If you have a friend or loved one who you believe is being targeted by a harmful individual or group, there are steps you can take to help them. This detailed guide will walk you through the process of helping a targeted individual, step-by-step.
1. Understand What a Targeted Individual Is
A targeted individual (TI) is a person who has been singled out by an individual or group to be harassed, stalked, and/or attacked, usually with the intention of depriving them of their rights and/or freedom.
TIs are often targeted for their race, ethnicity, religion, gender, sexual orientation, or political beliefs. However, anyone can be a TI. TIs may be targeted by strangers, acquaintances, or even family members and friends.
2. Identify Signs That Someone Is Being Targeted
There are many signs that someone is being targeted. If you notice any of the following signs in yourself or someone you know, it may be an indication that the person is being targeted:
- Frequent harassment from strangers
- Stalking or surveillance
- Threats or vandalization of property
- Unexplained illnesses
- Harassment at work
- Financial difficulties
- Isolation from family and friends
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3. Take Action to Help a Targeted Individual
If you believe that someone you know is being targeted, there are steps you can take to help them.
- Talk to the person and let them know that you are concerned for their safety.
- Help them document any incidents of harassment or stalking. This may include keeping a log of events, taking photos or videos, and saving any relevant communications.
- Assist them in obtaining a restraining order, if appropriate.
- Put them in touch with a support group for TIs, such as the National Center for Victims of Crime.
- Help them stay connected to family and friends, and be a support system for them.
4. Get Support for Yourself
It is important to take care of yourself if you are supporting a TI. Supporting a TI can be emotionally and mentally draining. Make sure to take breaks as needed, and reach out to a support group or professional counselor if you need help dealing with the situation.
5. Learn More About Targeted Individuals and What You Can Do to Help
If you want to learn more about TIs and how you can help, there are many resources available. The National Center for Victims of Crime maintains a website with information and resources for TIs. The StopOrganizedCrime website also has helpful information, as well as a forum where TIs can connect with each other. Finally, the Targeted Justice website provides a directory of support groups for TIs.
By understanding what a targeted individual is, being aware of the signs that someone is being targeted, and taking action to help, you can make a difference in the life of a TI. Supporting a TI can be challenging, but it is important work. By educating yourself and others about TIs, you can help create a world where everyone is safe and respected.
This guide was adapted from the following sources:
- National Center for Victims of Crime: What is a Targeted Individual?
- StopOrganizedCrime: Targeted Individual Information
- Targeted Justice: Support Groups for Targeted Individuals