Domestic violence isn’t always mere physical abuse. Stalking, especially after a divorce or separation, is common. If your ex-spouse refuses to leave you alone, it’s important to take action as soon as possible.
Stalking typically involves repeated unwanted contact which makes you feel threatened or frightened. It often starts out harmlessly, like making calls or sending gifts. This can escalate to following you, gathering information, spreading rumors and refusing you leave you in peace. Some stalkers become violent after repeated rejection.
Here’s what to do if you’re a victim of stalking:
· Trust your gut: Many people downplay stalking, especially in the beginning. Trust your gut. If your ex’s behavior seems off, or makes you fearful in any way, take that gut feeling seriously.
· Tell your loved ones: It’s important to tell people around you what’s happening. Even if you’re not sure your ex’s conduct rises to the level of stalking, express your concerns to your loved ones. Let them know that you’re worried for your safety.
· Tell your lawyer: Next, tell your divorce lawyer about the stalking. They will help you understand your legal options and devise a plan for the future. This may include restraining orders or other protective measures.
· Keep a log: Record every incident in a notebook, even contact that seems harmless. Even if you don’t qualify for a restraining order yet, the documentation will help you and your lawyer prove a pattern of unwanted contact and illegal behavior. Write down the time, date, location and any details you can remember.
· Go to the police: If you feel you’re in immediate danger, call 911 or go to the police. For example, if your ex is following you in a car, drive to a police station and go inside to make a report.
Your safety is paramount during and after your divorce. Call the trusted divorce lawyers at Appelhof, Pfeifer & Hart, P.A. in St. Paul, MN today.
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