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.