January is National Stalking Awareness Month
While National Stalking Awareness Month is coming to a close, I want to share some information that will hopefully stay with you throughout the year. The infographic below is is from Campus Clarity, which helps schools comply with the SaVE Act and Title IX through interactive, engaging online training.
While anything with a cat on it will get my attention, I find this infographic to be relevant, factual, and easy to understand. My favorite tip is to "Keep a Record". You'll see below that it's a good idea to "document each incident to demonstrate that it fits into a pattern of behavior for safety planning, police reports, and to obtain a protective order."
I'd like to add another benefit of keeping a record: validation. One tactic used by stalkers is to undermine your sense of reality. You may find yourself asking and thinking things like:
"Does that count as stalking or harassment?"
"Maybe they didn't mean it like that..."
"Is this really happening?"
"Am I imagining it?"
A record can serve as a grounding object. It can remind you that what is happening to you is real and there are details that show it. Sure, it can be a tool for the police or an attorney, but it is also a tool for you. It's harder to underestimate the impact of stalking when you have a list in front of you spelling out a pattern of unwanted and intimidating behavior.