Protect Yourself Against Stalking
A spouse may feel angry and betrayed when you want a divorce. If they can’t handle the situation, they may exact revenge, stalk you, and possibly become violent. Thanks to the internet and smartphones, it’s never been easier to stalk someone.
What is Stalking?
Stalking is using unwanted, harassing, or threatening tactics that cause fear or safety concerns in the victim, according to the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). These tactics may include:
- Following and watching you
- Approaching you or showing up where you are, whether that’s in a public place, your home, or workplace
- Using global positioning system (GPS) technology to track you
- Going into a private place while you’re elsewhere and leaving you items or objects to scare or threaten you
- Using technology to spy on you
- Making unwanted phone calls, text messages, emails, social media posts, or photo messages
- Sending you unwanted cards, gifts, letters, or flowers
What your spouse might do to stalk you is only limited to their twisted imagination.
What Can I Do to Prevent Being Stalked?
Some steps can make stalking more difficult:
- Stay off of social media. The more information about your life you put on social media, the easier it is for your spouse to find you
- Change your phone number and email address to prevent unwanted phone calls, texts, and emails
- If your spouse had access to your smartphone, PC, or laptop, they might have uploaded spyware or stalkerware. It allows them to know everything you use it for and track you. You can try to find it on your device and remove it, but the most effective way to prevent this from affecting you is to get another one
- Your spouse may have put an Apple AirTag on your vehicle. This is an electronic device that can allow them to see where it is in real-time. This article explains more about what this is, how it works, and ways to try to prevent this from happening
- Lock your smartphone by using a code, a fingerprint, or face recognition technology
- Turn off the location setting (until you need it to get somewhere), and don’t share your location
- Change your routine, so your movements are less predictable
- Tell your employer what’s going on in case your spouse shows up at your workplace or tries to call you there
- If you are threatened in any way or physically struck, call the police and press charges
- If you qualify, get a protection from abuse order. It shows your spouse you’re serious about ending the stalking. If it continues, call the police. If your spouse is arrested and convicted, they may face fines and jail time
Sadly, you need to take these actions and change your life, but when dealing with a stalker, you need to protect yourself as best you can. Hopefully, your spouse will stop when they see the negative consequences of their actions.
Get the Help You Need From an Attorney You Trust
We’ve handled many divorces where the relationship totally broke down, and one spouse became hostile toward the other. This can be a difficult and stressful time, but we’re here to help you get through this and enable you to start a new life. Contact Karen A. Ulmer, P.C. for additional guidance on family law, divorce, protection from abuse orders, and all things divorce.