The Effect of Stalking on Mental Health
Not only is stalking a criminal act in every state that can result in arrests and convictions, but stalking can have a profound negative impact on the victim’s mental health. If you are being stalked, it is critical to reach out for help immediately. Contact law enforcement to report that activity. Alert your trusted family and friends about what is happening so they will be aware and on watch. Document all incidents of stalking so there will be evidence if there is a criminal or civil action against the party that is stalking you.
You may also want to consider reaching out to a therapist to help deal with the mental impact that the stalking is having on your life. Many stalking victims find their lives turned upside down, which can cause much anguish. Statistics reveal that stalking has the following effect on victim’s lives:
- – One in five victims are forced to change their daily routine because of the stalking
- – One in six victims are forced to change their phone number
- – One in seven victims are forced to move
- – More than half of victims find their jobs are impacted, such as having to take days off and job performance
Other statistics reveal just how prevalent stalking is. More than six million people are being stalked right now in this country. The average length of time a victim is stalked by the offender is almost two years.
Stalking has a serious impact on victims’ mental health, with many victims reporting suffering from anxiety, depression, and other mental health issues. And almost half of victims who are stalked have all the symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
One of the most common places that stalkers find their victims are on college campuses. In one survey almost half of college students admitted to engaging in stalking after the end of a romantic relationship. Eighty percent of college campus stalking victims know who their stalker is.
Legal Help for Stalking
Unfortunately, many victims of stalking do not always turn to the police when dealing with a stalker and instead try to deal with it themselves. It is estimated that less than 50 percent of all stalking cases are reported to law enforcement. That could be because many states do not have strong laws against stalking. In fact, less than one-third of states charge first-offense stalking as a felony. This, despite the facts that we know about stalkers:
- – Twenty percent of stalking incident involves the stalker using a weapon
- – Almost 70 percent of stalkers target their victims at least once a week
- – Most stalkers are known by their victims, usually former romantic partners or other acquaintances
Emotional Help for Stalking
If you have been a victim of stalking, you are likely dealing with many feelings of anger, anxiety, depression, and fear. Contact an anxiety doctor in Palatine, IL to meet with a compassionate therapists to find out how they can help.
Thanks to Lotus Wellness Center for their insight into therapy and how stalking can affect mental health.