If you are being harassed or intimidated by someone who appears to be obsessed with you, you need to take action. While you cannot control someone else's behavior, you can help stop stalking by discouraging the person's interest in you, working with law enforcement, and taking precautions to protect both yourself and your family. Taking action to effectively stop stalking can mean major lifestyle changes, but these changes may be the best way to regain control of your life.
When you first begin to suspect that you are being stalked, it is important to begin to record the behavior. Keep a journal of dates and times in which the stalker contacts or attempts to make contact with you. If you see the stalker in your vicinity, make a note of that too. You should contact law enforcement with your concerns, and if your stalker is an ex-spouse or romantic partner, you should likewise contact your local domestic violence agency for further assistance.
Many stalking experts believe that it is very important for victims to not respond directly to a stalker, as this will give the stalker the attention that he craves. It is especially important for a stalking victim to not attempt to reason with a stalker, as this won't stop stalking, but actually encourage a stalker to believe that he is getting to the victim. Victims should also refrain from making threats or encouraging friends and family members to make threats against the stalker.
Some experts caution against being too quick to take out a restraining order against a stalker, as this can cause the situation to escalate. Law enforcement or domestic violence services may be able to advise you as to what course of action to take in order to stop stalking, particularly if you can make them aware of the particulars of your case. Take steps to protect your home and yourself. Get a burglar alarm or a dog, keep your cell phone with you at all times, and program it to speed-dial emergency services. Also avoid going out alone at night.
Other protections include placing a security freeze on your credit reports, directing all your mail to a post office box, and getting a separate unlisted phone number that you give only to close friends. In some places, such as California, the state offers privacy services, including confidential mail routing, for victims of domestic violence. You may also want to consider moving. Some areas may allow you to break a lease without penalty if you have to move because of stalking or domestic violence. If you move, take significant precautions to hide your new location, and do not make the mistake of returning to your old way of life. Avoid old haunts and neighborhoods so as to not feed your stalker's obsession or give her the chance to escalate her activities.