Millions of Americans are victims of stalking per year, accordin - FOX34 Lubbock

Millions of Americans are victims of stalking per year, according to Justice Dept.

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LUBBOCK, Texas -

It is estimated more than 6 million people become victims of stalking in a one year period in the U.S., according to the Justice Department. 

Stalking can take on many forms, Sadie Stevens, a detective with the Lubbock Police Department, said.

"Stalking is when on more than one occasion, someone does something like following them, or continues to harass them, and that, whatever it is that they're doing, would put any normal person in fear," Stevens said.

These acts can include making unwanted phone calls or sending texts to the victim, watching or following them, or showing up uninvited to places where the victim is.

Meredith Holden, assistant Title IX administrator and case manager at Texas Tech, said most often, it is someone the victim knows.

"A lot of times people think of the people that hide in the shadows or hide behind the bushes, and a lot of times it is people that you know, maybe someone you just recently broke up with in a relationship, maybe a friendship that has gone bad," Holden said.

In the age of social media, cyberstalking has also become. 

"Getting into your email, or social media accounts...some of the tips I have for that would be to change your passwords, and when you change your passwords, change your security questions, that person who has been involved in your life may have those answers," Stevens said.

Stevens adds not to post anything on social media where you are, or who you are with. That gives the stalker information on where to find you.

Holden also said have a good support system.

"If you can have somebody, some sort of friend or network of people around you, or people that you can call if you are by yourself, that can always give you that little bit of security," Holden said.

If you feel you are being stalked, Stevens said note the date, time and location of these instances. This can help police build a case. If you ever feel threatened, call 9-11.

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