The Terrifying Reality of Being Stalked

You know when you have that heavy feeling that someone is staring at you? You know, the one that gets you uneasy and causes you to feel chills down your spine; but, eventually you make eye contact with the person and usually they stop looking. Well, now imagine getting that feeling as you’re walking home, you turn around and see someone a little far in the distance, so you shrug it off and continue along with your day. Now comes the next couple of days that you are walking home, and you get that heavy feeling again but now this time he’s following you. Friday comes, and you already have a bad gut feeling developed. As you are walking, you notice someone not only looking at you but also standing somewhere you pass by on your daily. You continue walking past them without a word being said, then you turn the curb and notice they are still behind you. Now you are scared, and do not really know what to do so you pick up the pace and hope to lose them, but you don’t….

Well, there I was a junior in high school at the moment, walking home from my bus stop hoping that I was just being dramatic as I picked up my pace, and no one was actually following me. I continued walking home at a faster pace hoping the person could not keep up if in fact he was following me. I went up the stairs since I live on the second floor and as I reached my door and I was putting the keys in turn the knob, I turn around and see the same person from before going up the stairs. Now I was freaking out, scared out of my mind, I quickly opened my door and went inside slamming it shut and locking it as fast as I could.

That heavy feeling, I used to get when I felt like someone was staring at me became nothing compared to the fright I felt when I noticed someone had followed me to my door. This person who I did not know at all, was stalking me.

Although the issue with the stalker got resolved, the fear of it did not go away for a very long time. I would catch myself constantly looking over my shoulders, out my window to make sure no one was there, and even running from place to place when I had no one to walk with. Eventually, I found ease again and was able to live on without having that fear weighing down my shoulders. I made sure that if I was ever in that situation again I would know what to do.

Unfortunately, according to The National Center for Victims of Crime, one in six women experiences being stalked at some point in their life. Although we always hope note, if you do believe you are being stalked always trust your instincts as it is better to be ready than sorry. Here are some tips, if you ever feel like you are in danger:

1. Always protect yourself first. Make sure to call the police and have record of any incidents that has led you to believe you are being stalked. If it is a case on campus, FIU Police has an emergency line open 24/7: MMC: (305) 348-5911 & BBC: (305) 919-5911  

2. Be prepared. There are special programs that are designed to teach women how to defend themselves. The FIU Police department offers one of their own at no cost called S.A.F.E. (Self-Defense Awareness & Familiarization Exchange) with the next course being offered on September 20th, 2018 beginning at 6:00 PM.  

3. Lastly, if you ever do not feel safe walking by yourself especially at night, call someone on the phone whether it be a family member or friend, and inform them of what you are feeling and stay on the phone with them until you feel safe.

At the end of the day, the only thing that truly matters is your safety. If you ever feel like there might be a chance that someone is following you, it is better to take precautious measures than have a life with days consumed of fear.

 

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