Following Intimate Partner Violence and/or Stalking

Getting Help for Intimate Partner Violence

It is not uncommon for individuals who are experiencing intimate partner violence (also called dating or domestic violence) to take some time before attempting to leave their abusive partner.  In fact, many victims of dating or domestic violence will attempt to end the relationship several times, possibly even leaving the relationship briefly, before ending the relationship permanently.  This period of time, where the victim is attempting to leave the abusive relationship, can be very scary and even dangerous.  Safety planning is an important consideration, and should be tailored to each victim’s unique needs. 

An advocate or counselor may be able to assist you in creating a plan for safety.  The plan should include considerations for:

  • What to do when there is an assault currently happening

  • What to do when planning to leave

  • How to stay safe after leaving

Go to the “Talk to an Advocate” section to learn more about how to connect with a confidential advocate. 

Getting Help for Stalking

Stalking behaviors can have a profound impact on the victim: increased anxiety, hypervigilance, anger, etc.  Victims often know the individual who is stalking them, and may have even been in a previous relationship them.  Stalking victims may hold off on reporting the unwanted behavior for weeks, months, or even years, as they attempt to handle the behavior on their own.

If you are experiencing unwanted behaviors from an individual either known or unknown to you, which are making you feel fearful or anxious, there are some things you can do:

  • If you are in immediate danger, call 911.

  • Trust your instincts. Don't downplay the danger. If you feel you are unsafe, you probably are.

  • Take threats seriously. Danger generally is higher when the stalker talks about suicide or murder, or when a victim tries to leave or end the relationship.

  • Contact a confidential victim advocate who can help you understand your rights and options, and can assist with creating a safety plan. Go to the “Talk to an Advocate” section to learn more about how to connect with a confidential advocate at CARE.

  • Don't communicate with the stalker or respond to attempts to contact you.

  • Keep evidence of the stalking. When the stalker follows you or contacts you, write down the time, date, and place. Keep emails, text messages, phone messages, letters, or notes. Photograph anything of yours the stalker damages and any injuries the stalker causes. Ask witnesses to write down what they saw. Click here to download a stalking incident and behavior log.

  • Contact the police. The stalker may also have broken other laws by doing things like assaulting you or stealing or destroying your property.

  • Consider getting a court order that tells the stalker to stay away from you.

  • Tell family, friends, roommates, and co-workers about the stalking and seek their support.

*Source: Stalking Resource Center