According to recent statistics, it was estimated that 7.5 million people were stalked in the U.S. in one year. Studies also indicate that 15% of women and 6% of men have been victims of stalking where they felt fear or believed either they, or someone close to them, would be harmed or killed.
It’s important to understand that both stalking and harassment are crimes. Anyone being harassed or stalked should contact the police right away. Primarily due to underfunding and understaffing, stalking and harassment charges often go ignored by law enforcement until a situation turns violent. That’s why an increasing number victims of stalking and harassment are turning to private investigators for help.
What Defines Stalking and Harassment?
The terms “stalking” and “harassment” are often used interchangeably. Both refer to a pattern or consistent course of unwanted, coercive, disturbing, and/or threatening conduct by one person toward another. Stalking is a particular form of harassment that involves following someone without consent.
Stalking and harassment can take many forms, including unwelcome and incessant telephone calls, receiving unwanted gifts, unsolicited letters or emails, threatening written or verbal messages, actual following or surveillance, and the spreading of false rumors. Both stalking and harassment are considered crimes in all 50 states, and can often be grounds for civil litigation. Intent is a crucial element to proving stalking or harassment. Sending flowers or candy to someone, for example, is normally seen as harmless act. If it’s part of a pattern of continuing unwanted behavior, however, it can be considered evidence of stalking or harassment.
What is a Stalking or Harassment Investigation?
The purpose of a stalking or harassment investigation is to protect the client , and stop the harassing behaviors of the perpetrator. A stalking or harassment investigation has two specific goals:
- Identifying the person or persons responsible for the harassment
- Collecting evidence of the harassing acts
The evidence collected may then be provided to law enforcement for use in a criminal prosecution or used to prove the stalking or harassment in civil action.
Stalking and harassment investigations may also be conducted in support of security or bodyguard services provided to a client.
Who Hires an Investigator for a Stalking or Harassment Investigation?
Anyone who is, has been, or believes they may be the victim of harassment or stalking, or knows someone who is currently suffering from harassment or stalking should consider employing the services of a private investigator through Trustify.
Starting a Stalking or Harassment Investigation
Hiring a private investigator through Trustify is quick and simple. Here’s how starting a stalking or harassment investigation works:
1. Request a Consultation: Submit your case online or by phone to schedule your consultation. We'll ask for the details we need to get your case matched with an investigator and provide cost estimates.
2. Consultation with a Private Investigator: A licensed private investigator will contact you to talk to you about the purpose and goals of the investigation, and to collect any relevant information about your case. They may ask you questions about your situation, including:
- Do you believe that you or someone you love is in imminent danger?
- Have you filed a police report?
- What might be the perpetrator’s motive?
- Do you have a restraining order in place against the perpetrator?
- What are your goals and expectations for this investigation?
3. Investigation in Progress: The investigation itself involves a variety of methods and equipment – including photography, video, and physical and electronic surveillance – to identify the perpetrator and document any acts of harassment.
4. Case Updates & Final Report: Your investigator will keep you apprised of all developments in real-time. Upon the conclusion of the investigation, a full written report will be provided along with any court-admissible evidence. If necessary and with prior agreement, the investigator can also be available to testify in court on the victim’s behalf.
What Investigators Will Not Do
Investigators will not break the law or violate any ethics and professional standards while conducting a stalking or harassment investigation, including making any form of threat of physical harm to the investigation target. However, investigators will do everything within the limits of the law to protect clients from harassers, and put a stop to their behavior.