From time to time, everyone gets the feeling someone is watching them. The feeling may be especially strong after watching a scary movie or reading about a terrible crime. However, you may be living your own nightmare if you are going through the divorce process and your ex is stalking you.
There may have been a time when it seemed romantic for a jilted lover to follow you around, trying to get close to you. However, the romance dissipates quickly when you begin to feel uncomfortable or unsafe. Of course, if your ex was abusive, there is certainly nothing romantic about stalking.
How close is too close?
In some cases, a stalker is just having difficulty letting go. If you recently divorced or separated, your stalker may simply be working through the stages of grief. However, it is dangerous to assume everything will be all right and your stalker’s interest in you will fade. In fact, 11 percent of stalking victims have endured the unwanted attention of an ex for 5 years or longer, and in many cases stalking activities escalate to violence.
Is it a coincidence?
You stop for coffee, and your ex is there. You meet friends for lunch, and your ex is there. You are in line at the grocery store, and your ex is there. Do you need a restraining order, or is that an overreaction? How do you know if your ex is stalking you, or if you just happen to be on the same schedule? Some common patterns of stalkers include the following:
- You feel like your stalker knows your schedule or is spying on you and following your every move.
- Your stalker frequently drives by your house.
- He or she is constantly on your Facebook feed to the point of being intrusive.
- Because your stalker calls or texts you so often, you have to block his or her number.
- You receive unwanted or inappropriate gifts from your stalker.
- Your stalker has contacted family, friends or your employer with untrue or embarrassing details about your life.
- You are afraid of what your stalker might do next.
More people are victims of stalking than ever before because of the advent of social media and the internet. While social media may keep you connected to the ones you love, it also provides a channel for your stalker to keep an eye on you from a distance. Depending on how free you are with information about your daily life, your stalker may be taking cues from your posts.
In addition to limiting the information you post on social media, you may benefit from the advice of a Pennsylvania attorney who can assist you in taking important steps to protect yourself from harm.