January is National Stalking Awareness Month. Learn more about stalking, how to recognize it, and what to do if you or someone you know is a victim.
What is Stalking?
Stalking describes specific repeated harassing or threatening behavior toward another person. A stalker can be a stranger - but most stalkers know their victims and can be a partner, an ex-partner, a family member, co-worker, or an acquaintance.
An estimated 3.4 million people become stalking victims in the United States each year. Every state has laws against stalking. Although laws vary by state, stalking is generally considered to be any unwanted contact between a stalker and his/her victim which directly or indirectly communicates a threat or places the victim in fear.
Anyone can become a victim of stalking regardless of age, gender, or other differences.
Are You Being Stalked?
You may be if someone is:
- Repeatedly following or spying on you
- Repeatedly calling your home and/or work
- Repeatedly sending unwanted e-mails, letters, faxes
- Leaving unwanted gifts or items for you to find
- Vandalizing or damaging your property
- Threatening you or someone close to you
- Repeatedly showing up for no legitimate purpose at places where you are
Many people believe stalking only happens to celebrities or between strangers. Stalking is a crime that can happen to anyone, and often victims know who their stalkers are. We understand that being a victim of stalking is terrifying, and stalking can interrupt your life at home, at work, and at school, and affect your relationships with your friends, family, and coworkers.You may feel afraid for your life and that you have no privacy or no place to turn. If the above experiences are part of your life, you can find help in your community.
If you live in New York City, Safe Horizon can provide in-person support to help you deal with stalking. Go to our Get help for stalking page for support.
Safe Horizon has helped thousands of stalking victims find the services and support they need during crisis. Read how we helped:
Want to know more about stalking?