Stalking

A stalker attempts to control his/her victim through behavior or threats that are intended to intimidate and terrify. A stalker can be an acquaintance, an unknown person, a family member, or a former intimate partner. Stalking can be perpetrated by the stalker or by another person acting on her/his behalf. A stalker may follow a victim off and on for a period of days, weeks, or even years. While stalking behavior is intended to create fear and can have a significant impact on the life of a victim, it is important to understand that not all stalking behavior is against the law.

If You Are Being Stalked
  • Create a log of incidents. Obtain the names and addresses of any witnesses. Put dates received on all correspondence from the stalker. Know the name of the law enforcement officer in each incident. For each incident, write a detailed description of what occurred.
  • Record telephone conversations. Tell the stalker to stop calling and hang up. Screen your calls. Write down the time and date the stalker calls. Keep recorded messages and provide copies of them to law enforcement.
  • Take pictures of the stalker if it can be done safely. Notate the time, date, and location for each picture
  • Incidents should be reported to law enforcement. UTPD encourages victims to meet with a detective to discuss your options, free of pressure. If you make a report, request a copy of each report from your local law enforcement agency. Give any documented correspondence to law enforcement and report any phone threats.
  • Consider applying for a Protective Order. Applications for Stalking Protective Orders can be filed through the County Attorney’s Office located at 314 W 11th Street in Austin. You may also get a Pro Se Protective Order Packet by calling 1-800-777-3247. This packet will help you apply for a protective order to bar the stalker from certain areas near your home, your work, or your child's school.
  • Safety Measures

    If you are being stalked, below are safety tips that can greatly increase your safety:

    • Be alert and aware of people and things that are happening around you.
    • Vary routes of travel when you come and go from work, school, home, or even errands.
    • Park in well-lit areas and ask someone to escort you to your car.
    • Be aware of vehicles following you. If you are followed, drive to a police/fire station, hospital, or busy shopping center and sound the horn to attract attention.
    • Alert managers, co-workers, and security at your place of business. Provide a picture or description of the stalker.
    • Request a Security Check by law enforcement of your home to ensure your home can be locked safely. Secure all doors and windows in both your home and vehicle.
    • Maintain an unlisted Number and if Caller ID is available in your area, obtain the service for your phone.
    • Do not dismiss any threat, written or verbal.
    • Maintain your privacy and never give out your personal information to anyone where the information can be overheard. Remove your phone number and social security number from as many items as possible.
    • Develop a safety plan for yourself and family members in case of emergency. Decide on a safe place to meet and someone to call if problems do arise.