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You don't have to live like this..... Our friendship with our neighbor began during the summer months of 2001. He presented himself as a friendly, kind, charming and funny gentleman. He welcomed us and our visiting families to his home for meals and parties. It wasn't too long before his neighborly behaviors became somewhat intrusive. He would call the house frequently; show up unannounced and even come into the house without knocking. These actions became alarming to us and to our families who were witnesses to some of these actions. As time went on, his friendly behavior began to make me feel uncomfortable. I spoke to him about his behaviors, how they made me feel and I asked him to stop. Some of his behaviors did stop and I tried to brush off his other behaviors, expecting, naively, that maybe they would stop too and that he was still a good guy, just lonely. Unfortunately, his behaviors have continued. There have been many, many small yet still intrusive events such as newspaper articles being placed on the windshield of my car and phone messages left about silly things. He shows up the grocery store, post office, my work. He is never aggressive, most often he doesn't even speak to me, he is just there. After almost two years of trying to end this relationship civilly and respectfully, we have decided that it is time to place this issue in the hands of the police, as there is clearly, nothing else we can do.
Stalking is a crime.
In New Hampshire according to RSA 633:3-a it is against the law for someone to:
- Purposely, knowlingly, or recklessly engage in a course of conduct targeted at a specific person which would cause a reasonable person to fear for his or her personal safety or the safety of a member of the person's immediate family, and that person is placed in fear;
- Purposely or knowingly engage in a course of conduct that the actor knows will place an individual and/or that person's immediate family member in fear for personal safety;
- Commit a signle act of conduct that both violates the provisions of a protective order, divorce decree or bail conditions, that prohibts contac with the individual and is an act of conduct as defined below. The person must have been served or given notice of the protective order filed against him/her.
- "Course of conduct" refers to 2 or more acts that occur over a period of time, however short, that show evidence of a pattern of behavior. This includes any of the following acts against a person or her/his immediate family member:
- Threatening safety. Following, approaching, or confronting the targeted person.
- Appearing with no legitmate purpose at or around a place where a person can be found, including a residence, workplace or school.
- Causing damage to property.
- Placing an object on the person's property either directly or thorugh a third person.
- Causing injury to the family pet.
- Acts of communication that are harassming to the individual e.g. letters, packages, electronic transmissions, etc.
- Engaging in acts which wold constitute stalking after being advised by a law enforcement officer that the person's acts were in violation of the stalking statute.
If you are being stalked...
- Trust your instincts. Stalking can be dangerous and may escalate over time.
- If possible and safe, communicate with the stalker either in writing or verbally, that you want the stalking behavior to cease. Tell him/her just once and do not have further contact.
- Document everything related to the stalking. Keep an incident log. Be sure to record every incident, including what the stalker was doing, saying, wearing, driving, etc. Record names and contact information of any witnesses.
- Contact law enforcement to report what is happening to you. Give them a copy of your log, tell them of any pervious action you have taken to stop the stalking. Document for your information records of any communication with law enforcement, including officer names and case numbers.
- Contact Starting Point to assist you in developing a safety plan and/or obtaining a restraining order.
All services are offered free of charge and are strictly confidential.
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