can I do?
It is the responsibility
of law enforcement, the workplace, the community, and the victim
to end stalking. The following sections outline some strategies
that can be employed to help end stalking and its negative consequences
to end stalking
No research has systematically examined what specific
strategies may work best to end stalking. It has been hypothesized
that anti-stalking strategies will only be effective if they can
overcome the unique motivations of a particular type of stalker.
A strategy that may be effective in dealing with one type of stalker
likely will not be effective in dealing with all stalkers.
What follows is a list of strategies that have been demonstrated
to be effective among stalking victims across the state of Texas
based on research conducted by the website's authors. In the absence
of research on the topic, the stalking victim, mental health professionals,
and law enforcement personnel are in the best position to make decisions
about what strategies should be employed on a case by case basis.
The authors of this website hope to conduct research on this topic
in the coming year with continued support from the Texas Governor's
Office, Criminal Justice Division.
(a) Obtain an order of protection.
(b) Do not ignore any threat. Call the police or sheriff's department.
(c) Save any record of the threat.
(d) Have quick access to critical telephone numbers and the location
of safe places, such as: Police Stations, friend's houses, domestic
violence shelters, etc.
(e) Consider a home security check. (Local police branches, victim
support agencies, and security companies may offer this service.)
(f) Keep a packed suitcase in the car for a quick departure.
(g) Keep gas in your car and adequate money or credit cards in your
(h) Limit the distribution of your home address and phone number.
Provide business contact information instead, whenever possible.
(i) Consider getting a Post Office Box for correspondence or installing
a locking letter box.
(j) Make sure all personal information on letters or paperwork is
destroyed before discarding it. (Stalkers may go through your trash
looking for personal information.)
(k) Have your address and other contact details removed from all
public records, including electoral rolls, libraries, business cards,
driver's license, car registration, and medical registries.
(l) If children are involved, they should be instructed in basic
safety drills. Their school should also be notified, given information
about the stalker, and security arrangements should be made for
them in case the stalker appears there.
(m) Keep a detailed diary of the stalkers behavior, including photographs
of destroyed property, photographs of injuries inflicted by the
stalker, recordings of harassing messages, license plate numbers,
-Keep pen and paper easily accessible, even in the car, for this
(n) Install dead bolt locks. If you do not know where all of your
keys are, change your locks immediately.
(o) If possible, install outdoor lighting, lockable windows, exterior
motion sensor lights, and peepholes in doors.
-Trimming shrubbery is also recommended.
(p) Vary your routes of travel.
(q) Park in safe, well-lit areas. Always have someone escort you
to and from your car.
(r) Tell your managers, co-workers, friends, and security at your
business and residence about the stalker. If possible, provide them
with a description and photograph. Ask them to alert you in advance
about the stalker's presence and call the police, if appropriate.
(s) Purchase a mobile phone for emergencies.
(t) Use an unlisted home phone number and acquire caller-ID.
(u) Do not change your phone number. A stalker may view this as
a new challenge to overcome in order to be with you, feeding their
false beliefs. Instead, purchase an answering machine and ask a
same-gender friend to record the message (so as not to provoke a
stalker who mistakenly perceives competition).
(w) Take self-defense training classes.
(x) File police reports of any illegal behavior perpetrated by the
Diffuse the unique motivations of the stalker
(a) Make it completely clear that a relationship is not wanted now
or in the future.
-Say this only once.
-Use plain language.
-Try not to be emotional.
-Avoid using threatening or humiliating language.
-You may want to rehearse with a friend before speaking with the
(b) Do not engage in further discussions with the stalker.
-Do not argue with them.
-Do not negotiate with them.
-Ongoing communication will reward the stalker and lead him to maintain
Be careful not to unintentionally encourage the stalker
(a) Never initiate contact with the stalker. They may misperceive
this to indicate that you are interested in them.
(b) Statements like, "I'm sorry, but I'm just not interested
in a relationship at the moment," or "I'm too busy for
this right now," may imply that you could be interested in
a relationship some time in the future.
(c) Statements like, "I already have a boyfriend," may
be interpreted as "I'd go out with you but for my boyfriend."
(d) Do not let them down easy by delivering your rejection in installments.
This will only needlessly prolong the relationship. This may give
the stalker hope or give his obsession with you time to grow.
(e) Do not return unsolicited letters of gifts. This may prove to
the stalker that he is connecting with you.
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Important Phone Numbers in Texas
Texas Council on Family Violence: 800-525-1978
National Domestic Violence Hotline: 800-799-7233
TYY/TDD Telecommunications for the Deaf: 800-787-3224
Texas Women's Advocacy Project Family Violence Hotline: 800-777-3247
State Bar of Texas: 800-204-2222
Texas Legal Services Center: 512-477-6000
Texas Women's Advocacy Project: 800-777-3247 in
Texas Department of Human Services Abuse Hotline: 800-252-5400
Crime Victims' Compensation: 800-983-9933
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(a) A protective order is a civil court order issued to prevent
continuing acts of family violence. Family include blood relative
or relatives by marriage.
(b) A protective order may prohibit the offender from:
-committing further acts of family violence
-harassing or threatening the victim, either directly or indirectly
by communicating the threat through another person
-going to or near a school or day-care center that a chile protected
under the order attends
(c) You can apply for a protective order through:
-a district or county attorney
-a private attorney
-a legal aid service program
(d) Protective orders will go into effect no later than 14 days
after an application is filed. If a court finds that there is a
clear and present danger of family violence, the court may immediately
issue a temporary ex parte order. The temporary order is valid for
up to 20 days. The final order is effective for up to one year.
If a person violates a protective order and law enforcement is notified,
officials will arrest the offender. The offender may be fined, sentenced
to jail time, or both.
A protective order may be filed by:
-an adult member of the family or household
-any adult for the protection of a child
-a prosecuting attorney
-the Department of Human Regulatory Services
(e) Magistrate's Order for Emergency Protection: it may be issued
at the time of a defendant's appearance before a magistrate after
arrest for an offense involving family violence or sexual assault.
It may be issued by the magistrate or on the request of:
-a guardian of the victim
-a peace officer
-an attorney representing the state
This order prohibits the arrested offender from committing any further
acts of family violence, communicating with a member of the family
or household named in the order, or making any threats or going
near the place of employment, household or business of a member
of the household.
The victim does not have to be in court when the order is issued.
Violation of the order may result in a fine, jail time, or both.
Association Against Sexual Assault
Attorney General's Stalking Information
Shelters in Texas
You Being Stalked? Tips For Protection
End Stalking in America
Center for Victims of Crime - Cyberstalking
Department of Human Services - Stalking
Victims Information Resource Page
Survivors of Stalking
- Lo stalking
If you have
a stalking related link, please contact
us so that we may add it.
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