What is stalking?
Stalking, also known as criminal harassment, is a crime.
You should seek help if you're afraid or concerned because someone is repeatedly:
- contacting you by phone, email, notes, social media or in person;
- following you;
- sending you unwanted gifts;
- watching your home, school or workplace;
- refuses to take "no" for an answer;
- contacting your friends, family or colleagues to talk about you; or
- behaving in ways you find unsettling.
Trust your instincts. If you feel unsafe you probably are, even if the stalker is not intending to scare you. If you're afraid for your safety, these repeated behaviours are likely criminal harassment. This type of behaviour is against the law. It's not a sign of love; it's about abuse, power and control.
Contact Victim Services
Learn about your options.
You can phone or drop in to talk to Victim Services (no appointment required) Monday through Friday between 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
In person: 301 Jarvis Street, 2nd floor
Toll free: 1-800-661-0408, ext: 8500
In person: 813B 3rd Avenue
In person: 820 Adela Trail
What to do if you're being stalked
Report to the police
Stalking and harassment are against the law. If you are in immediate danger, phone 911.
It's up to you if you want to report to the police. While you may choose to wait if reporting, it'll be easier for police to investigate if you report sooner.
A victim services worker can accompany you to the police. If you're not sure whether or not you should report the threats, contact Victim Services.
Victim Services can help you make a safety plan. Some parts of a safety plan may include:
- take threats seriously;
- consider going to a women's shelter to be safe;
- change your routine;
- arrange a safe place to stay;
- have a friend stay with you;
- tell people how they can help you;
- do not communicate with the stalker or respond to attempts to contact you;
- let an answering machine or voice mail screen your calls;
- ask about an order to keep someone away from you such as a Peace Bond;
- ask for support from family, friends, and co-workers; and
- if you have children, ensure that their schools and caregivers are aware of your situation.
- Change privacy setting on your social media accounts.
- Block the person stalking you .
- Report the person stalking you to the social media administrator.
- Consider changing your account's name or alias.
- Limit the information shared on your public profile.
Find more ideas
Cyberstalking Protection: Basic advice, Canadian Resource Centre for Victim of Crimes
Document the stalking
- Keep all evidence.
- Write down the time, date, place and circumstances of each event or contact.
- Keep emails, notes and phone messages.
- Take screenshots of text and social media messages.
- Photograph anything the stalker damages and any injuries they caused.
- Ask witnesses to write down what they saw, too.
- Provide all the information to the RCMP if you're reporting to the police.
Stalking: it's not love
- Stalking is about power and control.
- A stalker’s efforts to control and intimidate often escalate into violence.
- Criminal harassment is usually committed by someone you know.
- Often the person is someone you've been close to.
- Stalking often occurs during a breakup or divorce.
- People you don’t know well can also be stalkers.
- You might not report the stalking because you feel the person will stop or you can deal with it.
- Trust your instincts and get help.
- Stalking: It’s not love, a pamphlet from the RCMP
- Criminal Harassment prepared by the Canadian Resource Centre for Victims of Crime
- Social Media Safety, the Edmonton Police Service