- Stalking is when someone won’t stop bothering you with unwanted contact or attention
- Stalking involves behaviour that aims to scare and control you and can be a form of domestic and family violence.
What is stalking?
Stalking happens when someone repeatedly harasses you with unwanted contact or attention. The behaviour is often relentless and can make you feel like you can’t escape. Sometimes other types of abuse are going on at the same time. If this kind of abuse is being used to scare and control you it may be domestic and family violence.Stalking can involve a range of behaviour that doesn’t stop when you ask. The harassment may come in the form of:
- Repeated emails or social media messages
- Repeated phone calls, text and voicemail messages
- The person following you to or from your home, workplace, or social activities
- Notes left at your home, workplace or on your car
- Unwanted flowers or gifts sent to your home
- Getting information about you through online searches, the public records, or going through your rubbish
- Hiring a private investigator to follow you, or discover information about you
- The person showing up uninvited at your home, work or school
- The person using social media to track you, bully or intimidate you, or bother you with unwanted attention
- The person showing up at the same places as you when there is no reason for them to be there
The behaviour may start out seeming friendly but get angrier or even violent over time. Like many other forms of violence, stalking is about control. It scares you into changing your routine and behaviour and stops you from feeling safe. Stalking can be a form of domestic or family violence. If you or someone you know is experiencing stalking it is OK to ask for help.
Who is responsible for stalking?
Stalking can be perpetrated by strangers or people you barely know. It can also happen in any relationship, including with:
- Boyfriends, girlfriends, partners, husbands or wives
- Ex-boyfriends, ex-girlfriends, ex-partners, ex-husbands or ex-wives
- Carers or paid support workers
- Parents, guardians or other family members
- Adult children
- Other people you live with or see often, whether inside or outside the home
None of these people has the right to scare and control you with unwanted attention.