Has your neighbor been following you around constantly, or worse, breaking into your home uninvited? If so, you may be the victim of stalking. This can be a frightening and confusing ordeal, but what can you can do to protect yourself from this creepy behavior?
Stalking is against the law, and you can request a restraining order against your neighbor if they are following you or watching you without consent. Do not confront the stalker without witnesses around. If you feel like you are in immediate danger, call 911 immediately!
While getting a restraining order against your neighbor may stop the stalking behavior, it is important to take other steps to protect yourself as well. In this blog post, we will explore what you can do to keep yourself safe if your neighbor is stalking you.
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Here’s a Quick Pro Tip!
If you are in immediate danger, call 911. However, if you need to gain evidence for filing a restraining order, there are some products you can use. There are also products to protect you from a stalker.
Here are our top three choices, though we hope you never need to use them against a stalker:
1. Imou Outdoor Security Camera: This camera has a flood light and night vision for clear footage 24/7. It also has a built-in alarm to deter people from coming near your house. And it detects human movement and can move its 360 camera to view the possible trespasser.
2. Ring Alarm Home Security System: This is a 14-piece security system to secure multi-entry homes. It works with Alexa and informs you through an app anytime the alarm is triggered, and it has the option to be set up with Police.
3. Ring Solar Security Sign: Place this solar-powered sign in your yard to deter anyone from coming near your house. It informs people you are recording and that your home has an alarm system. The solar-powered light allows the sign to be seen at all times.
Dealing with Bad Neighbors
It is disconcerting to have neighbors who act creepy or watch you. So, in this section, we will go over how to tell if your neighbor just seems creepy or is a threat to you and what you can do about it.
What Can You Do If Your Neighbor is Watching You?
First, you must collect evidence that they are watching you and then report them to the local authorities. You can collect this with surveillance cameras and ask other neighbors if they have noticed the strange behavior and will be a witness.
If you notice they know information about you, they shouldn’t, or they know your schedule, where you will be, and when you are right to be concerned.
They can use that information to make you feel uncomfortable and scared or use it when they know you are most vulnerable.
How to Tell Your Neighbor is Stalking You?
If your neighbors start referring to information about you that you’ve never told them, they might be stalking you. Also, if they tend to come up to you regularly and know where and when you will be somewhere, that’s another sign they might be stalking you.
Some other signs are that you’ve found spyware around your house, your trash looks like it’s been looked through, and you catch them watching you.
If you are suspicious of their actions, place spyware around areas like the trash, entrances to your house, and driveway.
How Do You Know If Your Neighbor is Spying on You?
If you have suspicions that your neighbor is spying on you, and you want to be able to prove it, get some security cameras. You can also talk to other neighbors and ask if they’ve seen anything odd from the neighbor in question.
You will need evidence before you can do anything, so collect solid evidence before reporting them. However, if you feel unsafe and they have threatened to harm you, call 911 immediately.
They will tell you what you can do at the moment and send help.
What to do About a Creepy Neighbor?
Do your best to avoid creepy neighbors. You can call someone on the phone once you notice them coming up to you or act busy and in a hurry all the time. Eventually, they may give up on you and lose interest.
If you suspect them of doing something illegal, report them to local law enforcement and give them a tip. You can also install cameras or spyware and set it up with the police so they can use the footage as evidence.
How Do You Know If You Are Being Watched?
If you are being watched, you probably feel it. You can certainly know if you see them at a few different places you frequent daily. For example, if you jog at the same spot every day and notice they start coming there too.
If someone goes jogging at the same time you do or goes to the same coffee shop, it doesn’t mean they are following you.
However, if you notice they show up at multiple places you visit regularly, this is a sign they may be watching you.
Stalking Definition and Consequences
Stalking may seem like a vague term, but it has a clear definition regarding being convicted of stalking.
There are also clear consequences for stalking. In this section, we will go over the definition and the consequences of stalking.
What is the Act of Stalking?
According to the National Institute of Justice, stalking is defined as “a course of conduct directed at a specific person that involves repeated . . . non-consensual communication, or verbal, written, or implied threats, or a combination thereof. . .”
Stalking is also when a person is non-consensually communicating with you while invoking fear. If you are afraid or have been threatened, call 911.
If you need more evidence before reporting them, put up cameras where you notice the stalking behavior frequently.
What are the Consequences of Stalking?
For first offense stalking, the penalty can be $1000 in fines or up to a year in prison. Second-offense stalking is a felony; the penalty is up to 10 years in prison. Psychological treatment is often sentenced as well.
Often the first step in reporting a stalker is to put a restraining order into effect. After the second offense, a restraining order is usually made permanently.
Aggravated stalking, or contacting the victim or putting them under surveillance while under a restraining order, is a felony and is subjected to no less than one year in prison and no more than ten years in prison.
What Causes Someone to Stalk Another Person?
A stalker often stalks someone to be in control of that person. Some stalkers claim to love their victims and want to be near them, and other stalkers claim they are keeping their victims safe by watching over them.
Most stalkers either have malicious intent behind their stalking, or there is something wrong psychologically.
Generally speaking, a psychological exam is mandated if someone has a second offense of stalking.
What Should I Do if I Think My Neighbor is Stalking Me?
If you believe your neighbor is stalking you, but do not have any evidence, put up cameras on your property that look into areas you believe they’ve been watching you from. Also, ask other neighbors if they’ve noticed anything. Then inform the police.
