According to the Stalking Resource Center, there are more than 7 million victims of stalking every year in the United States. Most of them are young (under 25) and many experienced stalking during their teen years – or earlier. Stalking is a crime in all 50 states and more than half of them consider a second offense of stalking a felony.
A little awareness can go a long way. The more you know about stalking, the less likely you might be of being accused.
• Stalking is serious business. With so many instances of stalking and so many instances of violence related to stalking, law enforcement takes all accusations seriously. Even if you did not commit a crime and your victim mistook your advances as something different than you intended, chances are you will be viewed as guilty in the court of public opinion.
• Stalking triggers a variety of emotional and psychological effects, including anxiety, insomnia, and depression. It can be difficult to prove stalking is actually what triggered these conditions, so it’s easy enough for someone to point to your actions as being the cause. Relationships are complicated and an unintentional misstep can land you in a great deal of trouble facing a variety of allegations.
• The majority of stalking victims are the target of someone they know. Nearly 90% of female stalking victims were involved with or are an acquaintance of their stalker. Have you recently broken up with or had a negative experience with a friend or love interest? It would be easy for that person to accuse you of stalking just because you ignored his or her advances, ended a relationship, or somehow didn’t behave as he or she wished.
There’s no denying stalking is a serious problem, but that’s no reason for your life to be torn apart by false accusations. Proving your innocence is more difficult than ever and will continue to become more so as laws to prevent stalking strengthen. For more information and statistics on stalking, check out stalking fact sheet.
Accused of Stalking?
What should you do if you are falsely accused of stalking or think false accusations could occur?
• First and foremost, contact an attorney. He or she will help you protect your rights.
• Avoid your accuser. Do not try to reason with the person or attempt to explain your position. You are better off keeping as much distance as possible from that person. If you must spend time with your accuser, bring a third party to act as a witness.
• If your accuser is a co-worker or someone for whom you work, express your concerns to human resources or whatever person or department handles workplace disputes.
• Keep a written record of everything. An ongoing journal of your interactions with your accuser and a record of where you are and when can be a valuable tool in the long run.
If you are concerned about stalking or you want more information on how to protect yourself if you are falsely accused of stalking, contact David Lindsey to discuss your situation and how you can protect your rights.