Recently, I’ve found myself in a particularly horrible situation in which I have been harassed and stalked by a guy that I went on two dates with. I think the unhealthy fixation upon an object or a person is concerning and something our society only barely recognises. It was only recently that stalking even began to truly be considered as an arrestable offence and taken into the umbrella of harassment laws. It is not taken into account the crippling affect it can have on your self-esteem and mental wellbeing. However, I have come up with five fool proof ways to avoid a stalker in future!
1. Don’t meet people
Obviously this seems like quite an easy task, but it takes real dedication and includes making no human contact at all. Even when you’re going to the supermarket. Picking up your dry cleaning? Hand over your money silently and just walk away. Or if you think you’re tempted to be sociable, just stay inside your house – all the time! This is the only truly reasonable way to avoid meeting a stalker.
2. Don’t give them your number
If you find that you just had to leave the house because you felt yourself slowly going insane or found yourself ordering 29 cats and a gold fish for company, or your started falling in love with your postman. If you meet somebody, do not give them your phone number. Don’t suggest another form of contact either. If it’s meant to be, you’ll find each other!
3. Do not trust anybody who is seemingly nice.
This is possibly more difficult than not meeting anyone. I can only assure you that that cutie in the bowtie? Absolute maniac! He brings you flowers? Definitely wants to kill your puppy! Run! Go for the people who look like they’d be serial killers, you won’t be safe otherwise! (This probably isn’t entirely wise either – just don’t go outside.)
4. Don’t agree to go outside with a person.
If you are thinking of going on a date with one of these deceptively nice people who are just a little bit quirky – then don’t! They are almost definitely a stalker. Do not be fooled into dating one of these lovely looking people.
5. Do not let them take you home!
This is particularly important! If you have ignored every other piece of valuable (and sincere) advice that I’ve give you, this is definitely the one to listen to. Until you are positive that this seemingly nice person is nice and you’re not regretting giving them your number, do not let them take you home, or pick you up! Deal with chivalry later in the relationship, make them book you a cab if they seem truly concerned. For now, you’re avoiding a stalker and this was where I went wrong. Don’t be stalked – go home alone!
Stalking and harassment are very serious and terrifying occurrences. If you feel as though you are in danger there are many helplines and advice you can receive. Also, do not hesitate to contact the police or the Citizens Advice Bureau if you feel as though you need more protection.