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What is Stalking?

Stalking is a pattern of behavior that makes you feel afraid, nervous, harassed, or in danger. It is when someone repeatedly contacts you, follows you, sends you things, talks to you when you don’t want them to, or threatens you.


Stalking behaviors can include:

  • Knowing your schedule.

  • Showing up at places you go.

  • Sending mail, e-mail, and pictures.

  • Calling or texting repeatedly.

  • Contacting you or posting about you on social networking sites (Facebook, Twitter, etc).

  • Writing letters.

  • Damaging your property.

  • Creating a Web site about you.

  • Sending gifts.

  • Stealing things that belong to you.

  • Any other actions to contact, harass, track, or frighten you.


Stalking is a crime and can be dangerous. The legal definition of stalking and possible punishment for it is different in every state. Contact an advocate or your local police to learn about stalking laws and your right.

Stalking Statistics
  • 5 million people are stalked in one year in the United States.

  • Over 85% of stalking victims are stalked by someone they know.

  • 61% of female victims and 44% of male victims of stalking are stalked by a current or former intimate partner.

  • 25% of female victims and 32% of male victims of stalking are stalked by an acquaintance.

  • About 1 in 5 of stalking victims are stalked by a stranger.

  • Persons aged 18-24 years experience the highest rate of stalking.

  • 11% of stalking victims have been stalked for 5 years or more.

  • 46% of stalking victims experience at least one unwanted contact per week.

Use of Technology

Stalkers often use technology to assist them in stalking their victims. Cyberstalking is using the Internet, email, or other electronic communications to make someone feel afraid, nervous, harassed, or in danger.


Examples of cyberstalking include:

  • Sending unwanted, frightening, or obscene emails, text messages, or instant messages

  • Harassing or threatening someone in a chat room

  • Posting improper messages on a message board

  • Tracking your computer and Internet use

  • Sending electronic viruses

  • Pretending to be you in a chat room


If you are stalked or cyberstalked, it is not your fault. People who use controlling, harassing, or threatening actions are responsible for their own behavior. If you believe that someone may be stalking you, you can:

  • Contact the police.

  • Tell someone you can trust

  • Do NOT communicate with the stalker or respond to attempts to contact you.

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