maintain some distance from you. Keep in mind that you may be asked to present evidence of stalking before you’re granted any legal documentation to help you. In this case, you should know that clingy, persistent and annoying behaviors may not equal stalking as far as the law is concerned. That said, it’s important to take action as soon as you realize what’s going on, because hesitation may only make the stalker braver.
Basic Resources for Stalking Victims
When people are urged to speak up about stalking, it’s usually with the intention of sharing resources that can help victims of stalking. These aim to help people stay safe and lower the likelihood of a fatal outcome due to an incident of stalking. You could talk to individuals who work for the deputy sheriff and find out if they can serve the stalker a restraining order or something to keep them away from you. You may have better grounds for doing this if the stalker has assaulted you or damaged your property in the past.
If you can prove these things, you could get help in changing details like your telephone number and email address among others. Shopping for groceries at a place you don’t normally shop from and changing your routine a bit could come in handy for you in a number of ways. When you contact the police and share details of the stalking, they may decide to either serve a warning to the offender or hold a mediation between the two of you. If neither of these measures work, you should go back to the police for a review and to receive fresh assistance.
Legal Assistance Should Be Attainable
When you speak up about stalking, you should know that it’s possible to get legal assistance. There are attorneys who are well-versed in the details of stalking and they can advise you accordingly on how to get the help you need. Once you find out the details of your specific case, you may need to seek the services of an attorney. This is especially important to do in instances whereby you may need to take the matter before a court in order to deal conclusively with it. Try and stay level-headed so that you can recount events in a factual manner and provide evidence if you’re asked for any.
Stalkers Have Lawyers Too
While enlisting the services of an attorney, it’s important to note that your stalker can also get their own lawyer. A criminal lawyer specializes in cases where they work to represent people charged with breaking the law and committing various offenses. As such, you should be ready to face your stalker’s lawyer while you speak up about stalking to try and improve your safety. It’s clear to see how beneficial it would be to team up with people who know the law in such matters as doing so can make a positive difference in the final outcome.
What to Do If You’re Injured While Being Stalked
You may be ready to speak up about stalking as a result of sustaining an injury as a result of the stalking. In this case, the first thing that you need to do is to talk to an accident lawyer. They could help you to understand the details of actions you could pursue in order to get a good outcome. They’ll also help you understand the details of your situation and guide you on the processes that you choose to pursue.
If you’re injured as a direct result of the stalker’s actions, you can press charges and have them tried for assault and similar offenses. In this instance, they may be liable to cater for the expenses of your treatment until you get better. If the stalker shows no remorse and still pursues you relentlessly, you should take urgent measures to ensure your safety. Some of these are getting a restraining order and pushing for the stalker’s prosecution.
Laws Stalking Victims Sometimes Break
When we speak up about stalking, it’s important to understand that sometimes it may be a bit hard to actually press charges for stalking. This is especially the case if you lack tangible proof that you’re being stalked. Many stalkers may be smart enough to understand that they shouldn’t leave any evidence of their stalking. Others, however, may be too enraged or full of emotion driving them to remember to take care. In this case, they may break a few laws. As a victim of stalking, you may also break a few laws yourself and end up needing the services of a good defense attorney.
One of these laws is injuring your stalker when they make you too uncomfortable and end up in your personal space. While you may claim self-defense, this is still a crime you may have committed. Another crime that you could commit as the victim of a stalker is in the digital space. If you exchange insults, threats, or defamatory words or even images with your stalker, they may get the opportunity to press charges. Even if they took part in the exchange, you still risk spending time and resources on court visits and such. You may also invariably tarnish your own reputation in the process and fall into the cruel hands of victim-blamers both online and offline.
Finding Safety After Stalking
After being stalked, it’s important for you to speak up about stalking and seek help in whatever capacity you can. This includes safety from the stalker themselves and safety from the mental repercussions of being stalked. If you follow the due processes but you don’t get any conclusive help and your stalker stays roaming free, you have good reason to be concerned about your safety. This is because there may not be anything standing between you and the stalker.
In such instances, you need to take steps such as changing the locks of your home. Call up a few reputable local locksmith companies to find out the cost and process of changing the locks. This may help you sleep better at night. You may also want to get a weapon with which to protect yourself in case the stalker attempts anything. Remember, however, that a weapon can easily be turned against you if you don’t know how to use it well. That said, it’s a good idea to take self-defense classes and also learn how to use your weapon of choice well enough. An additional safety measure you should use is to let a trusted person in your life know your plans and whereabouts at all times. This may help you go about your life with considerably more peace of mind as you’ll know that there’s someone watching your back more or less.
Home Security for Stalking Victims
As mentioned, you need to improve your security as a stalking victim. This is one of the most important things to discuss when you speak up about stalking. If you can secure your home, you may be able to enjoy a more peaceful life, all things considered. One measure of home security that you could take after changing your home’s locks is to set up an alarm. Most CCTV systems on the market typically come paired with an alarm. This may additionally be linked to your phone via the internet so that, wherever you are, you know what’s going on in your home. When you do this, you’ll be able to keep your property safe alongside any people you may be living with.
Did the Legal System Fail You?
If you feel that the legal system has failed you after you speak up about stalking, it’s a good idea to look into alternative measures. These include finding a safer place to move to. This is the best step to take in cases where the stalker lives in close proximity to you. It’s also a reasonable step to take if the stalker has been violent towards you in the past and they show signs of continuing this behavior.
That said, take time to look for a safer place to live and call reputable movers from the area you intend to move to. This could help keep you safe in case the stalker tries to fish for information on your whereabouts from the movers who helped you. Follow basic guidelines of ensuring your safety such as finding an apartment that has a doorman and whose security is usually robust. This, as well as staying aware of your surroundings and keeping safe hours will all help you stay safer when you move.
Protecting Your Loved Ones From Your Stalker
Finally, if you have loved ones such as children, parents, siblings, or other people around you while you get stalked, it’s only natural to be concerned about their safety. It’s very important in this case for you to speak up about stalking so that your loved ones can be made aware of the situation and possible outcomes. When they know about the danger signs to watch out for and the measures to take, it may be easier for you to keep them safe. If you have a good estate lawyer, you could have a talk with them about the issue to hear if they have any advice to offer you.
If they tell you that it’s a good idea to move to a different area and secure your estate in a certain way, for instance, follow this advice well. When you do this, it may be easier to keep yourselves safe from the possible issues that could result from being stalked. Don’t hesitate to take action if you feel as though your loved ones are in any kind of danger from the stalker. Acting fast can help you to get out safely.
It’s important for people who have been victims to speak up about stalking because this is the best way in which they can keep themselves and others safe. While it’s important to make sure that you are, indeed, being stalked before taking action, there’s a fine line between waiting too long and doing what needs to be done. Learn how to differentiate between harmless though annoying persistence from someone interested in you and stalking. Knowing the difference can help you stay safe and avoid the endless issues that you risk encountering from a stalker.