This Could Happen to You: A blog about awareness and dealing with stalkers. January 24, 2022

What could at first seem like attention and great intention, could actually end up putting your life at high risk and danger.

One of the first mistakes society has made is believing that stalking is a form of courtship somehow, when in fact, the Stalking Prevention, Awareness, and Resource Center (SPARC) defines stalking as a pattern of behavior directed at a specific person that would cause a reasonable person to fear for the person's safety or the safety of others; or suffer substantial emotional distress.

Stalking Statistics

This topic should never be taken lightly even if we don’t feel like it could have a big impact on the victims' lives, it does. Did you know that 1 in 6 women and 1 in 17 men have experienced stalking victimization in their lifetimes? And that in the vast majority of these stalking cases is from someone they know? According to the SPARC’s research, they’ve come to the conclusion that 57% of stalkers are current or former intimate partners, 29% are acquaintances, 15% are strangers, 8% are family members, and 2% are people of authority.

Stalking prevention and awareness, stalking statistics
HelpYouFind.Me

Young adults are definitely the most endangered people when it comes to stalking, even at college campuses. 1 in 10 undergraduate women are victims of stalking, and in the 33% of cases, it’s from a former intimate partner, followed by acquaintance with 31% and by a “friend” with 25%. These young adults have not only experienced fear for their personal safety but also coercive control, sexual and physical assault in some cases.

Identifying a Stalker and their Tactics

In some cases, stalkers could come from our personal and close group of friends or acquaintances. To identify when someone is crossing the line and using stalking tactics they usually recur to:

Unwanted contact including phone calls, emails, texts, and contact via any social media platform. They also tend to give unwanted gifts, show up/approach an individual or their family/friends at their workplace, school, or even victim’s house, monitor, surveillance, do property damage, and threats.*

*Stalking awareness month. (2020, February 3). Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. https://www.cdc.gov/injury/features/preventstalking/index.html

How to Stop Stalking Before it Begins

Through Jana’s Campaign’s Stalking Awareness Month Toolkit we can identify some actions that could potentially stop stalking before it begins, including:

  1. Help others define and recognize stalking behaviors.
  2. Learn about the prevalence and dangers of stalking.
  3. Share knowledge and information about stalking on social media.
  4. Encourage men and boys to be allies in prevention efforts.
  5. Create and support safe environments within relationships, schools, and communities through programs and policies that promote healthy relationships.

Personal Safety Strategies

If you find yourself in a situation of danger, or someone you know and care about ever encounters a stalker, please be aware of any potential sign and follow personal safety strategies such as:

  1. Trust your instincts.
  2. Change, evolve and adapt your safety plan as the stalking situation changes.
  3. Try to anticipate how the stalker may react to any change you may make.
  4. Balance your need to live a normal life with the concerns over your safety.

Other General Safety Strategies to consider:

  1. Working with a local domestic violence shelter or victim services program to develop a safety plan.
  2. Notifying the police if you feel you are in immediate danger.
  3. Varying your daily routine periodically.
  4. Seeking a protective order.

Find more at www.stalkingawareness.org

HelpYouFind.Me as a personal safety tool

At HelpYouFind.Me, we deeply care about everyone's safety and absolutely condemn any type, shape, or form of stalking and cyberstalking. That's one of the main reasons we even exist. Our platform is end-to-end encrypted and your personal account is only accessible by you. You decide who to share your updates and private data with, there if you feel in danger, can easily share your location pin or any other important information through our Telegram Bot Integration and let your loved ones know what you're going through.

Picture yourself going on a date with someone you just met online. Everything’s going smoothly until your date starts saying things that are red flags. You know, that he has seen you at a specific place at a specific time. That you were wearing this and doing that. Recurrently. You start to panic but none of your family or friends are close by to let them know you have a weird feeling and something is off.

But hey! You suddenly remember you have a HelpYouFind.Me account with 3 of your most close friends and family members. There you can update them on where you are at and what is going on. Share pictures of license plates, flight itineraries and describe the stalker that’s making you feel in danger. With HelpYouFind.Me you have full control and access to your most important private data which can help your most trusted and loved ones (and yourself) to find you and know about your whereabouts in case of an emergency, even before the police do.

It is also a secure place for all the digital copies of your most confidential and important documentation, that may be in danger at one physical space that you don't feel safe in.

We take personal safety seriously, that's why we are the first-ever "If I Go Missing File", a secure way to create a document with emergency contacts and your own personal data, available to those you trust the most to find you in the case of an emergency. You can learn more about it on our blog about the 5 reasons why you should have an If I Go Missing folder here.

Raise Awareness and Take Action

January is National Stalking Awareness Month (NSAM), let’s bring ourselves together to raise awareness for victims and for their friends and loved ones, to always promote ways on how people can stay safe anywhere they are, and to ultimately take action and share valuable information to prevent and end stalking cases.

Written by
Adriana Lopez

Adriana Lopez