6 Steps to Staying Safe When Your Ex Turns into an Obsessive Stalker

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obsessive stalker

Sometimes after a breakup, things don’t end well. If your ex turns into an obsessive stalker, use these 6 tips to help you stay safe and sane.

According to the CDC, 7.5 million people are stalked each year in the United States. 61% of stalking victims are female, and 45% are male. Research estimates that victims know their stalker about 70% of the time. Most often, people report being stalked by a current or former intimate partner. If you feel that you might be a victim of stalking, use these 6 tips to make sure you stay safe, even if it is your ex who has turned from a seemingly kind and gentle person into an obsessive stalker.

6 Steps to Staying Safe When Your Ex Turns into an Obsessive Stalker

 

1. Use preventive measures

First things first, you should do your best to avoid the situation. While sometimes there is nothing that the victim could have done to avoid stalking, there are some things you can do to reduce the risk of being stalked.

For example, if your ex-partner shows the warning signs of stalking, avoid all contact with them. If you keep on moving in and out of their lives, you will be sending mixed messages that may make the entire situation worse.

Instead, be clear and cut them out completely. If you had places that you both enjoyed going to such as local clubs, avoid going there, especially all by yourself. Block your ex’s phone number and stop responding to emails. Reduce your engagement on social networks. Facebook interactions can become fuel to a stalker’s obsession. Make all your profiles private and curate your contact list.

2. Stop minimizing your obsessive stalker’s behavior

Sometimes a stalker gives warning signs during the relationship. For instance, they might send you countless texts and emails, or be jealous about your time and attention. However, many of these signs never surface until the relationship is over.

If you notice that after a breakup you find yourself bumping into your ex in unexpected places or spots that they know you frequent, consider that a warning sign.

Stalking victims often don’t consider that behavior strange or disturbing. Since they have been emotionally engaged with the stalker, it is hard for them to believe that their behavior could be a cause for alarm. Mutual friends could also be minimizing this behavior.

But if the stalker senses they have nothing to lose, their behavior is much more likely to escalate. If deep down you feel that something isn’t right, tell someone you trust who can help. Don’t be afraid to talk about it.

3. Protect yourself

There are many reasons why an ex becomes a stalker. Your ex might have had a rough childhood. Maybe they’re hurt or angry over the breakup. Maybe they need closure in order to move on.

But these are not your problems and you are not responsible for solving them. Don’t get sucked into playing the psychologist instead of protecting yourself. Coming up with excuses that would explain the behavior of your ex is a loss of time. Your priority should be to make sure you are safe.

So just let it go.

You cannot help s stalker. It’s impossible to bargain or reason with them. If you promise them to remain friends after the breakup, you will not be helping them to move on. And you cannot save them if they threaten to hurt themselves. Don’t give in to these threats as they will put you in danger.

If your stalker used to be your intimate partner, they know which buttons to push in order to get you back in their life. Send a clear message your relationship is over and cut off all contact.

4. You might need a lawyer to file a restraining order

Sometimes you might need help when dealing with an obsessive stalker. Depending on where you live, the application process for filing a restraining order might be complex.

Your first step is to go to a civil courthouse and request a restraining order form. Once you fill the form out, make some copies and have these documents served to your stalker. Remember to keep a record of all the interactions you have with the stalker. If the case goes to court, all that information will be extremely valuable.

If you’re not sure how to proceed, you should reach out to a lawyer or consult the problem with the police. Look for professionals who specialize in stalking and similar cases.

5. Seek out support

You’d be surprised to learn that the problem is widespread and there might be some organizations in your area that help stalking victims handle intimate partner violence or other crimes. You will get free advice and guidance from them as well.

Have a look at VictimsOfCrime.org, SafeHorizon.org, or StalkingHelpline.org (for the UK) and CRCVC.ca (for Canada).

 

6. Ignore what the stalker tells others about you

Many victims of stalking believe that the mere fact that they have an obsessive stalker says something bad about them. They consider themselves responsible for the actions of their stalker. But the truth is, it’s hard to predict what our intimate partner might do once the relationship ends abruptly.

Most importantly, that unnecessary embarrassment and guilt might lead victims of stalking to suffering in silence. According to the U.S. Department of Justice, just one in three stalking cases are reported to authorities.

Many stalking victims never tell anyone about their situation. But it is worth to reach out to family and friends for support. They could be your first line of defense. If stalking happens to you, surround yourself with such a support team. Your family, friends, and coworkers can be on the lookout, helping you to feel strong and protected.

Anyone can fall victim to stalking. It is estimated that 15% of women and 6% of men have been a victim of stalking during their lifetimes.

If your ex turns into an obsessive stalker, please use these 6 tips to help you stay safe and sane.


Author’s Bio: Lucy Taylor is an avid blogger, currently supporting LY Lawyers. With a background in law, Lucy often shares her tips and suggestions with all those who find themselves in need of some legal help. Feel free to follow Lucy on Twitter.

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