Stalking is unwanted and/or repeated surveillance by an individual or group toward another person.Stalking behaviors are interrelated to harassment and intimidation and may include following the victim in person or monitoring them. The term stalking is used with some differing definitions in psychiatry and psychology, as well as in some legal jurisdictions as a term for a criminal offense.
According to a 2002 report by the U.S. National Center for Victims of Crime, "virtually any unwanted contact between two people that directly or indirectly communicates a threat or places the victim in fear can be considered stalking",although in practice the legal standard is usually somewhat stricter.
The difficulties associated with defining this term exactly (or defining it at all) are well documented.
Having been used since at least the 16th century to refer to a prowler or a poacher ( Oxford English Dictionary ), the term stalker was initially used by media in the 20th century to describe people who pester and harass others, initially with specific reference to the harassment of celebrities by strangers who were described as being "obsessed".This use of the word appears to have been coined by the tabloid press in the United States. With time, the meaning of stalking changed and incorporated individuals being harassed by their former partners. Pathé and Mullen describe stalking as "a constellation of behaviours in which an individual inflicts upon another repeated unwanted intrusions and communications". Stalking can be defined as the willful and repeated following, watching or harassing of another person. Unlike other crimes, which usually involve one act, stalking is a series of actions that occur over a period of time.
Although stalking is illegal in most areas of the world, some of the actions that contribute to stalking may be legal, such as gathering information, calling someone on the phone, texting, sending gifts, emailing, or instant messaging. They become illegal when they breach the legal definition of harassment (e.g., an action such as sending a text is not usually illegal, but is illegal when frequently repeated to an unwilling recipient). In fact, United Kingdom law states the incident only has to happen twice when the harasser should be aware their behavior is unacceptable (e.g., two phone calls to a stranger, two gifts, following the victim then phoning them, etc).
Cultural norms and meaning affect the way stalking is defined. Scholars note that the majority of men and women admit engaging in various stalking-like behaviors following a breakup, but stop such behaviors over time, suggesting that "engagement in low levels of unwanted pursuit behaviors for a relatively short amount of time, particularly in the context of a relationship break-up, may be normative for heterosexual dating relationships occurring within U.S. culture."
People characterized as stalkers may be accused of having a mistaken belief that another person loves them (erotomania), or that they need rescuing.Stalking can consist of an accumulation of a series of actions which, by themselves, can be legal, such as calling on the phone, sending gifts, or sending emails.
Stalkers may use overt and covert intimidation, threats and violence to frighten their victims. They may engage in vandalism and property damage or make physical attacks that are meant to frighten. Less common are sexual assaults.
Intimate partner stalkers are the most dangerous type.In the UK, for example, most stalkers are former partners and evidence indicates that mental illness-facilitated stalking propagated in the media accounts for only a minority of cases of alleged stalking. A UK Home Office research study on the use of the Protection from Harassment Act stated: "The study found that the Protection from Harassment Act is being used to deal with a variety of behaviour such as domestic and inter-neighbour disputes. It is rarely used for stalking as portrayed by the media since only a small minority of cases in the survey involved such behaviour."
Disruptions in daily life necessary to escape the stalker, including changes in employment, residence and phone numbers, take a toll on the victim's well-being and may lead to a sense of isolation.
According to Lamber Royakkers:
Stalking is a form of mental assault, in which the perpetrator repeatedly, unwantedly, and disruptively breaks into the life-world of the victim, with whom they have no relationship (or no longer have). Moreover, the separated acts that make up the intrusion cannot by themselves cause the mental abuse, but do taken together (cumulative effect).
Stalking has also been described as a form of close relationship between the parties, albeit a disjunctive one where the two participants have opposing goals rather than cooperative goals. One participant, often a woman, likely wishes to end the relationship entirely, but may find herself unable to easily do so. The other participant, often but not always a man, wishes to escalate the relationship. It has been described as a close relationship because the duration, frequency, and intensity of contact may rival that of a more traditional conjunctive dating relationship.
