Recently, a stalker viciously killed a young female college student bringing national media attention to a problem that is always with us—quite often though, in the shadows, away from our consciousness.

While stalking rarely leads to murder, it can and does lead to assault, harassment and unbelievable fear and anxiety to its victims. As I emphasized and tried to make very clear in my book, Protect Yourself: The Simple Keys Woman Need to be Safe and Secure was the fact that stalking is one of the worst circumstances women (and men) can become victims of. It is important to note stalkers can be the single most difficult people to deter or stop in the area of personal protection.

As Denver Psychiatrist Doreen Orion, MD a ten-year stalking victim herself said “often there is no end, no resolution. It just drags on and on with the victim never knowing if it is finally over”.

Consequently, common sense tells us the best thing we can do is not get involved with people who may turn into a stalker. That sounds easy enough, doesn’t it? Quite frankly though, there is little we can do to prevent stalking. Yet, there are common traits stalkers seem to have that can alert us to be wary and to keep away:

• Sociopathic Thinking—This means individuals showing impulsive behavior, being indifferent to the rights and feelings of others, having difficulty sustaining relationships and a lack of regret for their actions.
• Obsessive Personality
• Does not seem to take no for an answer
• Few or no personal relationships
• Low self esteem

These traits can be used as a warning for you to stay clear of these individuals. Of course, one or two traits may not be enough to make you seriously wary, however, keep these guidelines in the back of your head.

How about if you’re already dealing with a stalker?

• The single most important thing to do with a stalker is to tell him or her in a firm, matter of fact and unmistakable way to stop their behavior, but tell them only ONCE. Harassers and stalkers want a REACTION from you. Any repeated contact is just that. Dry up their obsession similar to starving a fire by depriving it of oxygen.
• Return any mail unopened.
• Instead of changing your phone number get a second unlisted one for family and friends. Use an answering machine on your old number so you can preserve any evidence of harassing and stalking behavior.
• Do not delete emails. Keep them in a separate folder in case you need to use it as evidence.
• Here’s an important one. Call the police. Some experts basically advise victims to only call the police when they have been threatened. Their theory being police probably won’t or can’t do anything until an actual threat has been communicated. Nonsense—call them if you’re concerned—that’s what they’re there for. No one has a crystal ball and can tell you when your harasser or stalker may get violent.
• Utilize a Restraining Order; however, most stalkers do not abide by them. (Call your local police department, court system or attorney to find out how to initiate them).

Self-Protection measures to consider:
• Equip your house with an alarm system. They are great deterrents to many types of crime including ones of personal intrusion.
• Make sure you have good, deeply set, dead bolt door locks.
• Consider buying a dog. Dogs can be extremely effective for our security and safety.
• Consider utilizing self-defense tools such as civilian Taser’s, pepper spray or a firearm.

And finally, there are support groups to help victims of stalkers. Seek them out locally or nationally. These groups offer many detailed strategies to combat and cope with stalking. Thankfully, a victim does not have to go it alone anymore.

Author's Bio: 

Steve Kovacs is the author of Protect Yourself: The Simple Keys Woman Need To Be Safe and Secure. Steve's a former police supervisor and Regional Training Director in the State of Ohio. Steve's been inducted into the World Martial Arts Hall of Fame and The International Karate and Kickboxing Hall of Fame. Steve's taught security at the college level and has been utilized by national media in areas of safety and security. Steve serves as President of All-Source Security Services which is located in Ohio and does select seminars. Contact Steve anytime at: