Know Your Rights: Is Someone Stalking You?

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It was never thought to be a real issue of concern, astonishingly, with the passage of Time, it became one of the major issues of women safety in the country. American writer Molly Harper made a strong argument supporting the same:
“I think the very word stalking implies that you’re not supposed to like it. Otherwise, it would be called ‘fluffy harmless observation time’.”
― Molly Harper
If someone is trying to make contacts with you, despite of your clear disinterest either directly or with the help of electronic communications (including phones, emails, voice mails, etc.) and it’s happening again and again, you are being stalked! In a country of 600 million women, stalking is rather a common phenomenon today and the female half is especially prone to such activities.
Stalking occur in various conformations and such activities are highly correlated with some factors which has proven to play a vital role in emergence of such deplorable activities, there are elements which are responsible for the rapid increment in the frequency of occurrence of Stalking activities.

1. Who is more prone to be stalked by someone?
Though there is no statistical report which can give the exact answer to this question, but studies done by psychologists have revealed some information on the severity of such activities in various situations like females are more susceptible to be stalked by men then a women (sounds logical), and vice versa, however according to a report published by U.S department of justice ‘stalking victimization in the United stated, 2009’ the percentage of male and female stalkers in U.S was almost the same!

Here is some vital statistics which help you understand the current scenario:
# Almost 34 lakh women and men are stalked every year in U.S alone.
# More than half of the stalkers were under 30 years of age.
# Beware! If you are women, you are three times more likely to be stalked then a men.

2. How a typical stalker looks like?
Though in India the current plot seems quite different, stalking activities are majorly restricted to women stalked by men, from children in their teens to sexagenarians, people of all ages are found to be involved in such activities.
Though a typical stalker is a 25-30 year old man, daydreamer, who is either living his own fantasies like “waiting for someone special, someone who is made just for him( Doesn’t matter he is made for her or not)”, a underemployed or unemployed who has lot of spare time to enrich his fairy-tales, he never or hardly had a good intimate relationship with someone and become pseudo-psychotic with time.
Suddenly he saw someone who ‘matches’ his fantasy queen, here starts the endless process of stalking, he do all sort of rubbish maneuvers like gawping, gazing, following you in public, etc.

3. Is stalking a crime in India?
You would be surprised to know that before amendments in the Indian penal code last year, Stalking was not considered to be a crime, its only after the Brutal Delhi gang rape case of 2012, followed by massive protests and oppositions by authorities and common people the government woke up and decided to imply a strong criminal law against such activities.
The amendments took place in March 2013 in both upper and lower house of the parliament and the bill was finally came into force on 2nd April 2013.
The major amendments in the bill were as follows:
(A) The dimensions of the word stalking has been broadened, however there is no clear distinctions that what should considered to be a “real” stalking crime and what not, the definition itself is a source of scepticism. The amendment states “ watching or spying on a person in a manner that results in a fear of violence or serious alarm or distress in the mind of such person, or interferes with the mental peace of such person, commits the offence of stalking”.
(B) The crime of stalking is no longer a gender neutral crime, only a man stalking women will be considered guilty, while the reverse is not a crime.
(C) The man found guilty of committing the crime could be sentenced to prison for a period of three years for the first time and up to five years if caught again, he is also liable to pay fine.

4. What to do if you are stalked?
Stalkers are everywhere, if you are one of those 4 lakhs who are stalked everyday then follow some simple steps in a orderly fashion:
(A) Do not panic, tell your best friend/family the truth and never keep it to yourself.
(B) Make sure that stalker should know that you are not interested in him and you have people keeping an eye on you, do not talk to him directly.
(C) If you are receiving calls/messages repeatedly, record few of the flamboyant ones and then change your contact number.
(D) Do no give your contact details to anyone if it’s not important.
(E) Approach nearest police station if things are getting out of hands.
(F) Don’t forget to call 1091 if you feel you are in immediate need of help.
(G) Keep changing your Passwords; do not go out alone if it’s too early or late.
(H) Keep a chili powder spray with you.
Few things could never be cured, so it’s better to stay prepared for undesirable situations in life.

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