How to Spot Warning Signs of Stalking

      With over three million people falling victim to stalking in the United States each year, this widely misunderstood crime reaches far beyond celebrities and people in the public eye. While higher profile celebrity victims receive more media attention, victims of stalking come from all walks of life, and the danger is far reaching. Investigation Discovery's Stalked: Someone's Watching profiles emotional stories of stalking victims and explores the twisted psychology of the people who committed the crimes. In each episode, host Dr. Michelle Ward, a renowned criminal psychologist - with an expertise in neuroscience and personal experience as a stalking victim - explores the challenges in combating stalking and provides methods of protection against it. The series premieres on Monday, December 5 at 10:30 PM ET on Investigation Discovery with sixteen new episodes in the series' sophomore season.

      The following options may be useful to anyone trying to enhance their safety as a stalking victim. Please consider which suggestions may work in your unique circumstances. We also recommend contacting a local victim service organization that may be able to further assist you with safety planning or visit the Stalking Resource Center of the National Center for Victims of Crime.

      1. Contact law enforcement immediately, especially if there is a threat of imminent harm to you or someone else.

      2. Keep a record (log or journal) of all stalking behaviors and maintain any evidence such as emails, text messages, gifts, letters, and voicemails.

      3. Obtain a protection or no-contact order if possible and deemed safe to do so.

      4. Do not interact with the person stalking you. Responding to a stalker's actions may reinforce their behavior.

      5. Inform your family, friends, neighbors and coworkers about your stalker, including sharing photos or descriptions of the person and his or her car.

      6. Use a mailing address other than your home address, such as a P.O. box. See if your state has an Address Confidentiality Program for victims of stalking.

      7. Obtain an unpublished and unlisted phone number, reject blocked phone calls, and do not answer calls from numbers you do not recognize.

      8. Safeguard your house with extra security measures, if possible.

      9. Vary routines, including changing routes to work, school, the grocery store, and other places regularly frequented.

      10. Keep handy the phone numbers of assisting law enforcement agencies, victim service providers and the personnel assigned to your case.

      11. If your stalker is incarcerated, request notification of his or her release.

      12. Locate a victim advocate to assist you in protecting yourself and developing a safety plan.