Friday, 24 August 2012

Help - I am being cyberstalked - what can I do?

The Common Experiences of Cyberstalking Victims

The methodologies adopted by adult cyberstalkers is extremely consistent irrespective of the victim, the motive or the typology.

The methodologies adopted are typically as follows:
  1. False accusations
  2. Attempts to gather information about the victim (or the "target")
  3. Monitoring their target's online activities
  4. Encouraging others to harass the victim
  5. False victimisation
  6. Attacks on data and equipment
  7. Ordering goods and services
  8. Arranging to meet

Read more: See Victim Resources - The Methodologies Used by Cyberstalkers

Am I a victim of cyberstalking?

If you have experienced or are experiencing attacks that involve a significant number of these methodologies, then you are almost certainly the victim of a cyberstalker.

What will help you transition from victim to survivor is the strategy that you employ in defeating your cyberstalker.
I have articulated below some of the key methods that my team of professionals, advisors and I used to thwart the ongoing attentions of my sadistic cyberstalker.

RESEARCH - knowledge is the first step on the way to EMPOWERING the victim. Knowledge of many things will assist including the following:

  • What stalking actually is 
  • The motivation types of stalkers (particularly your own)
  • Stalkers and stalker typology
  • The psychology and frequently encountered mental health conditions of stalkers
  • Who your stalker is (if possible) 
  • Physical security companies and advisors whom can help you 
  • Criminology, psychological and psychological profiling assistance available to you 
  • Your local Police Constabulary and what their stated position on stalking is (including who is the head of the PPU [Public Protection Unit]) 
  • Relevant anti-stalking laws 
  • The local anti-stalking charities and victims support agencies 
  • Who the best legal practitioners in the anti-harassment, anti-stalking and cyber-stalking / cyber-crime spheres are  [I will write more about this in due course however please feel free to contact me via the contact page on my website for recommendations and suggestions of how to source competent and experienced specialist legal advice]


  • If you feel like you are in any way in imminent danger, dial 999 without delay.....

DO NOT APPROACH - no matter what, do not approach your stalker or cyberstalker

DO NOT RESPOND - the number one goal of the stalker is to know that what they are doing is having their desired effect on you (their victim or prey)

  • As the victim becomes more desperate for a solution, they will try virtually anything to remove the unwanted attentions of the stalker from their life, but please do not make the mistake of responding 
  • Do not under any circumstances respond or let your stalker know that they are affecting you 
  • This will only encourage and embolden them 
  • Do not initiate or respond to contact from your stalker under any circumstances 
  • Do not fall into the trap of thinking that you may be able to rationalise or negotiate with your stalker. This does not work and often leads to tragic consequences 
  • Many stalkers are sociopaths. You should not try to negotiate with a sociopath. Do not under any circumstances try to reason with your stalker, tempting as it may become 

DEVELOP A DIVERSION TACTIC - for me this was largely prayer; talking, sharing and praying through the experience with my family and a set of close and extremely trusted friends

  • It is a known fact that stalking victims often develop Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) or PTSD-like symptoms, so seeking professional psychological / trauma counselling assistance early in the process is extremely important 
  • Do not try to do this alone 
  • Importantly - try to find a technique to allow you to de-stress and temporarily escape 
  • Surviving stalking is inevitably a marathon, not a sprint 
  • Endurance, persistence, rest, recovery, relaxation, self evaluation, re-centering and inevitably trauma counselling, are all extremely important factors   

COMPILE A DETAILED DOSSIER OF EVIDENCE - A detailed evidence log is key to getting the police to take your complaint seriously 

  • Irrespective of whether the Police and Crown Prosecution Service pursue criminal prosecution against your cyberstalker; if either as an alternative, or in addition you determine to take civil action against your stalker, detailed evidence diaries will prove critically important 
  • Note down EVERYTHING 
  • Take screenshots where appropriate 
  • Gather evidence and document absolutely everything
  • Record everything that you are able, whether on camera, video camera, CCTV, dictaphone, digital recorder etc
  • Keep (and back up) ALL emails, text messages, instant chat messages, phone records, voicemails and answering machine messages
  • Keep a diary of every single incident - write it down straight after it happens (irrespective of what the incident is) 
  • It is well worth carrying a notebook or diary with you so as to be able to record everything whilst it is still fresh in your memory 
  • Whenever there is a witness to events, ask them to diarise what they saw/hear/observed whilst it is fresh in their memories. Then ask them to keep one copy and provide you with a copy for your records too  
  • Something that many victims do is complain to the police of how they feel that they are being bombarded / attacked constantly - and yet without clear and unambiguous evidence this is too easy for the police to dismiss

