We live in a strange world. Trouble comes our way for no particular reason or provocation. In spite of best precautions and counter measures, we fall and get hurt for reasons, which in hindsight, will always seem perfectly avoidable. If you are a victim of stalking and wondering why it happened to you, it was probably because of no apparent reason. So to start off with, the persecution complex needs to be done away with and one has to make an objective assessment of how and what measures need to be taken. The following are some of the things which perhaps a victim can keep in mind,
1. Recognise the signs: In cases not involving spouses or partners, stalking pre-supposes an actual crime, be it either kidnapping, assault, molestation or murder. These signs could be a continuous pattern of messages, calls and “coincidental appearances” around victims. The calls or messages or co-incidental appearances need not even be threatening or lewd. All they have to be is a little too frequent to be ordinary. Usually one’s spidey sense starts tinging around such characters, but for whatever reason, we choose to ignore them. The starting point is to stop ignoring the signs and instead to either avoid or continue to plan around the stalker and his intentions.
2. Who are the Stalkers: Unlike in the case of celebrities perhaps, most non-famous victims have, to some capacity interacted with the stalker. In one case I had come across, the victim had helped the stalker settle down in the university campus as was her obligation as the support personnel of the university. In yet another case, the victim knew the stalker from her Gym. Not being able to take no for an answer, abnormal tendencies to compliment which are anyway out of context, a continuous tendency to linger around are all symptoms of a stalker.
There are no hard and steadfast rules to keep oneself safe from a stalker. But the following steps could be taken subject however to the disclaimer that every step needs to be customized to prevent the crime sought to be prevented.
1. Avoid the Stalker.
3. Assert politely without being overtly aggressive or abusive. You would not want to hit the stalker’s ego if he is one to care about his/her reputation.
4. Cell phone is the best weapon- keep it charged at all times and store emergency numbers in speed dial.
5. Plan your day and avoid following a pattern to prevent the stalker from knowing your moves .
6. Shift locations, move away from the stalker and change phone numbers. The flip side of changing numbers could be to provoke the stalker into seeing you personally.
7. Register an FIR if it gets too bad. Sometimes, the only measure of last resort capable of keeping you safe, is that of war. This means escalation and possibly a dirty situation for everyone. Sufficient thought should be invested into this.