Based on work with stalking victims for eight years in Australia, Mullen and Pathé identified different types of stalking victims dependent on their previous relationship to the stalker. These are:
According to one study, women often target other women, whereas men primarily stalk women.A January 2009 report from the United States Department of Justice reports that "Males were as likely to report being stalked by a male as a female offender. 43% of male stalking victims stated that the offender was female, while 41% of male victims stated that the offender was another male. Female victims of stalking were significantly more likely to be stalked by a male (67%) rather than a female (24%) offender." This report provides considerable data by gender and race about both stalking and harassment, obtained via the 2006 Supplemental Victimization Survey (SVS), by the U.S. Census Bureau for the U.S. Department of Justice.
In an article in the journal Sex Roles, Jennifer Langhinrichsen-Rohling discusses how gender plays a role in the difference between stalkers and victims. She says, "gender is associated with the types of emotional reactions that are experienced by recipients of stalking related events, including the degree of fear experienced by the victim." In addition, she hypothesizes that gender may also affect how police handle a case of stalking, how the victim copes with the situation, and how the stalker might view their behavior. She discusses how victims might view certain forms of stalking as normal because of gender socialization influences on the acceptability of certain behaviors. She emphasizes that in the United Kingdom, Australia, and the United States, strangers are considered more dangerous when it comes to stalking than a former partner. Media also plays an important role due to portrayals of male stalking behavior as acceptable, influencing men into thinking it is normal. Since gender roles are socially constructed, sometimes men don't report stalking. She also mentions coercive control theory; "future research will be needed to determine if this theory can predict how changes in social structures and gender-specific norms will result in variations in rates of stalking for men versus women over time in the United States and across the world."
Psychologists often group individuals who stalk into two categories: psychotic and nonpsychotic.Some stalkers may have pre-existing psychotic disorders such as delusional disorder, schizoaffective disorder, or schizophrenia. However, most stalkers are nonpsychotic and may exhibit disorders or neuroses such as major depression, adjustment disorder, or substance dependence, as well as a variety of personality disorders (such as antisocial, borderline, or narcissistic). The nonpsychotic stalkers' pursuit of victims is primarily angry, vindictive, focused, often including projection of blame, obsession, dependency, minimization, denial, and jealousy. Conversely, only 10% of stalkers had an erotomanic delusional disorder.
In "A Study of Stalkers" Mullen et al. (2000)identified five types of stalkers:
In addition to Mullen et al., Joseph A. Davis, Ph.D., an American researcher, crime analyst, and university psychology professor at San Diego State University investigated, as a member of the Stalking Case Assessment Team (SCAT), special unit within the San Diego District Attorney's Office, hundreds of cases involving what he called and typed "terrestrial" and "cyberstalking" between 1995 and 2002. This research culminated in one of the most comprehensive books written to date on the subject. Published by CRC Press, Inc. in August 2001, it is considered the "gold standard" as a reference to stalking crimes, victim protection, safety planning, security and threat assessment.
The 2002 National Victim Association Academy defines an additional form of stalking: The vengeance/terrorist stalker. Both the vengeance stalker and terrorist stalker (the latter sometimes called the political stalker) do not, in contrast with some of the aforementioned types of stalkers, seek a personal relationship with their victims but rather force them to emit a certain response. While the vengeance stalker's motive is "to get even" with the other person whom he/she perceives has done some wrong to them (e.g., an employee who believes is fired without justification from a job by a superior), the political stalker intends to accomplish a political agenda, also using threats and intimidation to force the target to refrain or become involved in some particular activity regardless of the victim's consent. For example, most prosecutions in this stalking category have been against anti-abortionists who stalk doctors in an attempt to discourage the performance of abortions.
Stalkers may fit categories with paranoia disorders. Intimacy-seeking stalkers often have delusional disorders involving erotomanic delusions. With rejected stalkers, the continual clinging to a relationship of an inadequate or dependent person couples with the entitlement of the narcissistic personality, and the persistent jealousy of the paranoid personality. In contrast, resentful stalkers demonstrate an almost "pure culture of persecution", with delusional disorders of the paranoid type, paranoid personalities, and paranoid schizophrenia.