PROTECT YOURSELF & YOUR COMPUTER / PHONE /iPad etc - Many stalkers and cyberstalkers use malware and other technically invasive means to keep track of their victims

INFORM FAMILY and FRIENDS - It also helps to inform your boss and work colleagues

Ask them to:
  • Keep an eye on you 
  • Keep a lookout / watchful eye for the stalker or cyberstalker and/or his actions 
  • Many cyberstalkers will make contact with your boss or work colleagues using the most plausible and innocent sounding reason for doing so, so informing your colleagues and boss of what is going on in advance will help them to be on the alert - and to be careful in how, what and if they respond to any inquiry that in any way involves you

REALISE THAT STALKING OFTEN ENDS IN ASSAULT OR WORSE -  so hope for the best but plan what you will do if the worst thing was to happen to you

  • Rehearse in your mind what you might do if you were approached outside your home, school, place of work etc 
  • If you have practised visualising your response and escape routes in the event of a physical attack then you are far more likely to survive 
  • Take precautions such as varying your routine, not travelling alone 
  • Increase your home and personal security measures as fully as you are able 
  • Install panic alarms within your home 
  • Ensure that you have an advanced car security system installed (if not fitted as standard) including automatic "drive-off" door locks and "home-safe" headlight delays
  • Acquire and use religiously a personal safety alarm 
  • Acquire and use religiously a personal safety iPhone or Android Appa and GPS tracker. The best-in-class of these notify your emergency contacts with a GPS location so that help can find you quickly in an emergency. I personally use and recommend StaySafeApp however there are a number of other good products available on the market within the UK and the US
  • Seriously consider taking self defence lessons - they may save your life however it will almost certainly act as one of your personal diversion / mental relaxation techniques


  • Sadly this often happens as stalking and even more so cyberstalking are relatively little understood
  • If the police at first ignore you, demand politely that they document in writing why they have not taken your complaint more seriously 
  • Again coming back to knowledge empowering you, familiarise yourself with the Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO) Stalking Guidelines (Practice Advice on Investigating Stalking and Harassment)  
  • Familiarise yourself with who is the Stalking SPOC (stalking single point of contact) officer within your local police constabulary. Generally speaking the Stalking SPOC will be well trained and will understand both how the Police and the CPS should respond. The Stalking SPOC should also be reasonably well versed in what the victim is going through as a result of the cyberstalking or stalking
  • Keep trying to get the police to listen and take appropriate action. Persevere. Do not be dissuaded 
  • Particularly if the police have not taken your complaint seriously, or have shown an apparent lack of knowledge or understanding of the ACPO Guidelines, then complete this Stalking Risk Checklist and take it with you to the police. It is harder for the police to ignore you if you have been positively identified as an at-risk victim 
  • You are within your rights to have a solicitor, advocate or friend present with you at all meetings with the police. Insisting on this is definitely valuable 
  • The police often want to help, but often don't know how or what to do (though thankfully this is changing), so persist until you have been taken seriously and/or found the correct, appropriately trained and qualified police officer within the relevant constabulary to assist you adequately


  • I found this to be a valuable first-setp when considering what criminal, civil and other remedies I might have against my stalker
  • In my particular experience I found the The Network for Surviving Stalking (NSS) and e-Victims were especially helpful 
  • I also know from experience that The National Stalking Helpline, Protection Against Stalking, The Suzy Lamplugh Trust, Action Scotland Against Stalking and Women's Aid all provide first-rate advice for their respective constituents

Resources and contacts

The following are some of the extremely helpful anti-stalking and anti-domestic violence agencies whom can help you as you start to architect a plan of attack to defeat your stalker:

The National Stalking Helpline

Digital Stalking: A Guide to Technology Risks for Victims

The Network for Surviving Stalking (NSS)

Protection Against Stalking

Action Scotland Against Stalking

The Suzy Lamplugh Trust

Women's Aid

Chambers & Partners  -The UK Legal Practice Guide to Solicitors and Barristers

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