Fig. 1 “Portrait of a Young Woman Gets Earful from an Annoyed Man Again…” by David Castillo Dominici (Image courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net)
Stalking is an indication of an unhealthy love. True love does not pressure the other to reciprocate the attraction and courtship of one’s romantic feelings. People must be aware that stalking can be a manifestation of a social pathology and psychological imbalance of some individuals. Demographically, stalking is a gender-neutral crime, with both male and female perpetrators and victims, but:
- Most stalkers are men. Best statistics indicate that 75-80% of all stalking cases involve men stalking women.
- Most stalkers know their victims. 60% are current or former intimate partners.
- Most tend to fall into the young to middle-aged categories.
- Most have above-average intelligence.
- Many stalkers are anti-social, manipulative, deceptive, obsessive-compulsive, and have a history of failed relationships.
- Stalkers come from every walk of life and every socio-economic background. Virtually anyone can be a stalker, just as anyone can be a stalking victim 
“Stalkers can be driven by several different reasons, and most have stalked more than one person in their lifetime. Stalkers are obsessed with their victims, and this obsession is expressed in many ways. Some common reasons for this obsession include power, control, and sometimes revenge. Most stalkers don’t take responsibility for their actions and blame others for making them do what they do. Relationship violence perpetrators often stalk their victims during the course of the relationship and especially after the victim leaves the relationships” .
Photo credit: Shutterstock
What is Simple Obsession Stalking?
Simple obsession stalking “represents 70-80 percent (70-80%) of all stalking cases and is distinguished by the fact that some previous personal or romantic relationship existed between the stalker and the victim before the stalking behavior began. Virtually all relationship violence cases involving stalking fall under this rubric, as do casual dating relationships. Simple Obsession stalkers exhibit a variety of characteristics, including desire for extreme control, obsessive behavior, vengeful attitudes, an inability to handle rejection, and an assumption of little or no responsibility for their actions…
Once the victim literally becomes the stalker’s primary source of self-esteem, their greatest fear becomes the loss of this person. Their own self-worth is so closely tied to the victim that when they are deprived of that person, they may feel that their own life is without worth. It is exactly this dynamic that makes simple obsession stalkers so dangerous. In the most acute cases, such stalkers will literally stop at nothing to regain their “lost possession” –their partner– and in so doing, regain their lost self-esteem. Rejection often triggers this type of stalking. Stalkers are the most dangerous when their victims determine to physically remove themselves from the offender’s presence on a permanent basis by leaving the relationship. Indeed, stalking cases which emerge from relationship /dating violence situations constitute the most common and potentially lethal class of stalking cases’ .
How to Deal with the Problem
If stalker manages to make contact with you, say no clearly while avoiding humiliating him. (Don’t engage in dialogue. Pick a statement and keep repeating it. For instance just say “I’m not interested, there is nothing to discuss.”)
Also, say no without any qualifiers. Stalkers interpret certain phrases or actions as “maybes” or as signs that they’re getting through to you. Do not say “I’m sorry, I’m not interested.” Never include “I’m sorry.” This is interpreted by stalkers as a sign that you have emotions for them, which they will see as a victory, or as hope of future change… so they will contact you again later!
To clearly establish that any further contacts are unwanted and will be in violation of your consent, tell them no in front of a witness, or as a last resort, send a succinct certified letter (or have your attorney send a letter).
* Cease all contact. Stalkers thrive on REACTION, ATTENTION, and ACKNOWLEDGEMENT. Don’t give any of this. Do not be available to him in any way. Behave as though he doesn’t exist. If you let him see you reacting to his actions, he will experience it as his personal power. Don’t do anything that suggests to him that he affects your world or that you notice his behavior. If there are certain types of contact or communication that are necessary or unavoidable (such as for divorce preparations), appoint a go-between (preferably a man) to handle all communication instead of you.
* Notify friends, family, and your boss that this person is violating your right to peace and privacy, and is interfering with your personal freedoms and quality of life. Ask your peers outright if they will help you in the following manner: Explain that they must NOT dialogue with the person in any way, regardless of any excuses the stalker may give. Then ask them to promise to notify you ASAP any time that they see or have contact with this person.
* Evaluate your mail delivery. If there’s any way for him to access your mail, start having it delivered elsewhere.
* Collect information about anti-stalking laws in your state. Figure out what steps you will need to get him arrested on a stalking charge, and follow those steps. When you have enough documentation you can get a Restraining Order (Personal Protection Order). These don’t really stop the stalking; their purpose is more so that you can get a good arrest report and court time when they violate the Order…. .