Stalking behavior can take many forms and can vary greatly from situation to situation. Some common stalking behaviors include:
A stalker can be a stranger or someone the victim knows including a partner, an ex-partner, or a family member. Stalking is a crime that can touch anyone, regardless of gender, race, sexual orientation, socioeconomic status, geographic location, or personal associations. However, the US Department of Justice reports that the overwhelming majority of victims are women (78%) and the majority of offenders (87%) are men. Nearly 60% of women and 30% of men who are stalked are stalked by a current partner. However, some stalkers develop an obsession for someone with whom they have no personal relationship.
Illinois Stalking Advocacy Center offers services to ALL victims of stalking. Illinois Stalking Advocacy Center provides services to victims with or without a prior relationship with their stalker.
If you are being stalked, trust your instincts and don’t downplay the danger. Consider taking some or all of these steps:
Any person who is the victim of stalking through of a course of conduct that causes the victim to fear for his or her safety or the safety of another person, or to suffer emotional distress, and relief is not available to the victim through an Order of Protection or through a Sexual Assault Civil No Contact Order can file a Stalking No Contact Order.
The judge can grant any or all of the following remedies:
• Prohibit further stalking or threats of stalking;
• Prohibit contact with the victim;
• Order stalker to stay away from specific locations;
• Prohibit stalker from having FOID card and owning firearms;
• Other injunctive relief necessary to protect the victim.
An order of protection is a court order which restricts an abuser/stalker and only is available to family or household members.
Under Illinois law family or household members are defined as:
An order of protection may:
Stalking can be carried out in person or via electronic mechanisms (phone, fax, GPS, cameras, computer spyware, or the Internet). Cyberstalking—the use of technology to stalk victims—shares some characteristics with real-life stalking. It involves the pursuit, harassment, or contact of others in an unsolicited fashion initially via the Internet and e-mail. Cyberstalking can intensify in chat rooms where stalkers systematically flood their target's inbox with obscene, hateful, or threatening messages and images.
A cyberstalker may further assume the identity of his or her victim by posting information (fictitious or not) and soliciting responses from the cybercommunity. Cyberstalkers may use information acquired online to further intimidate, harass, and threaten their victim via courier mail, phone calls, and physically appearing at a residence or work place.
Although cyberstalking does not involve physical contact with a victim, it is still a serious crime. The increasing ubiquity of the Internet and the ease with which it allows others unusual access to personal information, have made this form of stalking ever more accessible. Potential stalkers may find it easier to stalk via a remote device such as the Internet rather than to confront an actual person. If you believe your are being cyberstalked, contact Illinois Stalking Advocacy Center.