Supporting a Stalking Victim
Watch this blog signed in American Sign Language here on our YouTube channel.
Are you wondering how you can be supportive of a person who is experiencing stalking? A person shares their story and asks us to be supportive. Why? Because trust is so important. You may feel unsure of how to give proper help. Don’t worry, we can help teach you the dos and don’ts. This is a guide to know what to say and what not to say to the survivor.
Believe and validate victims Example: “I can see why that would be upsetting”
Question or minimize
Example: “Well maybe they just miss you” or “You know that deaf people like to be nosy on others on social media page”
Focus on the offender’s actions and remind them that’s not their fault
Example: “The offender is wrong. Their behavior is unacceptable for causing you to feel fear or threat.”
Example: “Why did you respond to that text message?” and “It would not happen to you if you didn’t do that”
Do... Thank them for trusting you enough
Encourage them to seek help and document the stalking and provide options.
Affirm any choices they make, it is their right
Example: “I appreciate you for trusting me. I know the name of one non-profit organization that provides peer counseling and a crisis hotline. You could call them for questions and get resources to support yourself.”
Tell them what to do or pressure them
Example: “You should go to the police station. That’s insane. You may be in danger if you decide to wait to reach out for help.” Example: “I feel your choice is not right” or “I know what’s right for you”
Respect the victim’s privacy and ask them who else they have told
Example: “May I ask who else you have confided in? This is to make sure the information stays secure.”
Share any information about the victim with the stalker through mutual connections
The survivor knows the situation better than anyone. Maybe they prefer to wait until the chaos gets less then they would reach out for help. It’s their time and space to figure out what they can do. All we can do is be supportive and check-in with them. We could ask them how we help them feel safer.
In the Deaf community, people are more likely to share information with others often. With the stalking situation, we encourage you to not do this and respect the victim. This may be difficult to not share a dangerous situation. You know a chain of friends of friends in the line and it may lead to one person who is the actual stalker to the victim. Once a stalker finds out more information, the victim may be in danger than usual.
If you have any questions or need more information about stalking, please contact us. We will be here to provide services and resources for you.
Available Monday-Friday 8am – 5pm
Video Phone/Phone: (319) 531-7719
Text Only: (515) 661-4015
After hours, evenings, & weekends– www.thedeafhotline.org