Are you being stalked? These are our ten signs to tell if so

Many people like to joke that a private investigator is little more than a professional stalker. However that is not the case. Private detectives have an investigation to complete, and any reputable firm should be able to carry out a brief and focused investigation, gathering the facts with minimal intrusion into the subject’s life, and certainly without any unnecessary intrusion.

A stalker however will have an unhealthy obsession with a person. Whether that is through revenge, infatuation, or some other motive, the stalker will have strong feelings that aren’t reciprocated.

So how would you identify if you’re being stalked? EJM Investigations have compiled a list of 10 points to assist you in deciding if you are a victim of stalking

1) Too much contact. There may be no specific incident to make you feel uncomfortable, but hindsight may make you think a particular person has suddenly begun to make regular contact for no reason. Particularly in the beginning, many stalkers simply want to come to the attention of their victim and making excuses to always be in touch with you may be a warning sign

2) Lurking. Again, this is an early behavioural trait associated with stalkers. They may start to build a profile of their victim and arrange chance meetings by lurking around the same locations. Stopping for a coffee at the same place and time as you, “passing” by the your workplace at the time you finish or simply walking past your property for a chance meeting, could all indicate someone is beginning to stalk you.

3) Gathering information. In order for a stalker to be successful they need to know their victims routines. It may be that early on a stalker will follow your every move, in order to plan where and when they can accidently bump into you. They may want to know your relationship status, what vehicle you drive, find out where you live, work, spend your free time. In some severe cases stalkers have paid less scrupulous private investigators to assist in finding information on a victim.

4) Following and engaging online. With social media now being a huge part of our lives, it is a valuable way for a stalker to gather information on a victim. It is also a way to initiate contact. Sharing an opinion or a hobby is a great way of striking up a conversation with someone you don’t know, and for a stalker it is a way to further convince themselves that they have plenty in common with you.

5) Phone calls and texts. A stalker will find any excuse to call and speak to a victim. If an associate suddenly starts calling more regularly and becoming more friendly than usual, you may have to assess if they are becoming too attached to you. Alternatively, some stalkers will make silent calls to scare the victim. Either out of malice towards you, or to promote a need for help in you, in the hope you will ask for the stalkers support.

6) Inappropriate gifts. Suddenly sending gifts for any reason may be a sign that someone is becoming a stalker. If the stalker has an affection towards the victim, this may just be gifts that are way out of proportion for the reason they’re being given. Flowers or chocolates in return for being polite. If the stalking has a sexual nature the gifts can become more personal. Underwear or suggestive pictures. In revenge stalking the “gifts” may be more sinister, such as sending a funeral wreath.

7) Rescuing you.  A way for many stalkers to feel wanted by the victim is to rescue them. Anybody can get a flat tyre, drop their keys, get caught out in the rain. But it becomes more than coincidence if every bit of misfortune is corrected by the same person.  Did they really just happen to be passing when you needed help changing the tyre, when they had an umbrella and you didn’t, or when you dropped your keys and they picked them up?

8) Manipulation. An escalation in stalking behaviour, where the stalker wants to feel that the victim cares about them.  Opposite to point 7, in this scenario it will be the stalker that needs rescuing. They will carefully plan a situation to happen just as you pass by. Then request your help. In more serious cases, and often after the victim begins to address the behaviour of the stalker, this may include suicide threats, to make the victim feel they are the unreasonable one.

9) Alienation. As the stalkers need for the victim’s attention grows they may begin a campaign of alienation. Telling lies about you and convincing you other people are lying about you is one way of doing this. The stalker may tell you that you don’t need other people as they are always there for you. What they are in fact doing is manipulating you into relying on them.

10) Threats and Violence. The most escalated part of stalker behaviour. This can be the culmination of a hate campaign or irate retribution for rebutting a stalker’s advances. Once the victim has been worn down, a physical assault, or criminal damage against your property would be the ultimate act of revenge. Alternatively it may be further manipulation, whereby unknown to the victim the person responsible for the attacks is the same who always provides the shoulder to cry on.

If any of the above sounds familiar then further help and advice can be found at https://www.suzylamplugh.org/Pages/Category/national-stalking-helpline

You may wish to call the police on 101 (UK). Or if you are uncertain, and just wish to have a discussion to ease you mind, you can call EJM Investigations on 01772 334700

Please also see our related blogs:

How to deal with a stalker.

Can a private detective help if I think I’m being stalked?

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