Discovering that you are being stalked, either in person, online, or via technology, can be incredibly scary. It’s normal to feel fear, anxiety, confusion, and to be overwhelmed. Learning more about stalking behaviors can help you notice them before they escalate and help you protect yourself.
Stalking is engaging in a course of conduct directed at a specific person that would cause a person to:
- Fear for the person’s safety or the safety of others; or suffer substantial emotional distress.
Course of conduct means two or more acts, including, but not limited to, acts in which the stalker directly, indirectly, or through third parties, by any action, method, device, or means, follows, monitors, observes, surveils, threatens, or communicates to or about a person, or interferes with a person’s property;
- Reasonable person means a reasonable person under similar circumstances and with similar identities to the victim;
- Substantial emotional distress means significant mental suffering or anguish that may, but does not necessarily, require medical or other professional treatment or counseling; or
- Knowingly and without lawful justification, on at least two separate occasions, following another person or placing the person under surveillance or any combination thereof and
- At any time transmitting a threat of immediate or future bodily harm, sexual assault, confinement or restraint and the threat is directed towards that person or a family member of that person, or
- Places that person in reasonable apprehension of immediate or future bodily harm, sexual assault, confinement or restraint to or of that person or a family member of that person; or
- When, having been previously convicted of stalking another person, knowingly and without lawful justification on one occasion:
- follows that same person or places that same person under surveillance; and
- transmits a threat of immediate or future bodily harm, sexual assault, confinement or restraint to that person or a family member of that person.
Stalking may be accomplished by physical act or electronic means, such as computer or cell phone.