The Xenia community would like to offer advice on how to best take care of yourself after becoming a victim. Please review the list for advice:
Join a support group. If none exist, start the support group yourself. The media can help, local domestic groups or the State Attorney General’s Office can refer you to others who have called seeking help with a stalker.
Keep nothing to yourself about the stalker or the stalker’s activities. Report every encounter to someone immediately.
Seek support from people who understand. Avoid people who minimize the problem and tell you that you are overreacting.
Seek therapy if any of the following symptoms begin to cause you problems:
Inability to concentrate
Suspicion of others
Unwillingness to trust anyone
The wish to withdraw
Increasein food intake
Use of sedatives or alcohol to cope with the stress
Know that the longer the trauma lasts, the deeper the emotional wound to you.
Know that the situation is potentially dangerous. Stalkers have been known to murder their victims.
Reject the notion that since you have not been physically assaulted, you have not been harmed. The emotional assault that stalking victims face can be just as harmful, if not more harmful, than physical assault.
Refrain from retaliation of any kind, such as vandalism of the stalker’s home or car. Though you may be tempted to lash out in this way, any action of this type could place you in physical danger, may have emotional repercussions for you, and later could be used against you if you take legal action against the stalker.
Don’t joke with others about wanting to kill the stalker. This could be misconstrued and could be used against you in a court of law.
If possible, be sure that someone knows where you are at all times, and when you are expected to arrive home.
Consider getting a dog, if this is practical for you.
If you jog or belong to a health club, do your workouts with a buddy-preferably someone who knows about your situation. This will make you feel safer and also provide a witness if your stalker approaches you at that time.
Never walk alone or jog at night. This is not a good idea under the best of circumstances, but for a stalking victim, it is out of the question.
When going to the car, ask someone to walk with you, or at least watch until you are safely in it.
Understand that stalking is disordered, sick, and abnormal. It is essentially violent, abusive, anti-social behavior not acceptable or justifiable under any circumstance.
Know that what is happening to you is not okay, not your fault, and not caused by anything you did.
Care for yourself by eating well, getting plenty of rest, exercise, and companionship. Remember, you are undergoing tremendous stress.
As much as possible, let neither the stalker, nor fear of him, rule your life. Take action, and fill your days with the people, places, and things that give you the most comfort and joy.