Family Violence Unit - Stalking / Workplace Tips
1 in 12 women and 1 in 45 men have been stalked during their lifetime. (Tjaden, Patricia, Ph.D. and Thoennes, Nancy, Ph.D., (1998). Stalking in America: Findings from the National Violence Against Women Survey. Washington DC: U.S. Department of Justice, National Institute of Justice and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.)
Below are suggested ways to handle the crime of stalking by an Estranged partner:
Be aware of your surroundings at all times, especially if the person stalking you has a history of haven beaten you in the past. The most dangerous time is not staying in a violent relationship, but in leaving the violent relationship.
Always watch to see if you are being followed. If you are being followed, go to the nearest police substation. Fire stations and convenience stores are also staffed 24 hours a day and will usually have people around.
Make reports to the police, even if you dont prosecute. This will provide documentation for pursuing criminal charges later if the harassment and stalking continue. There must be two police reports before stalking charges can be filed.
Record your telephone conversations. Keep all harassing messages left on your answering machine.
Send a clear message that the relationship is over. Do not be even the slightest bit ambivalent. The type of person who is obsessive with another will take an inch and make it into a mile.
Document, document, document everything. Keep all letters or notes sent. Keep a record or diary of these events.
Dont think the behavior will change, no matter how much begging, pleading, cajoling there is or how much sympathy you may feel. It is almost always manipulation to get you back. Dont fall for it. Specifically remember the bad times. Once youve been charmed back, you will be seeing the bad side again and it will overshadow the good.
They blame youdo not take responsibility for their actions. You dont have to put up with it.
Tips at the Workplace
According to a survey by the National Safe Workplace Institute, 94% of surveyed corporate security and safety directors rank domestic violence as a high security problem.
- Alert your employer and fellow employees of your concerns. Notify the building security at your employment. Have your co-workers screen calls and visitors.
- If there are building security officers where you work or live, show them a photo of the individual stalking you, and relay your concerns to them.
- Remove your home address on personal checks and business cards. Use a postal box.
- Never divulge details about your personal life or activities to someone you have just met, or do not know.
- Document all activity reported to your from within or outside your organization.
- Make timely reports to your local law enforcement agency.
- Establish or reinforce security measures for your employees or organization.
- Your safety and the safety of your employees is a responsibility that should not be taken lightly when incidents of harassment and threats are reported.
- Never divulge details about your personal life or that of your employees to others, even to former co-workers.
Click the following links for more information:
Berry, Dawn Bradley. Domestic Violence Sourcebook: Everything You Need to Know, (Chapter 8 "Practical Information for Women Who are Abused&"), RGA Publishing Group, Inc., 1995.