Your safety is of the utmost importance when you’re dealing with a stalker, whether it’s your narcissistic ex or someone else. As I’ve been researching the subject, I’ve discovered a really cool concept called Stalker Sacks. These are physical bags of resources and tools that are given to victims in some states, and I think it’s an amazing idea.
The only problem is that a lot of people who are dealing with a stalker, even when it IS their ex, don’t know how to get the help they need, or they’re too embarrassed or afraid to ask someone. That’s why I’ve been covering it in more detail around here lately.
(An Aside) Have you been stalked before? What tips helped you? Are you currently being stalked? If so, what are you doing to stay safe? Please send me an email with the subject line “Stalker Tips” and let me know so that I can help other survivors by sharing your tips! I can share your name with your tip if you’re comfortable with it, but if you’re not, just let me know you’d prefer to have me publish the tip anonymous.
What Goes in Your DIY Stalker Sack?
In case you need to make your own Stalker Sack, here’s what kind of stuff you might want to put inside. The following list has been adapted from materials developed by the Alexandria, Virginia Domestic Violence Intervention Project and Virginians Against Domestic Violence.
- Notebook to use as a stalking log (so they can keep track of events and use it to prosecute or at least get a restraining order)
- Disposable camera (with time/date recorder if available)
- Wristwatch and calendar (to specify time and date)
- Pens, pencils
- Business cards of a local investigator officer, prosecutor, and advocate
- Books on stalking
- List of books, Web sites, and other resources on stalking
(Based on community needs and state laws)
- Deadbolt buddy: The deadbolt buddy is a device that attaches to any deadbolt knob and prevents the lock from opening even if the intruder has a key.
- Pepper spray: Pepper spray may help a victim escape an attack but may not be legal in some jurisdictions. Victims are strongly urged to obtain proper training on the use of pepper spray and other self-defense instruments.
- Personal alarm: This small, portable alarm can be attached to windows or doors and will produce a loud noise if the window or door is opened. It also can be attached to a belt or scarf and will sound if the strap is pulled. (Note: if the personal alarm is too expensive, a whistle can be included in the sack.)
- Plastic zip-lock bag and powder-free latex gloves: Victims can use these items to collect evidence, but only as a last resort, if it is clear that police will not come to the scene or that the evidence will be moved, damaged, or altered before the police arrive. Remember that collecting evidence is the job of law enforcement, and under most circumstances, victims should wait for the police to perform this task.
- Audio recorder: If tape-recording without permission is legal in their state, victims can use tape recorders to tape any conversation with the stalker. Jurisdictions have different laws on what kind of recordings (e.g., in-person or phone discussions) can be used as evidence, and recording a person without his or her permission is illegal in some states. Check local laws before recording any conversations.