If you've ever been the victim of a stalker, you know how frightening and uneasy it can make you feel. In 2012, the US Department of Justice stated that in one year alone, an estimated 3.3 million persons age 18 and older were victims of a stalker. Stalking can occur over the Internet on social media sites or through email. It can also take place by phone or in person. Regardless of how the stalker harasses you, you can steps take to prevent the situation from affecting your job.
Tell your supervisor what's going on. Keep a detailed account of what your co-worker's been doing. Save all emails and messages, and create a list of events as they happen. Write down every harassing phone call and keep track of every single contact made by the stalker. Your employer and law enforcement will be more likely to believe you and follow through with your complaint if you show proof.
Avoid contact with the co-worker, if possible. According to Fox News, getting a reaction from you often encourages a stalker. Don't encourage contact. Try to ignore the stalker and let management and law enforcement follow through with the complaint.
Continue to do your job to the best of your ability. Keep busy. If the stalker sees you going about your normal activities, he or she may back off.
Block the individual from seeing you on social media sites. Don't accept friend requests from the person. If he or she's already a friend on social media, locate the security settings and block the person from seeing your activity.
Ask your employer if you can move to another department or work different hours than the co-worker. Check to see if your company allows you to work from home. Take advantage of any alternatives your employer has to offer.
Obtain a protection from stalking order from your local court system. Apply for the order from your local district court. The court will notify the stalker that you've filed for protection. If the individual defies the court order, you can have him or her arrested.
Develop a strict set of guidelines on what constitutes inappropriate behavior from employees, clients and customers. All employees should receive training on these guidelines and have steps to follow if they witness inappropriate behavior. Review policies on a regular basis so they remain up to date.
Encourage open communication. Create an open-door policy so workers feel comfortable sharing information.
Address each complaint immediately. Employees will trust you and be more willing to share information if they know they can count on you to act quickly. Supporting your employees in the event of harassment or stalking will make them feel safe at work.
Update or increase security in all areas. Add security lights, offer assistance to vehicles after dark and protect the privacy of all employees. Never give out information on an employee without the employee's knowledge.
Contact law enforcement if you think the issue is beyond your control. If company security measures aren't deterring the stalker, get help from authorities.
- Fox News: How to Deal With a Stalker
- California Youth Authority Office of Prevention and Victim Services
- Stalking Risk Profile: Stalking in the Workplace
- Privacy Rights Clearinghouse: Are You Being Stalked?
- Bureau of Justice Statistics: Stalking Victims in the United States - Revised
- Kansas Judicial Branch: Protection from Stalking Information
- Comstock/Comstock/Getty Images