Expresses stalking love

Stalking

Many people know stalking from the headlines: when a fan follows and threatens a social media star or penetrates into the Queen's palace. But most stalking victims are not celebrities - and the perpetrators often come from their environment. Stalking is not a harmless token of love, but a criminal act. Stalking burdens and hurts many people seriously, both mentally and physically.

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Word explanation (definition)

What is stalking?

The English word "to stalk" means: sneaking up on someone, stalking or harassing them. Stalkers pursue their victims, let the stalked person feel their presence, threaten and terrorize them, invade their privacy and / or damage their property. Those who are stalked can no longer shape their life and everyday life freely and carefree. Some stalkers also use physical violence against their victim.

Stalking: over and over again

One speaks of stalking when the perpetrator acts repeatedly and intentionally over a long period of time. The constant pursuit wears down: After weeks, months, sometimes even years of persecution, victims of stalking feel exposed, vulnerable and no longer safe.

Stalking is common: around every 4th woman and every 25th man is stalked at some point in their life.

Examples

Stalking: How do the perpetrators proceed?

For example, stalking can mean that one person ...

  • terrorized, for example with letters, phone calls (often around the clock), SMS, e-mails or via messaging apps,
  • shows that he is nearby, for example by leaving messages or traces, for example on his car, in his garden or house,
  • repeatedly followed in public space, for example on the way to work, to school or while shopping,
  • financially damage, for example through mass orders in his name,
  • slandered, for example, by spreading falsehoods about him in the workplace or on social media
  • physically attacks.

“I'm near you”: Some stalkers stalk people right up to their apartment.

5 questions, 5 facts

Stalking: destructive and punishable by law

  • Often a former partner is behind the stalking who wants to draw attention to himself and / or to exercise power or control or to seek revenge.
  • Stalking also occurs in the professional environment.
  • In three quarters of the cases, the victim knows the person who is following them.
  • Stalkers are not always male. There are also women who chase other people.

Being stalked can be a heavy burden on people. Possible physical and emotional consequences are, for example, rest and insomnia, headaches, eating disorders, panic attacks, depression and even thoughts of suicide (suicide). The mistrust that stalkers sow in their victims can also damage and destroy their relationships with uninvolved people, among friends, at work, in the neighborhood. Some victims even change jobs and place of residence in order to finally end the chasing.

Yes. The penal code writes of “re-enactment” and provides for this - depending on the severity of the specific crime - imprisonment of up to 3 years or a fine. If stalking endangers the life or health of the victim or a person close to him, the imprisonment is up to five years, in the case of death up to 10 years (stalking / stalking: to the legal text of § 238 StGB). The individual offenses in the context of stalking - for example defamation, insult or damage to property - can also be reported and lead to a conviction.

No, stalking and bullying can be similar, but there is a clear difference:

  • Stalk = chase: In stalking, a single perpetrator pursues a person (rarely, for example, a couple or a family).
  • Bullying = devaluing: In bullying, a single person or group turns against one or more people and tries to humiliate and devalue him or her.

It is not new for people to chase after others. The term stalking originated in the late 1980s. Stalking or stalking was included as a criminal offense in German criminal law in 2007.

(Source: Stiller / Regulator / Rabe, Current empirical research in the field of "Stalking", in: Deborah F. Hellmann (Ed.) Stalking in Germany, 2016)

Is it your own fault if you are stalked?

No. Who is stalked is not to blame - but the person who stalked.

Stalking is not a “punishment” for wrongdoing. Stalking is a criminal offense!

Anyone who is stalked has Nothing wrong. Anyone who is stalked has to Not be ashamed.

If you are being stalked, don't hesitate: seek advice and help NOW.

You can find help here

Contact points for victims of stalking

I get stalked! What should I do?
  • Are you threatened or attacked? Then immediately dial the police emergency number: 110
  • You are not in acute danger, but you feel harassed and harassed? Then report it to the police. Often just a questioning by the police puts an end to stalking. An injunction can prevent stalkers from approaching you.
  • You don't want to call in the police? Not sure if it's stalking? You can also get support from a specialist advice center.

What is important and helpful when you are stalked? Police crime prevention has put together tips for you:

Stalking what to do To the information of the police advice

STALKING: ADVICE & HELP
    • Is that just annoying or is it already stalking? Help, my ex is following me: where can I find advice? Fear of the stalker: how can I protect myself? You can find advice and help here:

    • In your region: Police officer for crime victims

      In all Bavarian regions there are police officers for crime victims (BPfK). Among other things, you advise and support victims of stalking as well as domestic and sexualised violence. Here you can find information and a contact list.

    • Around the clock: "Violence against women" helpline

      The nationwide helpline for violence against women also advises victims of stalking. The telephone hotline is available every day and around the clock on 08000 11 60 16. You can also get advice online (without registration).

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