One of the uncertainties in understanding the origins of stalking is that the concept is now widely understood in terms of specific behaviorswhich are found to be offensive or illegal. As discussed above, these specific (apparently stalking) behaviors may have multiple motivations.
In addition, the personality characteristics that are often discussed as antecedent to stalking may also produce behavior that is not stalking as conventionally defined. Some research suggests there is a spectrum of what might be called "obsessed following behavior." People who complain obsessively and for years, about a perceived wrong or wrong-doer, when no one else can perceive the injury—and people who cannot or will not "let go" of a person or a place or an idea—comprise a wider group of persons that may be problematic in ways that seem similar to stalking. Some of these people get extruded from their organizations—they may get hospitalized or fired or let go if their behavior is defined in terms of illegal stalking, but many others do good or even excellent work in their organizations and appear to have just one focus of tenacious obsession.
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Cyberstalking is the use of computers or other electronic technology to facilitate stalking. In Davis (2001), Lucks identified a separate category of stalkers who instead of a terrestrial means, prefer to perpetrate crimes against their targeted victims through electronic and online means.Amongst college students, Ménard and Pincus found that men who had a high score of sexual abuse as children and narcissistic vulnerability were more likely to become stalkers. Out of the women who participated in their study, 9% were cyberstalkers meanwhile only 4% were overt stalkers. In addition, the male participants revealed the opposite, 16% were overt stalkers while 11% were cyberstalkers. Alcohol and physical abuse both played a role in predicting women's cyberstalking and in men, "preoccupied attachment significantly predicted cyber stalking".
According to a U.S. Department of Justice special reporta significant number of people reporting stalking incidents claim that they had been stalked by more than one person, with 18.2% reporting that they were stalked by two people, 13.1% reporting that they had been stalked by three or more. The report did not break down these cases into numbers of victims who claimed to have been stalked by several people individually, and by people acting in concert. A question asked of respondents reporting three or more stalkers by polling personnel about whether the stalking was related to co-workers, members of a gang, fraternities, sororities, etc., did not have its responses indicated in the survey results as released by the DOJ. The data for this report was obtained via the 2006 Supplemental Victimization Survey (SVS), conducted by the U.S. Census Bureau for the Department of Justice.
According to a United Kingdom study by Sheridan and Boon,in 5% of the cases they studied there was more than one stalker, and 40% of the victims said that friends or family of their stalker had also been involved. In 15% of cases, the victim was unaware of any reason for the harassment.
Over a quarter of all stalking and harassment victims do not know their stalkers in any capacity. About a tenth responding to the SVS did not know the identities of their stalkers. 11% of victims said they had been stalked for five years or more.
In 1999, Pathe, Mullen and Purcell wrote that popular interest in stalking was promoting false claims.In 2004, Sheridan and Blaauw said that they estimated that 11.5% of claims in a sample of 357 reported claims of stalking were false.
According to Sheridan and Blaauw, 70% of false stalking reports were made by people suffering from delusions, stating that "after eight uncertain cases were excluded, the false reporting rate was judged to be 11.5%, with the majority of false victims suffering delusions (70%)."Another study estimated the proportion of false reports that were due to delusions as 64%.
News reports have described how groups of Internet users have cooperated to exchange detailed conspiracy theories involving coordinated activities by large numbers of people called "gang stalking".The activities involved are described as involving electronic harassment, the use of "psychotronic weapons", and other alleged mind control techniques. These have been reported by external observers as being examples of belief systems, as opposed to reports of objective phenomena. Some psychiatrists and psychologists say "Web sites that amplify reports of mind control and group stalking" are "an extreme community that may encourage delusional thinking" and represent "a dark side of social networking. They may reinforce the troubled thinking of the mentally ill and impede treatment."
