Friday, 24 August 2012

Am I really being cyberstalked.....???


How do I determine whether I am being cyberstalked?

The following factors (or combination thereof) are traits that characterise a true stalking episode (whether cyberstalking or "traditional" spatial-stalking).

Please note that these are indicative factors of a cyberstalking campaign, however the absence of one or more of these traits does not indicate that you are not the victim of cyberstalking (or spatial stalking):
  • Intentional malice;
  • Obsession;
  • Vendetta; 
  • Repetition;
  • Distress;
  • Financial (or other) demands - for example, the demand of reinstatement of employment or the demand for the termination of another relationship;
  • Premeditation;
  • Lack of legitimate purpose (notwithstanding that cyberstalkers will often believe that they have a just cause or righteous purpose);
  • Attacks that are extremely personal;
  • Vexatious threats;
  • Blatant disregard for warnings to cease and desist (even by Police or other regulatory bodies)


If you think that you may be being cyberstalked and referencing the above checklist to your current experience further confirms this, then please take action.

Statistically, your cyberstalker is extremely unlikely to cease and desist without strong and well co-ordinated intervention.


Recommended Preliminary Action

Note

Two symptom commonly reported by victims of all forms of stalking are:
  1. The feeling of being powerless; and
  2. The inability to make a decision that previously would have seemed simple to make.

These symptoms are commonly shared by victims irrespective of their age, professional background, or socioeconomic circumstances. So in the first instance please endeavour to share your dilemma with at least two trusted friends or family members.


Priority Actions

  • Find TWO trusted friends or family members to confide in
  • Ask them to read up on how best to support a victim of stalking or cyberstalking (there are lists of reference sources throughout this site)
  • Report the matter to your local Police constabulary
  • If you feel you may be in imminent danger - dial 999 (in the United Kingdom) without delay
  • Prepare a detailed diary and keep copies of all evidence (screenshots, copies of texts or emails etc) of each and every incident that has formed part of the cyberstalking campaign
  • Seek qualified professional advice. Three good starting points are to:
  • Report the matter to your doctor and ask them to note the date you first reported this to them 
  • Find an experienced lawyer
Note: Many lawyers will claim to know how to assist you however relatively few UK legal practitioners have substantial experience in taking action under the Protection from Harassment Act . Chambers & Partners is a good starting point when seeking to find appropriate legal counsel. The National Stalking Helpline, the Network for Surviving Stalking  Action Scotland Against Stalking or Protection Against Stalking may also be able to make suggestions of appropriate legal counsel for you to speak with
  • Find a qualified and experienced IT professional to undertake a thorough inspection of all of your technical hardware (mobile telephones, PC's MAC's, iPads, PDA's etc)
For more detailed advice on post "diagnosis" intervention, read Okay so I am being cyberstalked - what can I do.....? 



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