Resources for Survivors of Stalking and Cyberstalking

In today's digital age, stalking and cyberstalking has emerged as one of the most pervasive and alarming issues associated with the use of technology-facilitated crimes. This contributes significantly to the prevalence of sexual violence. However, stalking and cyberstalking may not always be easy to identify. With the rapid advancement of technology, perpetrators now have unprecedented access to their victims' lives through the use of online platforms and digital tools to intrude, harass, and intimidate. Learn more about how to identify stalking behavior in person or online, and find resources and support.

What is stalking?

  • Stalking: Engaging in a course of conduct directed at a specific person that would cause a reasonable person to fear for his or her safety or the safety of others or suffer substantial emotional distress.

Stalking behavior can manifest in several forms, such as:

  • Making threats against someone, or that person's family or friends.
  • Non-consensual communication, such as repeated phone calls, emails, text messages, and unwanted gifts.
  • Repeated physical or visual closeness, like waiting for someone to arrive at certain locations, following someone, or watching someone from a distance.
  • Any other behavior used to contact, harass, track, or threaten someone.

What is the use of cyberstalking—using technology to stalk?

  • Perpetrators use technology, including photos, videos, social media, and dating apps, as a means to engage in harassing, unsolicited, or non-consensual sexual interactions. These actions can leave individuals feeling manipulated, vulnerable, exposed, and concerned about their online reputation.

Here are some ways technology can be used for stalking:

  • Continuously sending unsolicited communication via the internet, like spamming someone's email or social media accounts.
  • Posting threatening or personal details about an individual on public internet forums.
  • Engaging in video-voyeurism by installing surveillance cameras to intrude into someone's private life.
  • Employing GPS or other tracking software to monitor someone without their awareness or permission.
  • Illegally accessing someone's computer and using spyware to monitor their online activities.

If you believe you are being stalked, take these steps for safety and reporting:

  • Take measures to protect yourself and prioritize your safety, even if the stalker is someone familiar to you or your family.
  • Clearly state your wish to stop communication if stalked through technology and avoid responding further.
  • Preserve evidence like texts, emails, etc., without responding.
  • Inform family, friends, supervisors, and co-workers about the situation.
  • For families with children, consider establishing age appropriate measures such as agreeing on a special code word that signals them to leave home or seek help by calling the police.
  • Consider reporting the stalking to local law enforcement.
  • Keep a detailed journal of all stalking incidents.
  • Learn more about how to prevent child sexual abuse material (CSAM), online dating and safety app tips, and 5 Red Flags and 5 Tips to Protect Your Child Online.

If you are a survivor of stalking and/or by the use of technology, it is crucial to remember that the responsibility lies solely with the perpetrator, and it is not your fault. You are not to blame for their actions. Remember, you are not alone, and support is available.

Below is a list of available resources to support you during this difficult time:

  • National Sexual Assault Hotline: National hotline, operated by RAINN, that serves people affected by sexual violence. Hotline: 800.656.HOPE or
  • National Domestic Violence Hotline: Through this hotline an advocate can provide local direct service resources (safehouse shelters, transportation, casework assistance) and crisis intervention. Interpreter services available in 170 languages. They also partner with the Abused Deaf Women's Advocacy Center to provide a videophone option. Hotline: 800.799.SAFE.
  • Stalking Resource Center: The Stalking Resource Center is a program of the National Center for Victims of Crime. Their website provides statistics on stalking, information on safety planning and other resources.
  • Stalking Prevention, Awareness, & Resource Center (SPARC): SPARC mission is to make sure that the victim service providers (including domestic violence shelters and rape crisis agencies), campuses, law enforcement agencies, and other places where stalking victims come for help and support have the training and resources they need to better respond to victims and survivors.

To speak with a trained support specialist, call the National Sexual Assault Hotline at 800.656.HOPE (4673) or chat online in English at or in Spanish at

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