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Sexual Violence and Relationship Violence

What is Stalking?

Stalking occurs when a person engages in a course of conduct directed at a specific individual that is likely to cause mental and emotional distress and/or reasonable fear of harm to the physical health, safety or property of a person, a member a person’s immediate family or another person with whom one is acquainted.

Such conduct may include, but is not limited to: repeatedly engaging in unwanted contact or communication with an individual or members of that individual’s family or support network. Unwanted communication and contact can include, but is not limited to, ‘in-person’ communications, telephone calls, text messaging and/or electronic mail, letters, gifts, and/or threatening or obscene gestures.

Stalking can also include: in person and electronic surveillance, physically or electronically following a person and theft and/or vandalism of a person’s property.

If you're stalked, you might:

  • Feel fear of what the stalker will do.
  • Feel vulnerable, unsafe, and not know who to trust.
  • Feel anxious, irritable, impatient, or on edge.
  • Feel depressed, hopeless, overwhelmed, tearful, or angry.
  • Feel stressed, including having trouble concentrating, sleeping, or remembering things.
  • Have eating problems, such as appetite loss, forgetting to eat, or overeating.
  • Have flashbacks, disturbing thoughts, feelings, or memories.
  • Feel confused, frustrated, or isolated because other people don’t understand why you are afraid.

Are you being stalked?

Stalking is a series of actions that make you feel afraid or in danger. Stalking is serious, often violent, and can escalate over time.

  • A stalker can be someone you know well or not at all.
  • Most have dated or been involved with the people they stalk.
  • Most stalking cases involve men stalking women, but men do stalk men, women do stalk women, and women do stalk men.

Some things stalkers do:

  • Repeatedly call you, including hang-ups.
  • Follow you and show up wherever you are.
  • Send unwanted gifts, letters, cards, or e-mails.
  • Damage your home, car, or other property.
  • Monitor your phone calls or computer use.
  • Use technology, like hidden cameras or global positioning systems (GPS), to track where you go.
  • Drive by or hang out at your home, school, or work.
  • Threaten to hurt you, your family, friends, or pets.
  • Find out about you by using public records or on-line search services, hiring investigators, going through your garbage, or contacting friends, family, neighbors, or co-workers.
  • Any action that controls, tracks, or frightens you.
  • Any non-consensual communication including in-person communication, telephone calls, voice messages, text messages, email messages, social networking site postings, instant messages, postings of pictures or information on websites, written letters, gifts, or any other communications that are undesired and/or place another person in fear
  • Non-consensual touching
  • Defamation or slander against the victim