HOUSTON, TX - When you think of a stalker, Glenn Close's character Alex Forrest from Fatal Attraction is probably what comes to mind, but stalking can be much less physical and much more virtual these days.
"Just when I think I've seen it all, something will come in and I'll be like, 'How did they come up with this to do that to somebody else?' says Jayne Hitchcock, president and co-founder of Working to Halt Online Abuse, or WHOA. The organization helps online harassment victims, 17 of which came from Texas in 2013.
"I want them to know there is somebody who can help them," Hitchcock says. She advises victims to send the harasser a simple statement: "Do not contact me again."
Then, she says, "Basically, sit on their hands and keep anything that might come in that can be used as evidence."
Take that evidence to the Internet service provider, website or app developer, essentially cutting off all means of contact. If the harasser still finds a way to get a hold of you, then it's time to call the police.
"Sometimes you do have to go that far," says Hitchcock, because you never know just how far offline your harasser is willing to go.