A study from Australia and the United Kingdom by Lorraine Sheridan and David Jamescompared 128 self-defined victims of 'gang-stalking' with a randomly selected group of 128 self-declared victims of stalking by an individual. All 128 'victims' of gang-stalking were judged to be delusional, compared with only 3.9% of victims of individual-stalking. There were highly significant differences between the two samples on depressive symptoms, post-traumatic symptomatology and adverse impact on social and occupational function, with the self-declared victims of gang-stalking more severely affected. The authors concluded that "group-stalking appears to be delusional in basis, but complainants suffer marked psychological and practical sequelae. This is important in the assessment of risk in stalking cases, early referral to psychiatric services and allocation of police resources."
According to a study conducted by Purcell, Pathé and Mullen (2002), 23% of the Australian population reported having been stalked.
Stieger, Burger and Schild conducted a survey in Austria, revealing a lifetime prevalence of 11% (women: 17%, men: 3%).Further results include: 86% of stalking victims were female, 81% of the stalkers were male. Women were mainly stalked by men (88%) while men were almost equally stalked by men and women (60% male stalkers). 19% of the stalking victims reported that they were still being stalked at the time of study participation (point prevalence rate: 2%). To 70% of the victims, the stalker was known, being a prior intimate partner in 40%, a friend or acquaintance in 23% and a colleague at work in 13% of cases. As a consequence, 72% of the victims reported having changed their lifestyle. 52% of former and ongoing stalking victims reported suffering from a currently impaired (pathological) psychological well-being. There was no significant difference between the incidence of stalking in rural and urban areas.
In 1998 Budd and Mattinson found a lifetime prevalence of 12% in England and Wales (16% female, 7% males).In 2010/11 43% of stalking victims were found to be male and 57% female.
According to a paper by staff from the Fixated Threat Assessment Centre, a unit established to deal with people with fixations on public figures, 86% of a sample group of 100 people assessed by them appeared to them to suffer from psychotic illness; 57% of the sample group were subsequently admitted to hospital, and 26% treated in the community.
A similar retrospective study published in 2009 in Psychological Medicine based on a sample of threats to the Royal Family kept by the Metropolitan Police Service over a period of 15 years, suggested that 83.6% of the writers of these letters suffered from serious mental illness.
Dressing, Kuehner and Gass conducted a representative survey in Mannheim, a middle-sized German city, and reported a lifetime prevalence of having been stalked of almost 12%.
Tjaden and Thoennes reported a lifetime prevalence (being stalked) of 8% in females and 2% in males (depending on how strict the definition) in the National Violence Against Women Survey.
Every Australian state enacted laws prohibiting stalking during the 1990s, with Queensland being the first state to do so in 1994. The laws vary slightly from state to state, with Queensland's laws having the broadest scope, and South Australian laws the most restrictive. Punishments vary from a maximum of 10 years imprisonment in some states, to a fine for the lowest severity of stalking in others. Australian anti-stalking laws have some notable features. Unlike many US jurisdictions they do not require the victim to have felt fear or distress as a result of the behaviour, only that a reasonable person would have felt this way. In some states, the anti-stalking laws operate extra-territorially, meaning that an individual can be charged with stalking if either they or the victim are in the relevant state. Most Australian states provide the option of a restraining order in cases of stalking, breach of which is punishable as a criminal offence. There has been relatively little research into Australian court outcomes in stalking cases, although Freckelton (2001) found that in the state of Victoria, most stalkers received fines or community based dispositions.
Section 264 of the Criminal Code, titled "criminal harassment",addresses acts which are termed "stalking" in many other jurisdictions. The provisions of the section came into force in August 1993 with the intent of further strengthening laws protecting women. It is a hybrid offence, which may be punishable upon summary conviction or as an indictable offence, the latter of which may carry a prison term of up to ten years. Section 264 has withstood Charter challenges.
The Chief, Policing Services Program, for Statistics Canada has stated:
... of the 10,756 incidents of criminal harassment reported to police in 2006, 1,429 of these involved more than one accused.
Article 222–33–2 of the French Penal Code (added in 2002) penalizes "Moral harassment," which is: "Harassing another person by repeated conduct which is designed to or leads to a deterioration of his conditions of work liable to harm his rights and his dignity, to damage his physical or mental health or compromise his career prospects," with a year's imprisonment and a fine of EUR15,000.
