According to a study conducted by the Department of Justice in 2000, 1 out of 12 women will become a stalk victim in her lifetime. Many stalk victims know their stalkers and brush off early warning signs until things escalate to a dangerous level. Identifying the signs of stalking early on can help you prevent becoming a statistic. Some signs of stalking include:
- Constantly crossing paths with the same individual at places you regularly frequent, or on more than one occasion you notice the same individual parked in your neighborhood when you come home;
- You start receiving multiple phone calls where the caller hangs up or says nothing;
- You notice a pattern of recurring unwanted contact;
- The same person starts following you at a distance and gathers information about you via online public records or online searches. He also may ask your relatives and friends about you;
- You start receiving gifts from a secret admirer with a romantic interest, and over time the gifts become of an inappropriate nature (i.e., sexually explicit) if you don’t reciprocate;
- You find yourself in a position of needing the stalker’s help. A stalker will create circumstances where they he is the only one you can turn to when you’re in a bind. An example is when your car breaks down and the stalker “just happened to be in the neighborhood.”
- The stalker uses emotional manipulation to get your attention, such as threatening to hurt himself or someone close to you;
- You start receiving emails, instant messages or private chat invitations from the same person;
- Your family and friends begin questioning you about potentially damaging information your stalker has shared with them and may even begin to shy away from you. This is how a stalker isolates his victim from loved ones.
- The stalker begins threatening you or someone close you, going as far as to vandalize your car or burglarize your home;
Repeated stalking is a Class 4 felony in the state of Colorado, which carries a 6-year prison sentence.
If you have been exhibiting any of the above behaviors, even as an innocent gesture, you could end up in a quandary that only a seasoned Colorado criminal defense attorney can get you out of. If you stand accused, a Colorado criminal defense attorney can advise you of Colorado’s stalking laws and your rights–yes, you do have rights–under those laws.