Stalking is the most dreaded and the most common crime which happens to women, not only in India but in all the corners of the world. There are many women who stop going to their offices, leave their jobs, drop their studies just because they are petrified of being stalked every single day.
In 2014, 4,699 cases of stalking were recorded by NCRB followed by a total of 6,266 complaints in 2015.
Let’s learn what Stalking really is?
According to the legal parameters, Stalking is an act or a course of conduct directed at a specific person that would cause him to feel fear. In India after the Rape case of Nirbhaya in 2013, Indian Government officially recognized stalking as a crime.
According to the Criminal Law (Amendment) Act 2013, Sec 354D of the Indian Penal Code states that Stalking constitutes the following:
- Any man who follows a woman and contacts, or attempts to contact such woman to foster personal interaction repeatedly despite a clear indication of disinterest by such woman
- Any man who monitors the use of the internet, email or any other form of electronic communication by a woman, commits the offence of stalking.
Stalking is a punishable crime with an imprisonment term of up to three years or a fine or both.
How to identify a stalker?
Stalking is something which women often ignore as they don’t consider paying attention to such trivial thing, a necessity. Stalking is a passive aggressive activity which is initially non physical and doesn’t subject any harm but can turn out to be very harmful if left unattended.
There are a few signs of stalking you can watch out for.
- The stalker may not be an unknown person, he can be someone you know and it makes stalking very difficult to be identified. It is observed that more than 80% of the stalking crimes are committed by the acquaintances of a girl.
- The crime of stalking is done with the aim to inhibit fear in the potential victim. They may try to over power you or engage you in a conversation with some excuse of a regular basis..
- If a person is seen where ever you go and doesn’t try to make contact with you, then also it is a form of stalking.
- If you receive unwanted gifts, surprises, flowers or cards from someone on a regular basis, then you must know that someone is keeping a close watch.
- You receive repeated calls but when you pick the phone, the person hangs up.
- You see the same car or motor bike drive by your house or place of work time and again with the driver looking towards your house.
- You get information from your friends that a person you do not know has been asking about you and your whereabouts.
- Stalkers have no moral boundaries and even if you make it clear to them that you have no interest in making any contact with them, they don’t stop stalking you.
Understand the Stalkers mind to know your course of action
The resentful stalkers are the ones who feel that they have been ill treated by the person they are stalking. Any form of humiliation or injustice to them makes them develop paranoid beliefs and they think the stalking is the best way to take their revenge.
This is the most dangerous type of stalking. Here the stalker feels so rejected by the person they are stalking that they feel sorry for themselves. These stalkers are generally the ones who gets dumped by the female or was just rejected in the very beginning. A rejected stalker seeks revenge through stalking and this often results in violence.
Intimacy seeking Stalker
These kind of stalkers don’t have any loving feelings attached to their act of stalking. They just seek a sexual intimacy and are ready to go to any limits to succeed. They have a feeling that the sexual desires get equally reciprocated by the female they are stalking and hence they think that stalking will make them win the woman they desire.
These are the control seeking stalkers who are interested in sexual favors from the female they are stalking. These are the most cunning types and the victim won’t even know that they are being stalked till the time of the attack. Most of the Predatory stalkers suffer from Obsessive Compulsive Disorders and they usually plan and rehearse their attach before executing them.
How to PROTECT YOURSELF
- Never ignore the act of stalking. If you find out that any of the above signs of Stalking are present, decide to act on it instead of staying mum.
- Let the people who care about you know that you are being stalked.
- Let the people who are in a position to protect you, know about the stalker. It doesn’t matter if they are your boss or your father in law.
- Never communicate with the stalker. You don’t know how aggressive he can be to your response.
- Save the local police stations phone number in your phone.
- Also keep the women protection apps on the home screen of your mobile.
- Take a picture of the stalker or a screen shot of the messages as evidences to the police and report that you are being stalked.
- Use the crowd as a weapon to protect yourself. Shout and gather help if the stalker tries to make inappropriate contact with you.
- If possible do not take the same route to work or home everyday. Keep changing your mode of transportation and your route frequently.
- If you have no back up plan, just pretend to call the police and give details about your location. The stalker might fear being caught and can back off.
- It’s high time that you learn self defense.
The world is not as safe as we would want it to be. We have to act on it to make it safe for us. It’s a humble request to all the women, Please don’t ignore the signs of stalking, Act on them before it’s too late.