Psychological Self-Help

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happen to them and if it did, they could handle it. Actually, stalking is not a rare
event, one in every 12 women have this experience sometime in their life.
The more common behaviors of stalkers are phone calls (72%), observing the victim
(67%), threatening suicide (62%), breaking into victim’s home (19%), sexual
assault (18%), abuse of pets (15%), threatening children (13%), defamation of
character, and identity theft. Usually the stalkers used a variety of threatening
methods in spite of 22% facing legal action to stop them. About one-third of the
victims were forced by circumstances to move, lost a relationship or their jobs. Many
lost money or had to repair damaged property or car…58% were very frightened.
Almost all had severe physical and emotional effects. One third believed their
personality had been changed forever, e.g. unable to trust. On average, 21 other
people, family members, etc., were affected in addition to the victim. Stalkers are
diligent searchers for information from the victim’s work, family, friends, public
records; they are sometimes charming and convincing when getting information
about the victims..
These are serious problems, yet, the victims were frequently told by friends that they
were over-reacting or being paranoid. Some victims become afraid they will be
laughed at, so only 42% report the stalking to the police. Of those who reported the
stalking, 61% felt the police were helpful. Victims thought the best way for the police
to respond was to arrest the stalker, even though that often doesn’t stop the stalker
for long.
What motivated the stalking? Half the victims thought rejection; others thought it
was jealousy or arguments or mental illness. Many just didn’t know. Why did the
stalking stop if it did? Most didn’t know, maybe police warnings or the victim moving
to a secret place. We just don’t know what makes stalkers stop. Victims would like to
have help collecting evidence to use against the stalker, info about protecting
privacy, a discussion group with other victims, help from specialized police and
psychologists, referral to experts who realize that there are very different kinds of
stalkers and, therefore, advice needs to be tailored to specific types of stalkers.
Now you know more about stalking. Try to cut off all involvement very early before
the attachment, jealousy, anger or whatever emotion becomes ingrained. If this is a
break up of an intimate relationship, especially if it was abusive, make the break
complete without offering hopes for reconciliation. Report any threats, even implied
ones, to the police (with detailed documentation). Protect yourself well and at all
times. If you feel the situation is unsafe, get out and get help. 
Recommended reading about aggressive people
This material might help when you have to deal with angry people and outraged
crowds (Griese, 2002), when you have been mistreated at work (Cortina and Magley,
2003), or if your job involves trying to help angry, aggressive drivers—Road Rage
(Galovski, Malta, & Blanchard, 2005). Many other writers have suggested ways of
coping with generally difficult, aggressive people (Solomon, 1990; Felder, 1987;
Elgin, 1985; Carter, 1990). Driscoll (1994) trains you to develop a mental shield to
deflect the other person's anger. NiCarthy, Gottlieb & Coffman (1993) deal
specifically with how women can deal with emotional abuse at work. Bramson (1981)
says you will encounter three kinds of angry people at work: the Sherman tank, the
exploder, and the sniper. The "Sherman tank" is ready to arrogantly crush any
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