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Red Flags To Catch Stalkers Behavior

Updated: May 4

Red flags to catch a stalkers behavior

At the Spalon we like to make sure everyone feels safe from staff to clients. The reality is sometimes, things happen. Clients will sometimes stalk staff or make them feel uncomfortable. What's the best solution? Simple! Give everyone resources to make sure they are able to safeguard and understand what is happening around them. When clients or staff get that person that becomes overly obsessed or with them and makes them feel unsafe, this becomes an issue.

Experiencing constant surveillance, harassment, or feeling perpetually threatened by someone is an incredibly distressing situation, leaving many unsure of what steps to take. While stalking may seem like a scenario reserved for TV dramas or celebrities, the reality is that it is more prevalent than we realize and can persist for extended periods. In fact, the average stalking case lasts around 15 months according to the Suzy Lamplugh Trust's report, "Out of Sight, Out of Mind" (2018). Recognizing the warning signs early on can help prevent controlling behavior from escalating into long-term stalking.

two people and a car

One important measure to consider is consulting a security expert to assess your home's safety. Stalkers are individuals who fixate on a specific person, investing an excessive amount of time and energy into finding opportunities to interact with them. They may frequent places where they expect to encounter the person, attempt to establish contact through unshared contact details, or monitor their social media activities. These actions, when viewed individually, might appear innocuous, and stalkers often convince themselves and others that they are acting out of concern for the individual's well-being.

This article aims to shed light on the warning signs of stalking and provide strategies for self-protection. We look at the 5 red flags to catch a stalkers behavior, thus helping you understand what a stalker looks like and what to do to protect yourself. If you find yourself in immediate danger, it is crucial to call emergency services at 911 without delay.

Understanding Stalking:

a lady looking over her shoulder

The Suzy Lamplugh Trust provides a concise definition of stalking as "a pattern of fixated and obsessive behavior that is repeated, persistent, intrusive, and causes fear of violence or engenders alarm and distress in the victim." Stalkers can emerge from any background and target anyone, irrespective of gender, age, ethnicity, or sexuality.

Stalkers are typically categorized into 2 main groups:

  1. Stalking involving fear of violence

  2. Stalking involving serious alarm or distress

Consequently, evidence of stalking depends on the victim's ability to demonstrate significant distress caused by the stalker's behavior, rather than solely focusing on the behavior itself.

Characteristics of Stalkers:

Behaviors associated with stalking, may include:

hooded unidentified person
  1. Persistent following of the victim

  2. Attempts to contact the victim through various means

  3. Monitoring the victim's electronic communication and internet usage

  4. Leaving unwanted gifts or notes

  5. Publishing material related to the victim

  6. Loitering in public or private spaces

  7. Interfering with the victim's possessions

  8. Watching or spying on the victim

Flags and Stalker Behavior:

Being aware of the warning signs can help you identify harmful behaviors before they escalate into full-fledged stalking. Often, when someone is attempting to initiate a relationship, these behaviors may be mistakenly perceived as endearing, protective, or signs of attachment. However, it is imprudent and unnecessary to dismiss any patterns of behavior that make you uncomfortable. If something is unsettling, speak up and take action!

While the following behaviors are not an exhaustive list, they are typically early indicators that a stalker may engage in a harassment campaign:

  1. Excessive and incessant contact: Repeated phone calls, excessive texting, or commenting excessively on your social media posts should raise alarm bells. If someone constantly seeks your attention and disregards your need for privacy, it indicates a lack of respect.

  2. Obtaining your personal information without consent: While it is normal for someone to connect with you on social media after meeting, or to ask for your number through mutual friends, it becomes concerning if they refuse to disclose how they obtained your information or show up at your home uninvited.

  3. Unwanted gifts and gestures: While small gestures can be thoughtful, be cautious if someone consistently gives you gifts or surprises you without your consent. It may indicate a desire to control or manipulate you.

  4. Monitoring your activities: If someone seems to know too much about your whereabouts, conversations, or online activities without you sharing that information, they may be monitoring you. This can involve physically following you or using technology to track your movements.

  5. Unwanted presence: A stalker may start showing up at places you frequent, such as your workplace, gym, or social events, without a legitimate reason for being there.

  6. Manipulative behavior: Stalkers often use manipulation tactics to gain control over their victims. They may try to isolate you from friends and family, make false accusations about you, or use emotional blackmail to keep you in their grasp.

  7. Online harassment: Stalkers may use online platforms to harass and intimidate their victims. This can include sending threatening or explicit messages, spreading rumors, or creating fake profiles to monitor your online presence.

Our Experience on the Matter:

At the Spalon, we have encountered people with this kind of behavior numerous times. We have had incidents when a client decided to stalk a staff member and continuously send them flowers and gifts even using their full name when the staff only gave their first. To make matters worse, they sent the gift anonymously and without a return address. This made our staff member highly uncomfortable, alarmed, and worried everyone for her safety and privacy outside of work.

We have had incidents when our front desk have been asked when they won't be at work so they can come and try to communicate/harass other staff members, thinking that the front desk do not communicate with each other to notify of odd encounters. A client asked for a specific esthetician whilst making discomforting eye contact and asking slightly personal questions about the appearance of a staff member and their behavior. This caused both staff and the esthetician to be discomforted and alarmed.

At other times we have had people ask when staff get off work, yet another alarming question that made staff feel uncomfortable. When staff are off the job, we have our personal lives and appreciate keeping it that way.

When clients act this way, it impacts the way we perceive everyone and impacts that quality of work that we do.

Taking Action and Protecting Yourself:

people walking

If you or anyone you know suspect someone is faced with being stalked or harassed, it is essential to take immediate action to protect yourself. Here are some steps you can consider:

  1. Trust your instincts: If you feel uneasy or threatened by someone's behavior, trust your gut. Take any signs of stalking seriously, even if they seem minor at first.

  2. Document incidents: Keep a record of all stalking incidents, including dates, times, locations, and descriptions of what occurred. Take screenshots of any online harassment or messages as evidence.

  3. Inform trusted individuals: Share your concerns with close friends, family, or colleagues whom you trust. They can provide support and may be able to help you identify patterns or gather evidence.

  4. Strengthen security measures: Consider improving the security of your home, such as installing security cameras, changing locks, or enhancing lighting. Be cautious about sharing personal information and adjust privacy settings on your social media accounts.

  5. Restrict contact: Minimize or cut off contact with the person you suspect is stalking you. Clearly communicate your boundaries and make it known that their behavior is unwanted.

  6. Report incidents to the police: Report the stalking incidents to your local police. Provide them with all the evidence and documentation you have gathered. Even if a single incident may not meet the legal threshold for charges, establishing a pattern of behavior can be crucial for future actions.

  7. Seek legal advice: Consider consulting a solicitor who specializes in stalking cases to understand your legal options and seek appropriate restraining orders or injunctions, depending on your jurisdiction.

  8. Seek support: Reach out to organizations and resources that specialize in supporting victims of stalking and harassment. In Ontario: CAWC, Ontario Government, and Victim Services Toronto , Criminal Harassment: Stalking , It Can Happen To Celebrities Too, Celebs With Stalker Stories are a few to mention.

Remember, your safety and well-being are paramount. Do not hesitate to involve the authorities and seek professional help to address the situation effectively. Your safety and wellbeing should come before anything

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