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- What can I do?
Criminal harassment, more commonly known as STALKING, is a crime. Generally it consists of repeated conduct that is carried out over a period of time and which causes you to reasonably fear for your safety or the safety of someone known to you.
Stalking does not have to result in physical injury in order to make it a crime. The law protects you even if the conduct of the stalker is not done with the intent to scare you. It is enough if the conduct does scare you. This may be an advance warning of the possibility of future violent acts.
Are you afraid for your safety or the safety of someone you know?
1. Is someone repeatedly following you from place to place? Repeatedly is more than one time and does not have to be for an extended period of time. The incidents may have occurred during the same day.
2. Is someone repeatedly communicating with you, either directly or indirectly?
a. Directly can be by telephone, in person, leaving messages on answering machines, or sending unwanted gifts, notes, letters, e-mails or texts.
b. Indirectly can be by contacting people you know and having messages sent through them or simply by making repeated unwanted inquiries about you.
3. Is someone persistently close by or watching your home or any place where you or anyone known to you live, work, carry on business or happen to be?
4. Have you or any member of your family been threatened by this person?
If you can answer YES to any of these questions you or someone you know may be a victim of CRIMINAL HARASSMENT - STALKING.
What to do:
• Maintain detailed notes about the stalking conduct. Dates, times, places, actions and threats are easier to explain and remember when written down.
• Keep all recorded telephone messages, e-mails, texts, gifts, letters or notes that have been sent by the individual.
• Pay attention to incidents that may seem coincidental. Are you suddenly running into this person more often? If you are not sure if you are being stalked contact the police.
• Do NOT agree to have contact with a person who you think may be stalking you - contact the police. Each stalking situation is different. Consider that sometimes, when a stalker is confronted or meets with resistance, he/she may react with violence or the conduct may escalate.