Sometimes, family members won't leave you alone.

What to Do When a Family Member Won't Stop Harassing You?

by Eliza Martinez

Being harassed is scary and stressful, but when a family member is the culprit, it can be more difficult to handle. No matter who is harassing you, you have rights that allow you to take action to stop phone calls and other behaviors. There are several things you can do to stop a family member from bothering you. If these actions don't have an effect on harassment, legal steps against the person is an option that many people choose.

1 Ask your family member to stop. In many cases, the courts won't step in until you've taken steps to stop harassment on your own. Tell your family member that his behaviors make you uncomfortable and clearly request that they stop.

2 Document contact with your family member. Write down each instance of harassment, whether it's a text message, phone call or knock on your door. A clear record of the situation can help you make your case if you end up fighting your family member in court.

3 Call your phone company and place a trap on your phone line. This allows your phone company to determine where the harassing calls originate from. This is ideal if you don't know which family member is harassing you.

4 Set up a mediation session. This allows you to confront your harassing family member in a neutral setting with a trained professional overseeing the situation. If you feel that you can come to an agreement with a family member in this way, it's a peaceful way to put a stop to harassment. Contact your state government for a referral.

5 File a police report. If you can't get harassing phone calls to stop or your family member is bothering you at work, vandalizing your property or bothering your kids or spouse, file a police report against him or her. The police will talk to your family member to find out what's going on and you'll have a record of the incident if you need it in court.

6 Call the police. If you feel that your safety is being compromised during a harassing incident, call the police right away. Some harassment situations turn violent, so if you are worried that your family member is going to hurt you, dial 9-1-1 for help.

7 Obtain a restraining order. This takes place in a courtroom and is a legal order that prevents a harassing family member from contacting you in any way. The order may specify that your family member can't call you, get within a certain number of feet from you, can't come to your home or send you text messages. If abuse is an issue, you might need to get an Order of Protection instead.

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