What is Phone Stalking?
Phone stalking is the act of continually displaying unwanted behavior over the phone that is threatening or harassing. The actual definitions in each jurisdiction will vary, but most agree that any threatening or repeatedly malicious act done over the phone constitutes as stalking. This is illegal in the United States.
Studies have found that women are most often the victims of stalking. Many times these women are stalked by people who they know. Women who have been assaulted either physically or sexually by former or current partners are much more likely to be stalked by these partners.
A person who is dealing with this type of stalking may receive repeated malicious threats or harassment over the phone. They may know the person who is on the other end of the phone or they may not. Stalking over the phone may raise the victim’s phone bills and make them reluctant to answer any phone calls at all.
Most people do not realize that a stalker does not need to say anything over the phone for the act to be considered phone stalking. Calling and hanging up over and over again is considered to be harassment as well. A stalker might also call and stay on the line in silence. Both of these acts are illegal in many jurisdictions.
If a person has become the victim of phone stalking, there are several steps that she can take to stop the harassment. Keeping a record of the date, time, and nature of each malicious phone call will create evidence that can be used by both the police and the phone company. The police and the phone company can be contacted and made aware of the calls. They may be able to trace the call and quickly find out the name of the person behind the phone stalking.
Victims may also wish to get an answering machine with a tape. The stalker can then be recorded and this evidence can be presented to the police. In some jurisdictions, it is also legal to record the person while they are on the phone as long as they are informed that the conversation is being taped.
Those who have become the victim of phone stalking will most likely need the support and comfort of family and friends. Support groups can also be found in many cities to help the victims of this crime. Professional counseling may also be helpful to some people who have gone through the trauma of phone stalking.
@Oceana – Wow, that is creepy! I had a phone stalker who knew where I lived, but he was my ex-boyfriend, so I wasn't too afraid of him.
He would call and leave messages begging me to come back to him. I even answered a few times and told him to leave me alone, but he wouldn't.
I told all my friends that I was screening calls through my answering machine, so they would just say, “It's just me. Pick up the phone,” and I would answer, because I generally was sitting right there listening.
It got old for both of us, so he eventually left me alone. He never resorted to violence or waited outside my house, and though the phone stalking was annoying, it was better than other forms of stalking.
I got the phone company to trace the calls that had been coming to my phone from someone who said he was watching me, but they all originated from pay phones. He used different pay phones around the city so that he would be less likely to get caught.
It really scared me. I have seen too many horror movies like this in my life not to be afraid. I wound up moving to get away from the phone calls, and it actually worked, so I feel safer now.
If someone is too shy to exhibit normal stalking behavior, they can resort to phone calls. I was surprised to learn who had been phone stalking me, because I knew him and he was so quiet and reserved in person.
He would call me and refuse to tell me who he was. He would tell me that I was his ideal woman and he would have me someday, but he never would reveal his identity.
I got the police in on it, and they tracked the calls to an apartment in the building where I lived! It was so creepy to discover that my stalker had been a floor below me the entire time and knew where I lived.
I think that cell phone stalking is a lot easier to prove than regular phone stalking was years ago. Cell phone companies can track calls and locations so easily now.
Anyone can block caller ID, but I don't know of a way to disguise your location if you're using a cell phone to stalk someone on another cell phone. Technology has made it harder for stalkers to hide.
Post your comments