Outsmart the stalker!

Outsmart the stalker!

Watch out

Be it small towns or big cities, stalking is one common problem that women face. A large number of women fall victim to stalking at some point or other.

Stalking involves not just following or watching someone constantly, but also gathering information, making anonymous phone calls, sending gifts, messages and e-mails.

Of late, there has also been an increase in cyberstalking, wherein computers, hidden cameras, microphones and GPS tracking units are used to monitor the victim.

Though all stalking episodes don’t involve physical abuse or harassment, they keep the victim in a state of fear of danger or violence. If at all one becomes a victim of stalking, it is necessary to handle the situation in a tactical way.

“Stalking can happen to anyone and not just  celebrities. The most common victims are college girls. Sometimes, even after girls come to know that they are being watched or followed, they don’t inform their parents for fear of being misunderstood,” says Rajatha, a housewife, who had handled a stalking incident.

“My sister’s classmate was attracted to her but he did not tell her about it for the fear of rejection. So he started following her. When she told us about this, we caught him while he was following her and warned him. But he didn’t stop stalking. Later, we took the help of Mahila Sahayavani Kendra, who with the help of the police, solved the issue. They also took him to a doctor to treat his psychotic disorder,” she reveals.

Usha, a professional, says that when a woman is being followed, she should be very careful and if possible, try to mislead the stalker. “In some stalking cases, the intention may be to find out where the victim is staying. So, when there is a stalker following you, it is better to avoid going home directly. Going to a shopping mall is the best way to mislead the stalker. Never let him feel that he is having an effect on you. Try to gather evidence by recording phone calls or recording his behaviour on a cellphone camera. Change your schedule to make it harder for the person to follow.

“If you are a victim, accept the problem and take the help of parents and friends to tackle it. Don’t spoil your mental health. Each case of stalking is different from the other. So, take the help of psychiatrists or counsellors who will assess your case and give you useful tips. Most importantly, completely avoid any direct or indirect conversation with a stalker. Don’t tell him that you don’t like him or don’t want to speak to him. At some age, it is normal for people to have ‘unwanted pursuit behaviour’. Everything depends on how you tackle the situation. Don’t develop unnecessary fear but don’t take it lightly also,” she adds.