The Giveaway Signs of a Stalker to Be Aware Of

Stalking is a complex crime that often consists of smaller acts that are, in themselves, legal and benign. But when those acts, directed at another person and against their will, become more frequent and intimidatingthat’s when the alarm bells go off. 

Defined as illegal behavior intended to instill fear inand control overthe other person, stalking is one of the most common forms of harassment. 

What Are the Numbers on Stalking?

The victims of stalkers are, by a large margin, women. According to the National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey, 18.3 million U.S. women are victims of stalking at some point during their lifetime. Those are some worrisome figures, as that makes a total of 15.2% of the population. The same survey revealed that men aren’t immune to stalking victimization, either—around 5.7% of men have experienced it in their life.

Warning Signs of Stalking Behavior

Victims of stalking sometimes have a difficult time identifying what’s happening to them. If you feel like somebody is invading your privacy and there’s a sense of unease brewing inside of you, no matter how slowly or subtly, it’s likely that you’re being harassed or even stalked. This can happen either in person or online, which is known as cyberstalking.

What constitutes stalking behavior specifically? While stalking can present itself in various, often innocent and affectionate forms, it can also include the following frightening behavior:

  • Following the victim around
  • Continually trying to contact the victim and showering them with harassing phone calls, text messages, letters, and emails 
  • Obtaining private information about the victim when the victim didn’t provide these details first 
  • Vandalizing and damaging the victim’s property 
  • Tracking and monitoring the victim constantly (both online and offline)
  • Showing up announced at the victim’s gym, home, place of work, etc.
  • Harassing the victim’s family and friends
  • Slandering the victim to ruin their relationships with other people
  • Sending unsolicited gifts, cards, and flowers to the victim 
  • Filing small claims against the victim
  • Physically assaulting the victim or their loved ones
  • Repeatedly sexually harassing the victim
  • Stealing the victim’s items or breaking into their home

If you’ve found yourself in at least one of the situations mentioned above, learn more about how to stop a stalker and how to get a restraining order.

What Motivates Stalkers?

Stalkers are not only driven by various motives, but their psychological profiles can differ dramatically. Some stalkers are motivated by revenge, and others want to exert control over their victim. Certain stalkers simply crave intimacy but don’t have the intellectual abilities or the social skills to develop a meaningful relationship with another person. 

This Quora user confessed to becoming a stalker at the age of 12, “when he simply realized there was absolutely no way he could ever get in contact with his love interest ever again.”

The Australian psychiatrist and stalking expert Paul Mullen analyzed the behavior of 145 diagnosed stalkers and came up with five stalker profiles: 

  1. The rejected stalker. When, after a breakup, an individual fails to get their former partner back, they turn to vindictive stalking behavior
  2. The resentful stalker. This type sees themselves as a victim of injustice and has a desire to retaliate against the other person
  3. The intimacy seeker. Even though they don’t know their victim well, they start behaving as if they are in an actual relationship with the other person
  4. The incompetent stalker. They engage in stalking behavior in the hope that the other person will fall in love with them 
  5. The predator stalker. This type is seeking a sense of power and control over their victim and often plans to physically or sexually assault them

Types of Stalkers

One of the main differences between stalkers lies in the pre-existing relationship they had (or didn’t have) with the person they’re stalking. In most cases, stalkers are ex-partners of the victim or someone else that the victim knows well. 

Here is a simple overview of the five most common types of stalkers:

Type of Stalker

Description

Celebrity Stalker 

  • The celebrity stalker has no pre-existing personal relationship with the victim
  • They develop an obsessive attitude about the celebrity 
  • They tend to fantasize about, and often try to realize, an actual relationship with the celebrity

Private Stranger Stalker

  • The private stranger stalker is someone who crossed paths with their victim on one occasion
  • They then developed an obsession with that person and started stalking them

Intimate Stalker

  • The intimate stalker is a person who has previously been romantically or intimately involved with the victim — an ex-partner
  • This is the most common and dangerous type of stalker
  • Intimate stalking presents the highest risk of violence to the victim

Acquaintance Stalker 

  • The acquaintance stalker is a person who is a casual acquaintance of the victim 
  • They aren’t typically as dangerous as the intimate stalker, but there is a risk of violence involved

Put an End to Stalking With DoNotPay

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If there is one takeaway to be taken from this article, it’s that stalking should be taken seriously. Don’t keep the stalking a secret. Instead, you should:

  • Talk to the people you trust about what you’re going through
  • Speak to a therapist if you feel the need to 
  • Take formal action against the stalker
  • Report the stalking to the police if the stalker persists in their behavior
  • Call 911 if you feel like you’re in immediate danger

DoNotPay can help you stand up against the stalker in a few simple steps:

  1. Open the DoNotPay app in your web browser or on your iOS device
  2. Go to Relationship Protection and start the conversation with our chatbot
  3. Click on Explore Relationship Services
  4. Select Safety and Stalking, then go to Let’s Do It
  5. Confirm that you need help with Stalking
  6. Specify if you need help with online or in-person stalking
  7. Answer the chatbot’s questions as best as you can

DoNotPay’s next step will depend on whether you’re dealing with online or in-person stalking. If it’s both, make sure you specify this in the app.

In-Person Stalking 

In cases of in-person stalking, DoNotPay will generate a cease and desist letter on your behalf. This letter serves several purposes:

  • Asks the stalker to stop their behavior immediately
  • Acts as proof that you’ve warned the stalker and tried to resolve the problem yourself
  • Warns the stalker of the legal action you will take against them if they continue stalking you 

Online Stalking 

Online stalking or cyberstalking should be taken just as seriously as in-person stalking. On your behalf, we will:

  1. Get in touch with the social or digital media platform that your stalker used to scare, threaten, torment, or humiliate you
  2. Report the stalker for online stalking on that website, which will put their account and online activity under investigation 
  3. Request the stalker’s account to be blocked so that he or she cannot contact you anymore

Fast Track to a Simpler Life With DoNotPay 

DoNotPay is a multi-faceted, high-capacity app designed to save you time, money, and effort. Check the whole laundry list of things that our app can help you with:

You can get the DoNotPay app in any web browser or download it on your iPhone or other iOS devices.