After you have evidence, you can file a restraining order against them. If they break that restraining order, it is considered aggravated stalking.
That is a felony and will lead to at least one year in prison and up to ten years, depending on the severity of the stalking.
Protecting Yourself From Stalkers
If you feel like you are in immediate danger, call 911! However, if you are more concerned with deterring a stalker or wanting to prevent any harmful behavior from occurring, keep on reading!
How Do I Block Out My Neighbor’s View?
If you are mostly concerned with your neighbor looking into your home, you can put up blinds, curtains, or a tinted or glazed film on the windows facing their sight. If you are worried about them seeing you outside, you can put up a privacy fence.
There are also privacy screens that are more affordable than wood privacy fencing.
There are also many affordable screens and window tints that will allow natural light to continue to enter your home while protecting your privacy.
How Do I Tell My Neighbor to Stay Away From Me?
You can tell your neighbor to stay away from you by setting boundaries with them. If they come up to you every day when you come home, give them an ongoing excuse for not talking, like, “I try to get dinner started as soon as possible when I come home.”
Another example of setting boundaries with your neighbor is to tell them that you appreciate how friendly they are but that you are not a very social person.
How Do I Tell a Neighbor to Quit Stalking Me?
If your neighbor is mentally unstable and you do not feel comfortable confronting them, ask your property manager to discuss your discomfort with them or request to be moved if you are in an apartment complex.
If you or you have had someone on your behalf talk to them about their behavior, but they continue to persist, talk to the local police and get them to talk to the neighbor.
You can also get a restraining order, but you will need evidence of their behavior.
How Do I Make My Neighbor Stop Watching Me?
You can protect yourself by covering your windows with blinds or curtains. You can also put up a privacy fence or add a screen to your existing fence that does not offer privacy. Contact your property manager if they watch you after you leave the house.
Your property manager can talk to them about your complaint on your behalf. If that doesn’t work, you can also ask the police to talk to them.
You can also request a restraining order, but you will need evidence of their behavior first. You can put up cameras on your property to catch them.
You might also enjoy our post on What to Do if Your Neighbor is Digging Through Your Trash
In this section, we dive into specific behaviors of stalking and how to stop those behaviors. We also talk about what rights you have when it comes to privacy. Let’s keep going!
Do I Have The Right to Privacy in My Yard?
You have a right to reasonable privacy in your yard. This means that if you put up a privacy fence and signs that say “No Trespassing,” you have been clear about your expectations of privacy, and it is easy for anyone to follow.
However, if you do not have a fence or “No Trespassing” signs, it is not reasonable to expect no one to see you when you sit on your porch or sunbathe nude.
It is also unreasonable to report a neighbor bringing you food when you’ve never set the boundary that you don’t want them on your property.
Can My Neighbor Record Me in My Yard?
Your neighbor can install cameras on their property even if they look at your property. Still, if you set a reasonable expectation that you do not want to be on their camera, then you may be able to report them.
A reasonable expectation of privacy usually involves a privacy fence or thick vegetation blocking the view of your house.
If a neighbor places a camera to view your yard over a fence or thick vegetation, you can report them for that.
You might also enjoy our post on If your Neighbor Can Record Your Backyard
Is it Legal for My Neighbors to Watch Me Without My Knowledge?
It is not illegal for your neighbors to look at you or to have a video camera pointing onto your yard and house unless there is a reasonable expectation of privacy. For example, it is illegal if your neighbor watches you or films you in the bathroom.
To prevent neighbors from watching you inside the house, put up blinds, curtains, or privacy film on the windows.
You can even get frosted window decals that let light in while providing privacy. Or you can get light curtains that let in light but protect privacy.
Can My Neighbor Enter My Property Without Permission?
Your neighbors can enter your yard without permission unless you tell them not to do so. Also, they cannot enter your property if you put up a fence around the perimeter and “No Trespassing” signs.
Some stalkers will even look through your trash to find more information about you. If you notice your neighbor coming to look through your trash, tell them you are not ok with that.
Also, put up flood lights and security cameras. This alone will deter most neighbors.
Who Do Stalkers Target?
The majority of stalkers stalk an ex-spouse or paramour. Most stalkers will stalk an acquaintance, some of which are neighbors making stalking easy. One out of four stalkers stalks a stranger.
If you feel unsafe or in immediate danger, call 911. Also, talk to other neighbors and find out if they have experienced any strange behavior, and let them know to be on the lookout.
However, be mindful that neighbors and friends often downplay the severity of the situation. Trust your instincts and reach out to local authorities if you feel unsafe.
What are Stalkers Thinking?
Stalkers often want to make their victims feel discomfort, and they want to feel control. Some stalkers claim they are protecting their victims by watching them, and some claim it is because they love their victims.
Most stalkers are ex-spouses or paramours, or they feel rejected in some way by their victims. This causes them to want to take what you are unwilling to give them.
If you suspect malicious intent and feel unsafe, call 911.
What are Stalkers Capable of?
Stalkers can make you feel uncomfortable to the point of becoming very fearful. Also, stalkers can find out information about you as they watch and follow you, and they can use this information to control you.
If you feel unsafe or could be in immediate danger, call 911. Even if a stalker never touches you physically or harms you physically. Don’t be afraid to seek help and talk to a professional.
We hope this article will help you prevent any further discomfort or harm caused by a stalker. However, if you are a victim of stalking, contact someone you can talk to.
There are support groups, therapists, and other resources available to you. There are also organizations to connect you to those groups and provide good information.