Safety Tips for Home
• Alert your friends, neighbors, and apartment building personnel about your situation. Give them as much information as you can about the stalker, including a photograph of him/her, and a description of any vehicles s/he may drive. Ask them to notify you or call the police if they see the stalker at your house.
• Keep your address confidential whenever possible, including on bills, magazines, etc. This could make it harder for a potential stalker to find you on the Internet. You may want to get a post office box at least two zip codes away from your home and use it on all correspondence and even your checks. You can learn more about how to set up a private post office box here: http://www.usps.com/receive/businesssolutions/poboxservice.htm.
• Tell friends and neighbors not to give your address or phone number to anyone. Explain that they should not even give information to someone posing as a deliveryman or mailman. This is sooo critical!
• Don’t put your name on the list of tenants on the front of your apartment building. Use a variation of your name that only your friends and family would recognize.
• Identify escape routes out of your house. Plan different routes in case the stalker is in front of your home, in the backyard, or if he/she enters the home. Practice manuvering through your home with your eyes closed. Build up your awareness and skill.
• Pack a bag with important items you’d need if you had to leave quickly, such as a reserve set of money, credit cards, medication, important papers, keys, and other valuables. Put the bag in a safe place, or give it to a friend or relative you trust. Also consider putting together a “stalking bag” that includes the stalking log, a camera, information about the offender, etc. that you can easily grab if you have to leave the house in a hurry.
• Install solid core doors with dead bolts at your house or apartment (solid core doors are sturdier than hollow doors, use double key dead blots if there are windows on the doors; and DON’T keep the key in the lock. Keep it on your wrist.). If all of your sets of keys cannot be accounted for, you may want to change the locks (and secure the spare keys) in case the stalker managed to get a set of your keys. Fix any broken windows or doors and consider getting an alarm system put in that will signal the police if the alarm is triggered. Note: If you rent your apartment/house, you may have to get the landlord’s approval before making these changes.
• Get a new, unlisted phone number and/or block your phone number. If you are getting unwanted phone calls, you may want to change your phone number and keep it unlisted. For additional safety, you may also want to ask the phone company (Verizon, AT&T, etc.) to block your number so it won’t show up on calls you make (this may be called “complete blocking” or “per line” blocking in some states). Please be aware that blocking is not 100% effective, programming glitches can sometimes mistakenly reveal blocked numbers.***
• Attend a self defense seminar and/or class. You will gain confidence and skills that may very well save your life. Confidence is the unconquerable enemy of fear! It may very well be what saves your life one day! It takes time for emergency personnel to respond… sometimes, you don’t have that time.