Whether you’re walking alone at night or you notice a car following you when you leave a public place, spotting a stalker behind you is a terrifying revelation. What can you do in this situation? How do you shake a stalker without alerting them that you’ve identified them?
If you realize you’re being stalked, the best course of action will vary depending on where you are and what’s around you. Here are a few tips to help you if you find yourself in this nightmarish scenario.
If you notice a car following you for more than a few turns, don’t panic and just drive straight home. The person tailing you might be suffering from road rage and not know where you live. If you give them that information, then you’ll have another problem to worry about.
Instead, just drive to the nearest police station or fire department and alert the people inside to the situation. These first responders will make sure nothing bad happens to you–they’re there to help people! Often, a stalker will just drive off when you approach the station, as they’re not willing to get into a scuffle with law enforcement.
If you ever spot a person tailing you on foot when you’re walking alone, your best bet is to pull your phone out and call the police immediately. Keep walking at a normal pace and don’t let on that you’ve spotted the person behind you. If you can, try to duck into a building where you can either lock the door or at least be around a group of people.
Stalkers are often averse to open conflict. Once their target is around other people, they’ll typically slip away in an attempt to avoid being spotted and arrested.
If you’re dealing with a stalker who knows you personally, things get a lot trickier. Often, it’s difficult to get a restraining order until the person does something illegal to begin with. If you’re worried about your safety, the best course of action is to mix up your routine and keep friends nearby.
If your stalker knows your address and your place of employment, try to stay with a friend and take some different shifts for a while. If you can disengage and get some space from the person, they’ll often just move on, but not always. In turn, it’s still a good idea to keep a friend with you when you’re the victim of a stalker–avoid traveling alone at night or working late shifts by yourself.