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Stalking and stalkers: Who is at risk and how to act

Updated: 7 days ago




STALKING, WHO IS STALKING,

Stalking is a widespread problem that can affect anyone. A deeper understanding of who is at risk and how to effectively deal with a stalker is crucial for personal safety.


Who is at risk?

The National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey (NISVS) reveals who is targeted by stalkers. The data shows that women are most often stalked by a current or former partner. However, a larger proportion of men are victims when the stalker is an acquaintance, a flirt, or a coworker. The statistics show that many people are stalked.

Being stalked leads to a significant impact on life, which in many cases results in anxiety, insomnia, and serious stress. For many, it can be difficult to function in work and private life for a period.

Stalking can also become directly dangerous and physically violent. The increased risk of violence is most often associated with a current or former partner as the stalker. In these cases, the stalker has personal information and knows the habits, routines, and other vulnerabilities of their victim.



Am I stalked, who is stalking? Kontrollerande partner


How to act against a stalker

  1. Clear rejection: The first step in dealing with a potential stalker is to be clear in your rejection. It's important to communicate a firm 'no' to unwanted attention or advances. This also means absolutely not engaging in dialogue or giving explanations for why you say no, because the stalker can misinterpret explanations as interest or see explanations as a challenge to overcome. A clear, concise, and definite rejection is key.

  2. Stop all communication: After an initial rejection, it is crucial to cease all communication. Responding to further contact can encourage the stalker and reinforce their behavior. Instinctively, we all want to respond in an attempt to resolve the situation or out of fear, especially if the stalking behavior escalates. But any form of contact can be perceived as an invitation to continue the interaction.


Conclusion

Being informed about the risks and knowing how to act are the first steps to protecting yourself. What you can do in addition to acting according to the two points above is to also create a safety plan. Base it on what has happened and brainstorm with a friend or someone you trust about what could happen in "worst-case" scenarios and create a list of countermeasures accordingly. For example, if the stalker is outside your home, change the times when you leave home. Get yourself a new phone and new number that you give out to everyone you know but keep the old mobile with the same number where the stalker can send their messages or call.


If you find yourself in immediate danger, contact the police immediately!


By understanding the statistics, recognizing the signs, and taking thoughtful actions, you can navigate this with confidence and safety. Remember, clarity and being brief and decisive in rejection and ceasing communication are your most important tools against a stalker.





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