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  • Ankur Sachdev

Here's How One can Get Rid of Their Stalker

There are some definitions of 'stalking' and 'stalker' that term a male member as a criminal and a female member as a victim. This is wrong in every sense because a crime is always gender-neutral. A crime committed by a specific gender may be overlooked but it is still a crime and it must be specified in the definition.

In this article, we will read a proper definition of stalking, understand why a few people stalk, and how a victim can get rid of their stalker.

Here's How One can Get Rid of Their Stalker
Image Credit: Getty Images

According to Cambridge Dictionary, a stalker is a person who illegally follows and watches someone over some time; or, someone who follows a person, usually intending to hurt that person.

Stalking is unhealthy for the stalker and dangerous for the victim. It consists of activities like showing up at the victim's house unannounced very often, sending gifts regularly, or leaving a note or a letter at their house, workplace, vehicle, or education center. These activities are in addition to the common practice of illegally following someone and eve-teasing them while they are walking through a quiet location.

Any person can be a stalker irrespective of their gender, age, caste, and employment status but in most cases, it has been found that a stalker is either an unemployed person or an underemployed person. It would be wrong to say that having no or less work makes a person criminal. The idea of committing a crime originates from a mind that is ill, unstable, & anti-social, and there is a possibility that upbringing and education play a huge role in this. There are five types of stalkers and they can be categorized as follows:

1. Domestic stalker A domestic stalker is usually a former spouse with whom the victim does not share a healthy relationship anymore. The stalker and the victim may be separated or divorced. The category may also include people who share the relationship of being a 'step', for example, stepfather, stepmother, stepson, stepdaughter, and so on. Stalkers in this category justify their actions by saying that they were having a hard time getting over their partner or they were just trying to keep an eye on them to make sure that they were safe & happy. 2. Intimacy seeker The mind of a stalker of this category is filled with lust. They are mentally ill and delusional. They think that the victim is in love with them and they fantasize about the victim. Such stalkers, in many cases, become a rapist and/or a murderer. There is a chance that the stalker may fantasize merely a sweet romance and that is less harmful. However, it is recommended to take precautions no matter what the case is. They take every action of the victim as a sign of acceptance or rejection. For example, when a victim smiles at them, they take it as a sign of the victim being interested in having a relationship with them. Such stalkers are mostly lonely and lack self-esteem. 3. Rejected stalker They become a stalker after the victim has rejected their proposal. The person considers this as his/her insult and becomes a stalker. The victim may occasionally get gifts from them as they hope to 'make it happen'. Although the category mostly comprises a person who knows the victim, it may in certain cases consist of a person who has seen the victim for the first time and believes to have fallen in love at first sight. It may look difficult, or at times impossible, to get rid of such stalkers but they move on once they find another victim. 4. Popularity based The best way to explain this is by stating an example of a celebrity and a fan. Fans love their favorite celebrities and they want to live like them & look like them even if they are unaware of all the facts about their struggles in real life. They follow their favorite celebrities to different locations and wait for them to appear on the movie set just to have a glance. This is normal and acceptable till the time it does not harm the celebrity. A fan cannot send a vulgar photo of themselves and expect to share a close relationship with them, or a fan cannot create their fake account & post vulgar photos. The example of a celebrity and a fan is applicable on a larger scale. The category also includes those who get attracted to another person because the other person is popular in school, college, or at the workplace. Such stalkers have a desire to say that they are with someone popular or someone powerful. 5. Predator These are more dangerous than others. A stalker in this category does not shy away from hiring a follower to gather information about the victim. The two things that mostly drive them are their sexual desires and intention to control the behavior of the victim. Do not worry, asking your colleague or your friend about the other person does not fall in this category. But, this also makes it difficult to categorize a stalker as a predator. The aggressive behavior of a stalker makes them more harmful. The victim should be careful while dealing with them as they may turn violent and attack the victim suddenly.

No matter what category a stalker belongs to, the result is always unhealthy. Stalking hurts the victim emotionally, psychologically, and physically. The stalker, too, pays the price by getting labeled as a criminal and facing the relevant legal & criminal consequences of their actions.


Reasons why stalkers stalk

According to Brook Zitek, a forensic psychiatrist at Temple University School of Medicine in Philadelphia, stalking is not just about following a person. It includes giving letters & notes or showing up at someone's door unannounced very often. One thing that remains constant is the need to get the victim's attention. A stalker resorts to calls and messages when nothing works out. The scenario may differ where a stalker might initiate stalking from calls & messages and then attempt to communicate in different ways. Stalking is an unhealthy habit and it happens for a reason. Understanding these reasons is the key to solving this problem. Here are a few reasons why a stalker stalks the victim:

