Gang stalking is a serious issue that is becoming a growing problem. Epidemiological results point towards the fact that at some point in their lives, approximately 0.66% of adult women in the western world and 0.17% of adult men have been through the subjective experience of being gang stalked, also known as group stalking. Therefore, most people are only asking one question: how to stop gang stalking?
People all across the world who claim to be or have been victims of gang stalking, refer as “targeted individuals” (TIs). According to The New York Times, there are conservative estimates that there are at least 10,000 people who have become victims of gang stalking. The perpetrators of these victims are generally thought to be authoritative government or law enforcement officials, who want to ruin the life of the TI. As a result, some people have committed extreme acts of violence.
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What Is The Meaning Of Stalking?
As far as the definition of stalking is concerned, it is a criminal activity which involves someone repeatedly following and harassing another person.Stalking is a very specific kind of criminal activity that revolves around a series of actions that when taken individually might create legal behavior. Examples of this can include, writing love letters or notes, sending flowers to someone, or waiting for an individual outside their place of work. These are all behaviours that when looked at on their own, are pretty harmless and not at all criminal. However, when such actions are tied together with the intention to cause fear or injury, they can result in an illegal behavioural pattern. Despite the fact that anti-stalking laws are gender neutral, most often, stalkers are men and majority of women fall victim to them.
The first time when stalking actually gained widespread public attention was when Rebecca Shaeffer, a young actress living in California, was shot to death. The perpetrator in this case was an obsessive fan who had been stalking her for two years. The case also received a lot of media coverage. And thus, the society came to a conclusion that this was a huge problem not just in the showbiz fraternity, but also in the lives of people who were not celebrities. Anti-stalking laws were established a lot later and till then police did not have the authority to arrest someone who had been threatening someone as long as their behaviour was in the limits of what was deemed legally appropriate. Thus even if the perpetrator had been following the victim, sending her hate mail, or behaving in a threatening manner, the police could not cause any legal interference in the case. Until and unless the suspect did not act upon his threats, assaulted or injured the victim, law enforcement officials could not take any legal action against the perpetrator.
What Is The Meaning Of Gang Stalking?
Since the turn of the millennium, there has been another term that is gaining popularity on the internet and that is ‘group’ or ‘gang’ stalking. Where typical stalking generally involves an individual stalker, gang stalking is when that single stalker rounds up a few other people into stalking by proxy. The victim usually does not suspect the involvement of these new people. In simpler words, gang stalking is when multiple individuals stalk a single person with an identical or a ‘group’ purpose.
What To Do If Someone Is Stalking You?
Being stalked is not a fun situation to be in. It is scary and sometimes can even feel life threatening. In the United States alone, almost one out of every four women, and one out of every thirteen men, are victims of stalking. Most of the time, they even know the perpetrator. You need to take a lot of precautions if you feel as if you are being stalked and remember to call 911 as soon as there is any sign of danger. Following is a list of some things you can do when someone is stalking you.
- Avoid any mean of communication with the stalker
- If the stalker is directly or indirectly threatening to harm you or themselves, immediately contact the police.
- Make changes to your technology. If the perpetrator had access to your phone or computer, they could most probably be tapped with spyware or a tracking device. Change it as soon as possible.
- Inform your family and friends of the situation.
- Ask your family, friends and relatives to not post anything regarding you (pictures, statuses etc) on social media.
- Make sure that you are well prepared for situations where you feel threatened. For example, you can make code words with your friends and family that will let them know that you are safe. If you have children, talk to them and let them know of trustworthy people and safe places they can go to.
- Add a variance to your routine. Do not use the same routes to go to work or your favourite restaurant.
- Stay alert when you are alone in public.
- If you work out in a gym, do not exercise alone, take a friend with you. Also, make sure that you are not distracted (not wearing headphones) if by chance, you are alone.
- Learn self defense techniques.
- Make sure your house is secure; locks and security cameras can help with this. You can even give a spare key to a trustworthy neighbour.
