The month of January is marked as National Stalking Awareness Month, which is also known as Criminal Harassment. In Canada more then 1 in 10 women and 1 in 18 men report being stalked each year.
Stalking doesn't only include someone following you from place to place. It comes in many different ways such as; unwanted gifts, repeated unwanted phone calls or text messages and also includes someone who is constantly inquiring about you to friends, family members or co-workers.
If you believe you are being stalked, the Government of Canada recommends doing the following:
- Call the police
- Contact a community help service
- Talk to a friend, co-worker or family member
Maintain detailed notes about the stalking conduct. Dates, times, places, actions and threats are easier to explain and remember when written down.
Keep all recorded telephone messages, e-mails, gifts, letters or notes that have been sent by the individual. Keep a list of emergency numbers posted in
several locations . Emergency numbers should include:
- immediate family
- victims advocacy groups
Pay attention to incidents that may seem coincidental. Are you suddenly running into this person more often? If you are not sure if you are being stalked contact the police.
Do not agree to have contact with a person who you think may be stalking you. Do not try to deal with a stalker by yourself. Each stalking situation is different. Rather than intervening with the person yourself, contact the police. Consider that sometimes, when a stalker is confronted or meets with resistance, he/she may react with violence or the conduct may escalate.