In the United States, all fifty states have stalking laws. The different stalking laws are meant to protect people when they are dealing with a potentially dangerous person that doesn’t care what the law says about it. It can be very difficult to prove a stalking case when you go to court depending on the state that you live in. Some states are much tougher on these situations than others. It is important that you learn the stalking laws in your state to know what your rights are when it comes to these situations. They can get out of hand very quickly and can even become a deadly game.
There are several things that you can do to help prove your case in the courts if it comes to that. Some cases of stalking will work themselves out. In other cases, it can become a full blown fight to the end. You want to be on the winning end of things so it is time to take control back. You may not be able to stop the stalking right away, but given enough time and enough rope, the stalker will eventually hang themselves.
How to prove your case against your stalker in court:
Witnesses- Try to keep someone with you at all times. Don’t go out alone if you can help it. Take someone with you which will sometimes deter the other person from stalking you at that particular time. That doesn’t always stop them. Many stalkers will harass and follow you no matter who is around. Having witnesses always helps though. Make sure that you have someone with you that isn’t afraid to get involved though. Too many people just won’t get involved. The problem with that is that it encourages people to continue on with the behavior.
Documentation- Document every little thing that your stalker has done. If he/she calls you, write it down. Do not delete any voicemails from this person and do not erase any text messages sent either. This can all be used in the court system. Mark every detail of everything this person has done since they started stalking you so that you can show that there is definitely a pattern of stalking.
Internet- When a stalker gets really bad, he/she doesn’t really care what evidence he/she leaves behind. If you are being stalked through emails and on social networking sites, you can use that as evidence. Take a screen shot of what was sent to you, print it out and keep it in your records. All of these things can be used in the court of law. You should also be aware that it is possible for police to copy all voice and text messages from a cell phone so that a judge can have an easier look at everything. Not all police stations are equipped to do so, but if you ask the right questions, you may find that a police station may be able to do it within the surrounding area.
Police Reports- Call the police and get everything on a report to the police. It is extremely important to keep the police abreast of anything that happens no matter how small it may appear at the time. Get the number of the report that the police do when they come to your home or other places where you may have had to call them due to being stalked by someone. If you are fortunate, the stalker will have gotten so out of control that at some point, he/she will show his/her true colors to the police when they lose complete control of their senses.
Restraining Orders- Try to get a restraining order against the person who is stalking you. There are different names for it depending on what your personal situation is and what state you are in. In Maryland, for instance, there are two different names for it. There is the Protective Order and a Peace Order. Both will get the same results in Maryland if the judge will grant it. The major difference between the two is that one you have to pay for in order to file for it where as the other you don’t. There are strict rules that tell you which one you will have to file for if you when you attempt to get one. In other states, a person can be arrested immediately for threatening another person. The state of Delaware, for example, will arrest someone if they verbally threaten to harm the other person and the charge would be for terroristic threats. They don’t need to physically touch the other person in order to be arrested. This makes it much easier to stop someone from terrorizing you before they do something that could permanently change your life.
Your Behavior- Do not, in any situation, react by doing anything illegal to get even with the person who is stalking you. The only thing this will do is get you arrested. It is a hard battle to fight, but if you stick with it, keep a cool head in all situations and handle things legally, it will all pay off in the end and the way that it should end. The right person will end up behind bars and the you will end up living a more peaceful life.
Stalking is a very serious issue in the United States. Many cases aren’t serious and will die down after the stalker has had a chance to deal with whatever issue they are dealing with. Other cases can escalate to the point of dangerous for the victim and those surrounding him/her. It is extremely important to fight back legally so that less and less stalkers get away with their actions and more and more victims can stop living in fear of what will happen next.
Sources: This information comes from personal experience of the writer. Dawn Hawkins