1. Personality issues The literal meaning of the word personality is the combination of characteristics or qualities that form an individual's distinctive character. Any issue with the characteristics or qualities of a person may compel the person to stalk a victim. The two common issues are jealousy and the obsessive nature of the person. Jealousy here does not just refer to the feeling of being envious after seeing a victim with their partner but it also means seeing them with anyone except the stalker. A person's obsessive behavior may also turn him/her into a stalker. Such people assume that they are entitled to be with the victim no matter how many times they are told not to pursue them. Since they are obsessed, they have a higher sensitivity to control the victim. For example, they want to limit the amount of time a victim spends with someone else other than them. 2. False identification The person wrongly identifies himself/herself as a victim of another person's actions. They ignore how they had initiated a conversation and find it normal even if it creates an uncomfortable environment. The expression of discomfort by the victim makes the person believe that they are right and the victim is, somehow, wrong. For example, when the victim announces their marriage with someone instead of a 'friend', the 'friend' assumes that they have been betrayed by the victim as they have been with them for most of the time. Choosing a life partner is a crucial decision and understanding this is important for everyone, especially for those who get offended when someone else is chosen above them. 3. Delusion No matter what the reality is and how many times they face a rational argument, the fantasy remains their reality. This famously happens in the case where a person becomes infatuated with a celebrity. Celebrities reply to random comments to maintain their relationship or to communicate with those who love them and their work but some people take this as a sign of them being interested in establishing a personal relationship. This, of course, also happens with those who are not celebrities. The victim may be a friendly person who likes to greet everyone they meet. The other person may, however, take this as a sign of them being interested in them or signaling them that they are in love with them. When rejected, they are unable to cope and drive themselves into the world of stalking.

It may look hard to make a call as to who is right or who is wrong while such behavior is in the initial stage of development. The picture becomes clear only when it develops completely and harms the victim.


Ways to get rid of a stalker

The victim suffers irrespective of how much they have been stalked. A victim develops trust issues, suffers from psychological illness like anxiety, and loses emotional stability. All of this can be prevented by taking the necessary steps on time.

Here's how a victim can get rid of their stalker:

1. Act natural Any reaction from the victim's side can trigger the stalker to take drastic steps. The victim needs to remain calm every time they notice their stalker. Keep the family members and friends in the loop by informing them of every activity. Do not break your social circle as that is when the stalker intends to attack. The victim may inform their colleagues too, especially the receptionist, and ask them to not share any information about them or refuse to accept an unrecognized package. 2. Be polite In case a victim comes face-to-face with the stalker, then they must state their intentions politely. If the victim wishes to move on then they must decline the proposal or inform the stalker as politely as possible. Some common sentences that can be used are; i have decided to move on; or, this is not the right time. This may sound hard to follow but consider this as a medicine that you must take to get over the problem. The idea is to set boundaries and buy some time because chances are that the stalker will automatically get distracted from the victim. 3. Go legal The law is present to protect a victim and it must be approached. A victim may take help from the police and the lawyer. To strengthen the case, make sure to gather sufficient evidence and witnesses. The evidence may be the courier receipts or footage of a security camera of a home, office, or a public place, and the witness may be a neighbor or a shop owner. Consulting a lawyer is a good idea as the victim becomes aware of the legal options that can be availed. 4. Enable protection and become unpredictable A stalker, who may be a known person or a stranger, stalks after studying every move of the victim. If the stalker is someone the victim has been with, then it is recommended to review all the social media accounts and check if they have been accessed by someone other than the victim. Resetting all the passwords and enabling two-step protection, where applicable, must be a priority. Since the stalker knows the victim, there is a chance that they will guess the password to access and misuse the social media accounts. If the person is a stranger, then it is recommended to keep vehicles and homes locked. It is also recommended to change the route to work/school/college every day, and make sure to commute through the routes that have enough people traveling through it. 5. Deny help from suspicious strangers Do not give up on humanity by doubting every stranger. Some people genuinely come forward to help but some people come forward only to take advantage of a victim's vulnerable situation. There is a possibility that the stalker has themselves created the problem being faced by a victim. For example, a stalker may have punctured the vehicle just to appear suddenly and fix it. In such cases, it is recommended to seek shelter, or a space spot, while making all the emergency calls.


While traveling, share the trip progress with every family member. Keep an eye on the repeated unwanted contact as it may not be a coincidence.


Conclusion


The National Commission for Women, police, and cyber police are available for help 24 hours every day. Stay alert and take necessary precautions before it gets late. If possible, then keep a log of all the incidents and present them during the investigation conducted by the authorities. The cases of male members being stalked may be under-reported but they exist. Do not shy away from filing a complaint. Educate everyone about the incident and seek help whenever required. A stalker may stop his/her activities after a minor threat or detention from the authorities. Do not get manipulated by sentences like, "can we talk for one last time?" especially if they are being said a lot of times.


That is all for this topic. If you have anything to contribute then kindly share it in the comment section. I would love to hear from you.

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