STALKING involves many behaviors and can take many forms. It has very simply been defined as "unwanted pursuit". The two common features are: it involves actions unwanted by the victim & these actions threaten or cause fear to the victim. But it's MORE than that. It is a pattern of behavior that makes you feel afraid, nervous, harassed, or in danger. It is when someone repeatedly contacts you, follows you, sends you things, talks to you when you don't want them to, or threatens you. New ways of stalking emerge frequently and no list can encompass them all, but stalking behaviors can include:
Damaging your property
Knowing your schedule
Showing up at places you go
Sending mail, e-mail, and pictures
Creating a website about you
Stealing things that belong to you
Calling you repeatedly
Or any other actions that the stalker takes to contact, harass, track, or frighten you.
You can be stalked by someone you know casually, a current boyfriend or girlfriend, someone you dated in the past, or a stranger. Getting notes and gifts at your home, in your locker, or other places might seem sweet and harmless to other people. But if you don't want the gifts, phone calls, messages, letters, e-mails it doesn't feel sweet or harmless. It can be scary and frustrating.
Sometimes people stalk their boyfriends or girlfriends while they're dating. They check up on them, page or call them all the time and expect instant responses, follow them, and generally keep track of them even when they haven't made plans to be together. These stalking behaviors can be part of an abusive relationship. If this is happening to you or someone you know, talk to someone who can help you.
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