Domestic abuse is about control. So, it's not unusual for an abuser to stalk his or her ex after the victim leaves the relationship in an effort to continue controlling how the person behaves. According to the Victim of Crimes website, 61 percent of women and 44 percent of men report being stalked by an intimate partner. If you've managed to get away from an abuser, here's what you can do to stay safe.
Change Your Routine
The ideal solution would be to move as far away from your stalker ex as possible to make it harder for the person to have physical contact with you, but this isn't always feasible. Thus, the first thing you should do after leaving the relationship is immediately change your routine. Your ex already knows all the places you like to visit and will make an effort to be in the same locations as you.
Start with easy stuff, such as shopping at different stores or transferring your gym membership to another facility. Then move onto harder things, such as changing jobs or altering your school schedule. You should also vary the routes you take to get to these locations, as traveling the same path will make it easier to track you.
Minimize Your Use of Social Media
Another thing you should do is immediately unfollow and block your ex on all your social media accounts. Sites like Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram make it easy for stalkers to keep tabs on their victims and even find their locations. Thus, you may want to adjust your privacy settings to ensure only people you trust have access to your pages (e.g. turn off geolocation).
Even then, be careful about posting images or information that may reveal your location. For instance, if you want to talk about a restaurant where you had a nice dinner, wait a few hours after you have left the facility to post about it to avoid having your ex show up unexpectedly. It's also a good idea to discuss the issue with friends and family members to minimize the risk that they accidentally give you away.
Get a Restraining Order As Soon As Possible
A third thing you can do is get a restraining order against the person as soon as legally possible. Although this won't physically stop the person from trying to contact you, it will give you cause to have the individual arrested if he or she approaches you. This can be invaluable in situations where your ex may not be technically breaking the law (e.g. he or she is just standing by a light pole near your home), because it gives police the legal authority to remove and jail the person.
For more tips on staying safe after leaving an abuser or assistance with taking legal action to protect yourself, contact a domestic assault lawyer like Cheryl Brown Attorney at Law.Share
4 March 2018
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