It’s Still Stalking if You Get Your Friends to Do It
Stalking by Proxy or via a 3rd party has been around as long as stalking has.
This phenomenon has probably been around longer since people have been pranking each other since the beginning of well… people. One of the best jokes on a buddy is getting them to do something that seems random and irrelevant to them but has a specific context or meaning to someone else. If you end up with a confrontation filled with misunderstanding… bonus!
For new readers here is a definition of stalking found from the internet in a regular dictionary, legal dictionary and a medical dictionary.
Stalking: “Criminal activity consisting of the repeated following and harassing of another person. Stalking is a distinctive form of criminal activity composed of a series of actions that taken individually, might constitute legal behavior.”
Moving on the more modern version of stalking people for whatever reason, this seems to have evolved to involving everyone from the pizza guy to friends, co-workers and emergency services (if they can get away with that).
The result is an entire genre of stalking known in the legal and mental health world as ‘stalking by proxy’. While most states have anti-stalking laws, being taken seriously by law enforcement let alone getting your case heard can be by itself a very trying ordeal.
As a sliver of hope there are some states and some cases that are getting heard and upheld, even in the case of stalking by proxy. A few Google searches will show you responses and case details of existing cases of either appeals or instances where stalking by proxy has been successfully upheld.
The Proxy: The Fall Guy or Girl
I tend to value my friends and family that I care about. To me that means not complaining and dumping my garbage on. From time to time, I will request a reality check on something accompanied by a dedicated ‘bitch’ session. The implication here is the need to get something out in order to deal with it productively and not allow the frustration and complaining turn into a chronic thing.
Once I wrapped my head around the ‘complicit’ aspect of using people to do your stalking I started to see a few different angles that people could be conned into doing this. I say this with the awareness that some people may really get into doing this for someone so… Here are a few view points on how someone could end up stalking for someone else:
- They are lied to and told/asked to do something under the pretense of the situation being something else.
- They get paid to do something. This could be a friend, pizza delivery person, a person hired from Craigslist or heck even TaskRabbit.
- They are a friend who kind knows what is going on but is still under the guise of this particular incident being a ‘stand alone’ request unrelated to anything else.
- They are in on it and get a rush from the gang mentality and love the points it earns with the bully… er. stalker.
Well, after a bit more thinking and reflection on my own grade school bully experiences I realized the folks who are in on it are very much the same as the ‘bully groupies’ who support the bully and then scatter when the tables are successfully turned.
As adults however, when criminal activity steps into the picture it dawned on me that the stalker now has a ‘fall guy’. How handy… So, if life goes sideways as it usually will. They can easily set them up.
Technology to Stalk from a Distance and Gather Information
The advancement of technology has made stalking easier than previously and as a added bonus to the narcissistic tendencies some stalkers have a user defined audience for their social media channels of choice. Stalkers can also reach you by cloning or hacking your phone, hacking and monitoring your network and internet connection or through a device.
We will be having more on online stalking an d bullying with additional resources on how to protect yourself, your identity, your devices and your information online.
Random or Not So Random…
This part goes back to all those small little happenings from moving things around in the environment, small theft, leaving the lights on in your vehicle, cutting the windshield wipers(just a little bit so they only fly off during a rainstorm), unscrewing the outdoor lights (again just a little) to the outdoor lights and so on.
You get the point… All the really shi**y things that are done so the stalker can learn about you while they make you crazy. And if they get that far, locking you up in a mental facility is a bonus!
At some point all those little things start to look well… not so random.
Feel free to ask that question early on and get aggressive. I believe in paranoia as an amazing self-protective mechanism.
Besides, there is nothing wrong with being wrong from time to time anyhow.
Opportunity Knocks… So Take a Chance
Take a chance. Chances are your stalker is.
Ours is an opportunist. If there is something to use in the environment in that moment, they will. So, do the same. if you have a chance in the moment to do something that will turn the tables. Do it and don’t hesitate.