Stalking is a criminal behavior that can have serious consequences. While strangers can stalk people they don’t know, many stalkers are well-acquainted with his or her victims. According to CBS News, most stalking cases involve a person who’s had an intimate romantic relationship with the victim in the past. This type of stalking incident also has a greater risk of violence, with about 74% of intimate stalking cases involving some type of violence.

If you’re the victim of stalking, you may be tempted to simply ignore the issue. You might think that the threat is not credible or that the person will eventually grow tired of stalking and simply give up. However, it’s recommended that you take the matter seriously and take the right steps to protect yourself and involve law enforcement. First and foremost, always remain alert and aware of your surroundings. That does not mean you should ever engage your stalker in any way. If you realize you’re being followed, contact law enforcement right away.

Filing for an order of protection is also recommended, as the stalker will be legally mandated to stay a certain distance away from you. Evidence will help establish the threat against you and ensure the order of protection is put into place as soon as possible. Keep messages, texts, and voicemails provided to you by the stalker. If the person damages your property, take pictures and file a police report as soon as possible. The more proof you have, the stronger the case against the person stalking you.

Finally, take steps to preserve your personal safety until the stalker is apprehended. Make sure your friends and family know what’s happening. This will be helpful in case the person reaches out to them in an attempt to gain knowledge of your whereabouts. Also, make sure you’re home is properly secured. Security alarms and cameras can act as a deterrent while changing the locks will prevent a person from entering your home. No matter what, don’t hesitate to contact the police if you feel you’re in danger.