What Is Considered Stalking By Law and How to Stay Safe

Stalking is a way of intruding on the physical, mental, and even psychological space of the victim. Whether it’s Physical or cyberstalking, it can bring about some sense of insecurity on the victim and even his loved ones or family. 

 Suzy Lamplugh Trust Stalking can be defined as ‘A pattern of fixated and obsessive behavior which is repeated, persistent, intrusive and causes fear of violence or engenders alarm and distress in the victim’

Peoplesafe.co.uk also states that offenders can stalk their victims in different ways. Some among these are;

  • Spitefully reporting someone to the Police when they have done nothing wrong
  • Consistently making unwanted calls and sending text messages to the victim 
  • Making threatening comments or sending threatening chats online( via social media like Facebook, Instagram, et cetera)
  • Causing damage to one’s property
  • Acts of Violence
  • Standing without someone’s property or driving past it

According to a 2019 crime survey for England, wales over 1.47 million people have been victimized by stalkers in the past year.

The Protection of freedom Acts 2012 declared stalking as a criminal offense after it’s the creation of two other offenses. California was the first state to enact a stalking law in 1990 and ever since all 50 states have put up laws to protect victims from offenders. Federal law has a provision that covers stalking. For instance, Under 18 U.S.C. 875(c) it’s a punishable offense by up to five years imprisonment or cash fine of up to $250,000 to transmit any interstate communication or foreign commerce with contents of threat to mar the person of the other individual. This communication could be through phone calls, the internet, keepers, and so on. It was on this stand that Jake Baker was charged.

Stalking until now has not been legally defined but Section 2A(3) of the PHA 1997 stated some behaviors that can be identified with offenders to include:

  • Interfering with a Property belonging to a person
  • Loitering in any place(both public or private)
  • Monitoring a person’s use of electronic means of communication( internet, email, or any other means)
  • Following a person
  • Contacting a person or trying to contact a person via any means

More so, Section 4A of the offense declared by the Protection Of Freedom Acts in 2012 also highlights that the action of stalking has a tangible adverse effect on the victim which can be seen in actions like;

  • The victim changing their normal route to work or work pattern
  • Arrangements by the victim for someone else to pick up children
  • Change in the way the victim specializes or cutting people off
  • Putting more security measures on the ground

Having Considered what Stalking is, how can one stay safe?

 Call the Police if you notice any funny movements. Especially when such faces are becoming more constant

 People over time have found it difficult to report stalking by ex-lovers but in the long run, this stalking can be harmful. So stalking by ex-lovers should be reported to the police. In cases where a child is involved or so, the victims could have a restraining order toward the offender off.