Stalking is however relatively newly acknowledged and thus often misunderstood as a specific crime and damaging social plague.
The misunderstanding and “misdiagnosis” of stalking by the Criminal Justice System all too often ends in tragic circumstances.
Stalking comes in many forms however its two most readily defined forms are: traditional or spatial stalking; and cyberstalking.
So, what is stalking?
The Oxford Dictionary describes stalking as [the act of]:
- Harassing or persecuting someone with unwanted, obsessive attention.
- [with object] pursue or approach stealthily
- (noun) a stealthy pursuit of someone or something
Late Old English - stealcian (in bistealcian 'walk cautiously or stealthily'), of Germanic origin; related to steal
The Typical Elements of Stalking
- Physical threat
- Threat of contact
- Physical contact
- Following (of the victim)
- Repeated unwanted communications - either in person, by mail, telephone, text message, email, social networking or social media platform or via 3rd party contact
- Actual threats
- Implied threats
- Cyberstalking (cyber-stalking)