A pattern of behavior directed at a specific person that would cause a reasonable person to feel fear.
Frequently Asked Questions: Stalking
What is the definition of stalking?
What types of behaviors are considered stalking?
Stalkers use a variety of tactics, including (but not limited to): unwanted contact including phone calls, texts, and contact via social media, unwanted gifts, showing up/approaching an individual or their family/friends, monitoring, surveillance, property damage, and threats.
What if the stalker's actions aren't illegal?
Stalking is a crime in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, U.S. territories, the military and tribal lands. Some of the behaviors that make up the crime of stalking are criminal on their own (like property damage). Even if the behavior is not a crime on its own (like texting excessively), it may be part of the pattern of stalking behavior and victims should consider documenting and reporting it.
How is stalking different from harassment?
Generally, the element of fear is what separates stalking from harassment. Harassment is typically irritating and bothersome, sometimes to the point where a victim feels deeply uncomfortable. However, victims of harassment are not typically afraid of their perpetrators.