The CDC reports that “One in six women and 1 in 19 men have experienced stalking in their lifetimes.” Stalking is not just from strangers but it could be a person from a previous relationship or you know personally through school, work or being out and about. These actions can be from constant contact like emails and phone calls or they can be more serious by personally following you or meeting you outside. Stalking is a situation that can happen to anyone. To prepare you or someone you know here is how to stay safe from strangers.
If you feel like you are being stalked or followed make sure you make a safety plan. Here’s how to:
- Always know your surroundings. If you are in a new area locate possible exits and bathrooms. This way if you are put in a dangerous situation you can leave or go to the restroom to call for help.
- Do not respond to the stalker. Even if you are telling them to leave you alone, this could trigger them.
- Ask the police for assistance. If you have gone to an area and noticed something unusual, ask the police for assistance. They may be able to monitor the area from a different angle to see where the stalker is hiding or coming from.
- Change up your routine. We all have a routine in life whether it’s going to work and coming home or stopping by your local pub. Change up your routine of not only what you are doing but how you are getting there. If you always drive have someone else drive. A change of routine will confuse your stalker which is a good thing!
If you are noticing a stalker at school or work here is how to take action:
- Identify them. Know who your stalker is? Show your coworkers or school friends a picture of your stalker that way if they notice them outside they can tell authorities or call the police.
- Make sure to let your supervisors or managers know. They have a responsibility to keep you safe at work.
- If needed, ask security guards to escort you. Especially when walking at night.
- If you have young children, communicate with the school and teachers of who can pick them up. Let your children know that if they see your stalker to tell authority. This will not only keep them safe but also you if you come pick them up this will keep you safe as well.
- Remind your work and school to not give out any of your personal information like cell phone numbers, home and work address out to anyone without your permission.
You might be wondering what further actions you can take to protect your privacy and yourself. BSG lists ways you can add protection to not only your home but yourself:
- Automated Lighting: Setting up Automated lights in your home will not only make you comfortable but also set up the illusion that you are home but also not alone. Setting up a simple routine of schedules to automatically turn on and off certain lights in your home at different times can look to someone outside as if there are more people in your home than just you.
- Automatic door locks: Installing integrated electric door locks will not only make your life easier with never having to need keys to unlock your door but it will make your home safer. Being able to monitor the status of your door locks at any time and having the capability of locking them remotely is much safer. Have you ever left your home and asked yourself if you locked the door or not? Another added feature is the ability to tie your door locks with our security alarm.
- Outdoor Camera: The easiest solution for monitoring your safety is installing an outdoor camera. Using a camera can record video in case of an incident where someone is following you or you feel like someone is on your property. Our cameras can give you notifications when someone is in camera view on your porch or anywhere you specify on your property. Using video will be able to give you more information if you report an incident to the police.
- Geofencing: Setting up a simple geofence for your integrated system can assure your threat of an encounter will be much less. You can set up text message reminders through Alarm.com that will automatically be sent to you if you leave your mapped area without locking the doors, arming your alarm system or closing the garage door. You can also trigger any of your controlled lights to automatically turn on when you enter your assigned area. This allows the lighting to come on if it is dark outside in advance of your actual arrival which will illuminate the area making it more difficult for someone to be hiding in the dark. The lights can be set to come on and stay on or just come on for a 20-minute period.
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