Websites, books and articles used in this module.
The psychology of stalking, J Reid Meloy.
How to stop a stalker, Mike Proctor.
The gift of fear, Gavin De Becker
Det. (ret.) Mike Proctor from the US is the author of several books about stalking. Mike Proctor is a former police detective and an expert in the field of stalking.
Henrik Bramsborg (DK) is a professional bodyguard operating out of Northern Europe. Henrik Bramsborg works as a security professional and is also an author of several books.
Nikolai Ehlers (BE) is a security professional with a background in the UN Close Protection Unit. Today Nikolai Ehlers works with private sector security and executive security.
One of the most challenging phenomenons for any security officer is stalking. Stalkers come in many varieties and are often more damaging to your client's mental health, than to their physical security.
Basically stalking is to pursue or monitor someone against their will. This will, once discovered, instill some sort of fear in the victim. It is often done with the purpose of gaining an imaginary relationship with the person being stalked.
The phenomenon is illegal in most countries, but can be called different things (In the UK it is called criminal harassment). The word stalking originates from a hunting form where a hunter walks thru a forest looking for random game, rather than lying in a shelter and waiting for game.
Stalking (the illegal human kind!) has certain common actions, easily recognizable by a professional.
· Unwanted phone calls, e-mails or other contact attempts, often MANY.
· Unwanted presents/gifts either in positive or negative form.
· Stories about the stalker and the victim, even though the victim don't socialize with the stalker.
· Erratic behavior from the stalker, when the victim doesn't respond to stalkers approach
· Reverse stories about stalking; The stalker claims to be the victim of stalking.
Stalking between foreigners almost never ends in violence. Less than 2 percent of stalking cases become violent. However if it's a former spouse stalking his ex, the number explodes to well over 50 %. So stalking cases with ex-partners is a serious matter.
There are many different types of stalkers and unfortunately almost just as many clever heads, that has tried to categorize stalkers. I've chosen to use the simplest typology I could find, that makes sense to laypeople.
In "A Study of Stalkers" Mullen et al.. (2000) identified five types of stalkers:
- Rejected stalkers pursue their victims in order to reverse, correct, or avenge a rejection (e.g. divorce, separation, termination).
- Resentful stalkers pursue a vendetta because of a sense of grievance against the victims - motivated mainly by the desire to frighten and distress the victim.
- Intimacy seekers seek to establish an intimate, loving relationship with their victim. To many of them the victim is a long-sought-after soul mate, and they were 'meant' to be together.
- Incompetent suitors, despite poor social or courting skills, have a fixation, or in some cases, a sense of entitlement to an intimate relationship with those who have attracted their amorous interest. Their victims are most often already in a dating relationship with someone else.
- Predatory stalkers spy on the victim in order to prepare and plan an attack - often sexual - on the victim.
Even if you know these types and can identify them by symptomatic behavior, you should still seek a professional stalking expert's opinion, if you have the slightest doubt. A stalker often has an above average intellect, despite the mental illness he or she may expose.
· Say no once and stop all future communication, this includes updating social/professional media.
· Collect as much evidence as possible.
· Have a lawyer help you file a complaint with the police, once the evidence is gathered.
· Make sure, that victim alters her routes to/from work and other necessary addresses.
· Secure home as good as possible, preferably before filing complaint.
· Tell neighbors and coworkers about the predicament and ask them to report any suspicious behavior.
· Take self-defense precautions (get a big dog, buy a defensive weapon, train in self defense).
There's really a lot more to be said about this topic, but the rest will come in the sequel or you will have to find it elsewhere.
As a new bodyguard in the industry there is a very big chance that your first protective detail will be a stalking case. In many instances the victim will not have received the right help. As a bodyguard you will be responsible for the clients physical security.
Understand that the stalker will continue with his/hers actions as long as the stalker feels that he is getting feedback from you.
Gathering evidence is essential when presenting the victims case to the police. As a bodyguard you will help the client with gathering and collecting the evidence.
By Mike Proctor, Det. Ret.
If you are going to protect or in any way be involved with stalkers, you are going to have more than the basic knowledge concerning stalking. Especially prior to developing a threat assessment profile so that they may better develop a plan of protection against stalkers.
In other words if you encounter a “Triangle stalker”, your plan will be different from if you encounter a “Neighborhood” type stalker. You also will need to find out if your stalker is suffering from some type of mental disorder say a Narcissistic Personality Disorder versus a Borderline Personality Disorder, etc.
Once you can identify the disorder then you can better understand what traits your stalker will exhibit and how best to combat same. As you can see it is a package deal when dealing with these individuals, male or female. That is why we developed the protocol for law enforcement discussed in Chapter 5 of our book. Of course the overall protocol is not presented in the book because we know that stalkers do in fact also read books (mine as well!).
These are some of the things we advise the average stalking victim to do.
If you are being stalked by someone in the workplace, notify human resources as well as your immediate supervisor (Hopefully that is not the stalker) have all complaints logged in, and request that stalker be contacted and advised to stop whatever threatening behavior is transpiring. Hopefully, the victim's company has a WVT (Workplace Violence Team) in place to handle these types of situations as well. All these notifications should transpire if the Target's stalker is stalking him or her from outside the workplace. Oftentimes, the stalking will cross over to the workplace.
We advise all of our stalking victims to stop any and all voluntary contact with their stalker. This is exceedingly difficult for victims in Intimate Partner relationships with children. By the way, in these types of stalking, children are always at potential risk from the stalker. We have seen sexual assault, kidnapping, and more commonly as a conduit for gathering information on the stalker's target.
As a note, when you are dealing with celebrities (whether they be media or political) that have children, we advise them to try and keep their children out of the lime-light as much as possible. Unfortunately, when you are dealing with a celebrity, just the fact that they are famous creates a two-edged sword when it comes to public and media exposure. We also tell celebrity clients not to participate in productions that allow their homes to be portrayed to the public. Here’s an example; a well-known model had her entire home displayed on a design program. She allowed the camera crew to video and broadcast each of her bedrooms including those of her children, not to mention her surrounding grounds. That program could have been recorded by a stalker for future use. Furthermore it is normal, that the magazines and production companies sell copies of their programs for a nominal fee to the public. Teach your clients common sense. We realize sometimes that is not an easy thing to do, especially with celebrities who’ve become somewhat accustomed to media exposure. The excessive exposure allows the stalker more tools to continue on in their pursuit.
On a general note, as earlier indicated, How you “translate your protection” is depending on 3 things; the type of stalker, the type of stalking victim and the laws that apply. Hopefully, this gives you something to chew on.
There’s plenty more advise and ideas in my book “Antidote for a stalker”, which can be obtained via amazon.com.
Antidote For A Stalker, Mike Proctor, 2012, www.amazon.com/Antidote-For-Stalker-designed-understanding
How to stop a stalker, Mike Proctor, 2003, www.amazon.com/How-Stop-Stalker-Mike-Proctor/
Det. Mike Proctor has written an easy to understand 500 page guide designed to assist stalking victims, victim advocates, law enforcement, educators (his books are used as a primary or supplemental text in some universities), and those who would like to better understand the psychic of a stalker.
Safety consideration for escorting women who have been attacked or threatened with violence. This is a publication that can be used by and security professional that has to work with stalking and domestic violence cases.
A general executive protection checklist that is good for all types of personal protection operations especially for corporate and executive security. The checklist contains many good ideas about essential equipment that should be used.