- Be careful when opening and closing your front door. Check everywhere for someone suspicious or for someone who is hiding and immediately report to the police if you see any such signs.
- Speak to a victim lawyer.
- Always contact the police.
- Make sure that you file a restraining order.
- Collect all the evidence that you can get your hands upon and make an incident log which you can refer to if you have to take the case to court.
- Trust your instincts when it comes to identifying illegal stalking behaviours and patterns.
- Observe if the person is following you, sending you inappropriate text messages and emails, damaging your property or showing up at your workplace. If yes, then the stalker might mean harm.
- Most of the time, the stalker is someone the victim knows. If you know the perpetrator, give the law enforcement officials, all the information you know.
What Is Cyber Stalking?
Cyberstalking can take a wide range of forms, yet in the broadest sense, it is following or provocation that happens by means of online channels, for example, social media, text messages or email. It is ordinarily arranged and continues over some undefined time frame.
Instances of cyberstalking can regularly start as apparently innocuous interactions. At times, particularly toward the start, a couple of bizarre or maybe terrible messages may even amuse you. In any case, chances are that they become deliberate, and that is when it becomes irritating and in any event, startling.
For instance, if you have gotten a couple of negative remarks on Facebook and Instagram, it might agitate or irritate you, yet this isn’t cyberstalking. For certain individuals, for example, semi-superstars searching for consideration, negative remarks are really invited.
Nevertheless, when you start to accept undesirable and irritating messages more than once and feel bugged, at that point them, the line has most likely been crossed. Cyberstalkers may threaten casualties by sending horrible messages deliberately, maybe even a few times each day. It is particularly frightening when such messages originate from various records overseen by a similar individual. It is likely a smart thought to report this to both the site proprietors and law requirement offices.
Cyberstalking does not need to include direct correspondence, and a few victims may not understand that they are being stalked on the web. Culprits can screen the victims through different strategies and utilize the data assembled for violations like fraud. At times, the line among the internet and the reality can get obscured. Aggressors can gather your own information, contact your companions and endeavor to pester you even offline.
How To Avoid Cyber Stalking
Since cyber stalking is a growing issue, here are a few things you can do to avoid it regardless of whether or not you are being cyber stalked.
- Keep a low profile, especially on your social media accounts. If you are using your real name and profile picture, then make sure your account has strict privacy settings and that you do not accept everyone’s follow requests.
- Keep on updating your software as this can prevent personal information from leaking.
- Hide your IP address with a Virtual Private Network (VPN). This replaces your actual location with the one of your choice, so you can appear to be in a different country. Thus, keeping you safe from hackers.
- Maintain good digital hygiene. This is a new term being used with regards to social networking sites and can keep you from cyber stalking and cyber bullying. You can do this by regulating your privacy settings and refrain from negative comments on your thread and messages.
- Avoid giving out sensitive and personal information.
How To Stop Gang Stalking
Involve the law: Although anti-stalking laws are quite recent, at least now you can report them. Moreover, some police officials still might not be acquainted with the law, so it’s better if you show it to them.
Cooperate with the prosecutors: Some people worry that this will result in the perpetrator becoming more aggressive, but it is better and important that you take help from the legal system in order to avoid coming into contact with the stalker.
Protect yourself: Give a photograph of the suspect to you neighbours and loved ones so that they can identify him/her when need be. Security should be provided to the victim at their workplace and an efficient caller ID needs to be installed in the phone so that unknown phone numbers can be identified. Upon repeated calls from the perpetrator, the victim should ask the police to tap the phone and keep track of the calls.
Gather evidence: All notes, letters, emails, text messages, voice mails, tapes, photographs, or anything that can be used as potential evidence against the perpetrator, should be preserved by the victim.
Interacting and communicating online via social networking websites and other online public platforms can actually be fun as well as being socially and professionally advantageous, given the fact that it is done in a responsible and safe manner. However, if you are careless, it can result in multiple objectionable and unwelcome consequences, one of which is cyberstalking and gang stalking. It is important to keep yourself safe and be alert at all times.