What is Stalking?


  • "Stalking refers to harassing or threatening behavior that an individual engages in repeatedly, such as following a person, appearing at a person's home or place of business, making harassing phone calls, leaving written messages or objects, or vandalizing a person's property" (U.S. Department of Justice, Violence Against Women, 1998).

  • Kramer defines stalking as the practice of following another person with whom one is obsessed (2005, 105).

  • Legal definitions vary from state to state, however most states define stalking as "willful, malicious, and repeated following and harassing of another person..."(U.S. Department of Justice, Violence Against Women, 1998).

  • Stalking can last weeks, months, and even years. It almost always causes social and psychological damage on the victim (Mullen, 2001).

  • It becomes most problematic when it disrupts victim's as well as the perpetrator's social, occupational, and psychological functioning (Mullen, 2001).

  • Acts of stalking may include:

·       Repeatedly calling the victim on the phone. This also includes hang-ups.

·       Following the victim wherever they go.

·       Sending unwanted gifts, letters, cards, or e-mails.

·       Damaging property, including a victim's home, car, or other personal belongings.

·       Monitoring the victim's phone calls or computer use.

·       Using technology to track where the victim goes (i.e. GPS).

·       Driving by or hanging out at a victim's home, school, or work.

·       Threatening to hurt the victim, their family, friends, loved ones, or pets.

·       Finding out about a victim by using public records or on-line search services, hiring investigators, going through the victim's garbage, or contacting friends, family, neighbors, or co-workers.

Information from Brochure found on Stalking Resource Center website: