When victims of stalking experience difficult emotions such as fear, depression, and frustration, they often feel that they have no one to turn to. Yet many resources exist which can help stalking victims preserve their physical safety and emotional health. An emergency services hot line or local police department is often the best resource for those in immediate danger. Private and publicly funded stalking and violence support agencies can also provide valuable advice to victims of stalking. Finally, loved ones can often supply the emotional support necessary to survive the psychological stress of being stalked.
If possible, stalking victims who face an immediate threat of danger or violence should contact an emergency services hot line, such as 911 in the US. Depending on the particular situation, a representative from the hot line may dispatch the appropriate law enforcement or emergency medical services personnel. Those who are being aggressively stalked may wish to consider saving their country’s emergency services number in their mobile phone’s speed dial program and ensure that their phone is readily accessible at all times.
Some stalking victims may find that their local police department is helpful in offering protection from a stalker. Depending on national or state laws, however, a police department may not be able to intervene in stalker situations unless a documented crime has been perpetrated. Nevertheless, law enforcement officials can often suggest methods for dealing with stalker confrontations, provide advice about filing restraining orders, and point stalking victims toward additional resources and support groups.
Many private and publicly funded stalking and violence support agencies offer a range of helpful services to stalking victims. Web-based support agencies often seek to educate victims about the best ways in which to handle stalkers. They may also provide a forum in which past and present victims can share their stories with one another. Agencies with physical locations may offer legal advice or even temporary shelter to victims.
Finally, some stalking victims may find that their loved ones can provide an excellent emotional support system. By simply discussing their stress, frustration, and fear with trusted family members or friends, victims may feel their sense of isolation begin to lift. It is critical to remember, however, that in most cases, loved ones lack professional training in addressing crisis situations. Thus, in order to best protect their physical and emotional health, stalking victims should view their loved ones as a supplement to, rather than a substitute for, professional victim support services.