In the movies it’s portrayed as romantic (he just couldn’t let her go!!), in real life it’s a form of abuse because its primary use is to threaten, control, scare or harm the victim.
40% of stalkers are current or former partners; 32% are acquaintances, neighbours or relatives. When your stalker is a current or former partner there are times when the danger is typically higher. These include the first three months after the relationship ends; when your former partner thinks you’re seeing someone else; and on anniversary or ‘special’ dates that remind the stalker of their former relationship with you.
Some people believe that stalking is romantic (see how much he loves her… ). It’s not. It’s frightening. The stalker is often trying to control and intimidate the victim. There’s nothing in that behaviour that shows love.
Some people believe that stalking victims are at least partly responsible for being stalked or that a lot of people find it flattering. First off, victims are never responsible for the stalking behaviour and no one finds it flattering. It’s scary.
Some people believe that if the victim would do a better job of telling the stalker to stop or if they would just take the time to reason with them then that would stop the problem right there. The victim should not be made to feel responsible for being stalked nor should they be made to feel responsible for making someone stop. The victim has no control over the stalkers behaviour and if they try reasoning with them or engage with them in any way, they’re just encouraging more contact. It’s not a safe solution at all.
Everyone deals with being stalked in their own way but as a general rule, there are some common feelings we hear all the time from people who are being stalked. They include;
- a sense of loss of control over their life
- trauma reactions like flashbacks, anxiety attacks and having a hard time staying focused, troubles with sleeping
- feelings of shame, guilt, vulnerability, shame
- feeling responsible and at fault for the stalker’s behaviour
- feeling isolated
For more information, please visit www.victiminfo.com , http://www.justice.gc.ca/eng/rp-pr/cj-jp/fv-vf/stalk-harc/har.html , http://www.metrac.org/resources/downloads/stalking.faq.pdf