|Picture taken from here|
We have all had some experience with stalking at some point of our lives. At some point, we even did the stalking ourselves (Think back to high school and the boy/girl you had a crush on. Ring any bells yet?) Maybe you've even looked up your ex on Facebook or Twitter or stalk his/her current squeeze. But what's the big deal? It's harmless, right?
Not really, no, because stalking could be dangerous as well. Surely you'd have friends who had fallen victim to an ex-boyfriend-turned-stalker. More often than never you'd find yourself dispensing some half-baked advice you'd probably heard from somewhere. I mean, what else could you say but "I'm sorry this happened" and "I hope you're OK", right?
But no matter what you say or do, nothing is ever really OK. You probably wouldn't truly understand how someone feels until you've experienced it yourself anyway. No, I do not mean you should wish yourself a stalker (that would be a stupid, if not suicidal, thing to do). But IF you were put into that position, you should be well-prepared and know how to deal with it.
So, here's how to deal.
- Seek help. Avoid denying the problem or keeping it to yourself. Quit making excuses or delude yourself into believing that it's not going to happen again. Confide in your family and friends. Seek their wisdom.
- Avoid all forms of communication with the stalker. This should be your first priority. Cut off all forms of communication. This also means no exchanging text messages even to ask "WHO R U?" or picking up his/her call just to scream "LEAVE ME THE HECK ALONE!" Unfortunately, stalkers are made of sterner stuff than that and would not be so easily deterred.
- Consider getting a dog...and no, I don't mean a palm-sized chihuahua that squeaks. Get something bigger and fiercer; those with more teeth and slobber comes highly recommended for this situation.
- Document everything - every phone call, every text, letters, gifts or details of any suspicious behaviour. Keep a log for evidence.
- Consult the local police if you receive a threat. Or, as a colleague of mine said, "don't wait until you're in a body bag to make a police report."
- Leaving home and returning from work are the two most vulnerable points for potential victims. Ladies, invest in pepper spray. And don't go into dark alleys.
- If you feel like you're been followed, run like hell. If you're in heels, abandoning them would be a good idea. It's not worth losing your life over a pair of shoes.
This might sound like a movie, but having a potentially-dangerous stalker is no funny business. No funny business at all.