Security Tips for Stalking Victims
What to do about stalkers:
State your decision directly and clearly when you do not want to have further contact with a pursuer. Do not state reasons or negotiate. Then stop all contact and communication with that person. Do not respond to escalation or have a person who is not a police officer intervene for you. Do not display fear or concern to the stalker. Carefully evaluate the stalker's communications and actions. Design a plan that minimizes encounters and maximizes safety.
- Call the police and file a crime report. When making a subsequent report, tell the officer the number assigned to the original report. This is the Key Case Number.
- Ask the officer for an Emergency Protective Order if you are in immediate danger. Restraining orders may serve to incite the perpetrator. Be prepared to seek temporary safety at a shelter or with others if you are in imminent danger.
- Implement preventive measures such as installing dead bolt locks and outside lighting, vary routes taken, stay in public areas, and inform trusted neighbors regarding the situation.
- Assist the police by keeping a log of current and past events. Keep phone message tapes and items sent in the mail.
- As a last resort, change jobs and move to a new location. Consult with the police department about ways to maintain privacy of information that could be used to locate you.
Security Recommendations for Stalking Victims
- Be alert for any suspicious persons.
- Positively identify callers before opening doors. Install a wide angle viewer in all primary doors.
- Install a porch light at a height that would discourage removal.
- Install dead bolts on all outside doors. If you cannot account for all keys, change door locks. Secure spare keys. Place a dowel in sliding glass doors and all sliding windows.
- Keep garage doors locked at all times. Use an electric garage door opener.
- Install adequate outside lighting.
- Trim shrubbery. Install locks on fence gates.
- Keep fuse box locked. Have battery lanterns in residence.
- Install a loud exterior alarm bell that can be manually activated in more than one location.
- Maintain an unlisted phone number. Alert household members to unusual and wrong number calls. If such activity continues, notify local law enforcement agency.
- Any written or telephone threat should be treated as legitimate and must be checked out. Notify the appropriate law enforcement agency.
- All adult members of the household should be trained if you plan to keep a firearm for protection in its use. It should be stored out of reach of children.
- Household staff should have a security check prior to employment and should be thoroughly briefed on security precautions. Strictly enforce a policy of the staff not discussing family matters or movement with anymore except police.
- Be alert for any unusual packages, boxes, or devices on the premises. Do not disturb such objects.
- Maintain all-purpose fire extinguishers in the residence and in the garage. Install a smoke detector system.
- Tape emergency numbers on all phones.
- When away from the residence for an evening, place lights and radio on a timer. For extended absences, arrange to have deliveries suspended.
- Intruders will attempt to enter unlocked doors or windows without causing a disturbance. Keep doors and windows locked.
- Prepare an evacuation plan. Brief household members on plan procedures. Provide ladders or rope for two-story residences.
- A family dog is one of the least expensive but most effective alarm systems.
- Know the whereabouts of all family members at all times.
- Children should be accompanied to school or bus stops.
- Routes taken and time spent walking should be varied.
- Require identification of all repairmen and salesmen prior to permitting entry into residence.
- Always park in a secured garage if available.
- Inform trusted neighbor regarding situation. Provide neighbor with photo or description of suspect and any possible vehicles.
- Inform trusted neighbors of any anticipated extended vacations, business trips, etc.
- During vacations, etc., have neighbors pick up mail and newspapers.
- If residing in an apartment with on-site manager, provide the manager with a picture of the suspect. If in a secured condominium, provide information to the doorman or valet.
- Central reception should handle visitors and packages.
- Office staff should be alert for suspicious people, parcels, and packages that do not belong in the area.
- Establish key and lock control. If keys possessed by terminated employees are not retrieved, change the locks.
- Park in secured area if at all possible.
- Have your name removed from any reserved parking area.
- If there is an on-site security director, make him/her aware of the situation. Provide him/her with suspect information.
- Have secretary or co-worker screen calls if necessary.
- Have a secretary or security personnel screen all incoming mail (personal) or fan letters.
- Be alert to anyone possibly following you from work.
- Do not accept any package unless you personally ordered an item.
- Remove home address on personal checks and business cards.
- Place real property in a trust, and list utilities under the name of the trust.
- Utilize a private mail box service to receive all personal mail.
- File for confidential voter status or register to vote utilizing mailbox address.
- Destroy discarded mail.
- Phone lines can be installed in a location other than the person's residence and call-forwarded to the residence.
- Place residence rental agreements in another person's name.
- The person's name should not appear on service or delivery orders to the residence.
- Do not obtain a mail box with the United States Post Office.
- Mailbox address now becomes the person's official address on all records and in all rolodexes. It may be necessary or more convenient to list the mailbox as "Suite 123" or "Apartment #123" rather than "Box 123".
- File a change of address card with the Post Office giving the mailbox address as the person's new address. Send postcards to friends, businesses, etc., giving the mailbox address and requesting that they remove the old address from their files and rolodexes.
- All current creditors should be given a change of address card to the mailbox address. (Some credit reporting agencies will remove past addresses from credit histories if a request is made. We recommend this be done.)
- File a change of address with the DMV to reflect the person's new mailbox address. Get a new driver's license with the new address on it.
- Park vehicles in well-lit areas. Do not patronize parking lots where car doors must be left unlocked and keys surrendered; otherwise surrender only the ignition key. Allow items to be placed in or removed from the trunk only in your presence.
- When parked in the residence garage, turn the garage light on and lock the vehicle and garage door.
- Equip the gas tank with a locking gas cap. The hood-locking device must be controlled from inside the vehicle.
- Visually check the front and rear passenger compartments before entering the vehicle.
- Select a reliable service station for vehicle service.
- Keep doors locked while vehicle is in use.
- Be alert for vehicles that appear to be following you.
- When traveling by vehicle, plan ahead. Know the locations of police stations, fire departments, and busy shopping centers.
- Use a different schedule and route of travel each day. If followed, drive to a police station, fire department, or busy shopping center. Sound the horn to attract attention.