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An expert's advice for victims of stalkers

DEAR AMY: My 25-year-old daughter briefly dated a man she met in church last December. After one month, she ended the friendship (he was too emotionally needy). He continues to pursue her by constant texting and emailing. She says he alternates between "saying mean things" and then apologizing and begging her to give him another chance. She does not respond and blocked his phone, but he continues to text from different numbers. She does not reply to his emails. She moved to a different side of town, and so far he has not shown up at her work.

We're very worried about this. What steps can she take to be safe and get this man to stop contacting her?

-- Very Worried

DEAR WORRIED: Michele Archer, an expert with the victim's advocacy group Safe Horizon, safehorizon.org, offered some suggestions for your daughter: "Keep a stalking log of all incidents, including the date, time, location and a brief description of the incident. Save and print out the emails. Save all text messages and document them in the log.

"I would suggest not changing her email address, but she may want to open another account and give that to people she trusts. Changing her email address may escalate his behavior, and the emails he is sending become evidence of stalking, which she can use if she goes to the police.

"If she has concerns about him showing up at her work, she should let her place of employment know. If she has a photo of him (look on the Internet) she can make a color copy and give it to her workplace.

"If she uses social networking sites, make them private.

"If this continues, she may want to contact police. The stalking log is useful for this, and she should also show them the text messages. She can also reach out to a domestic violence organization in her community for support or help advocating with the police (if needed) or the district attorney's office."

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