The staff at RCASA returned from this conference full of new knowledge and ready to implement all they had learned. The conference had break out session on everything from Teens and Stalking to Threat Assessment/Safety Planning. 2/3 of stalkers pursue their victims at least once a week and 78% of stalkers use more than one means of approach. Given this data our staff found the session about keeping an incident log particularly useful information to share.
Documentation of stalking behaviors and incidents is particulary important when trying to get a restraining order, during divorce proceeding or child custody cases, and for criminal prosecution. The incident log should have the following information; date, time, description of incident, location of incident, witness info; name, address, phone number, police report number, and officer name and badge number. It is pertinent to record each incident with as much detail as possible. Include all incidents no matter how insignificant they may seem; phone calls, letters, emails, texts, acts of vandalism, and any threats communicated through a third party. It’s also incredibly useful to have a photograph of the stalker and copies of all restraining orders, police reports, and any other relevant documentation kept with the incident log. Keep in mind that this information may be used in court should the case be prosecuted and the offender could see it so don’t include anything you don’t want the offender to see. It’s important to keep this information in a safe place where it will not be discovered by the offender. Let a close friend or family member know where it is so they can retrieve it for you if need be.
While this may all seem overwhelming and emotionally draining it’s important to remember that there are advocates in the community to help you with putting your incident log together and maintaining clear and pertinent information as well as offering support and assistance with safety planning.
For more information contact our office at 540.371.1666 or the Stalking Resource Center at www.ncvc.org.