The German Criminal Code (§ 238 StGB) penalizes Nachstellung, defined as threatening or seeking proximity or remote contact with another person and thus heavily influencing their lives, with up to three years of imprisonment. The definition is not strict and allows "similar behaviour" to also be classified as stalking.
In 2013, Indian Parliament made amendments to the Indian Penal Code, introducing stalking as a criminal offence.Stalking has been defined as a man following or contacting a woman, despite clear indication of disinterest by the woman, or monitoring her use of the Internet or electronic communication. A man committing the offence of stalking would be liable for imprisonment up to three years for the first offence, and shall also be liable to fine and for any subsequent conviction would be liable for imprisonment up to five years and with fine.
Following a series of high-profile incidents that came to public attention in the past years, a law was proposed in June 2008 which became effective in February 2009 (D.L. 23.02.2009 n. 11) making a criminal offence under the newly introduced art. 612 bis of the penal code, punishable with imprisonment ranging from six months up to five years, any "continuative harassing, threatening or persecuting behaviour which: (1) causes a state of anxiety and fear in the victim(s), or; (2) ingenerates within the victim(s) a motivated fear for his/her own safety or for the safety of relatives, kins[ sic ], or others tied to the victim him/herself by an affective relationship, or; (3), forces the victim(s) to change his/her living habits". If the perpetrator of the offense is a subject tied to the victim by kinship or that is or has been in the past involved in a relationship with the victim (i.e., a current or former spouse or fiancé), or if the victim is a pregnant woman or a minor or a person with disabilities, the sanction can be elevated up to six years of incarceration.
In 2000, Japan enacted a national law to combat this behaviour, after the murder of Shiori Ino.Acts of stalking can be viewed as "interfering [with] the tranquility of others' lives" and are prohibited under petty offence laws.
In the Wetboek van Strafrecht there is an Article 285bthat considers stalking as a crime, actually an Antragsdelikt:
Article 208 of the 2014 Criminal Code states:-
Article 208: Harassment
- The act of someone who repeatedly follows, without right or a legitimate interest, a person or his or her home, workplace or other place frequented, thus causing a state of fear.
- Making phone calls or communication by means of transmission, which by frequent or continuous use, causes fear to a person. This shall be punished with imprisonment from one to three months or a fine if the case is not a more serious offense.
- Criminal action is initiated by prior complaint of the victim.
Before the enactment of the Protection from Harassment Act 1997, the Telecommunications Act 1984 criminalised indecent, offensive or threatening phone calls and the Malicious Communications Act 1988 criminalised the sending of an indecent, offensive or threatening letter, electronic communication or other article to another person.
Before 1997 no specific offence of stalking existed in England and Wales, but in Scotland incidents could be dealt with under pre-existing law with life imprisonment available for the worst offences
In England and Wales, "harassment" was criminalised by the enactment of the Protection from Harassment Act 1997, which came into force on 16 June 1997. It makes it a criminal offence, punishable by up to six months' imprisonment, to make a course of conduct which amounts to harassment of another on two or more occasions. The court can also issue a restraining order, which carries a maximum punishment of five years' imprisonment if breached. In England and Wales, liability may arise in the event that the victim suffers either mental or physical harm as a result of being harassed (or slang term stalked) (see R. v. Constanza ).
In 2012, the Prime Minister, David Cameron, stated that the government intended to make another attempt to create a law aimed specifically at stalking behaviour.
In May 2012, the Protection of Freedoms Act 2012 created the offence of stalking for the first time in England/Wales by inserting these offences into the Protection from Harassment Act 1997. The act of stalking under this section is exemplified by contacting, or attempting to contact, a person by any means, publishing any statement or other material relating or purporting to relate to a person, monitoring the use by a person of the Internet, email or any other form of electronic communication, loitering in any place (whether public or private), interfering with any property in the possession of a person or watching or spying on a person.
The Protection of Freedoms Act 2012 also added Section 4(a) into the Protection From Harassment Act 1997 which covered 'Stalking involving fear of violence or serious alarm or distress'. This created the offence of where a person's conduct amounts to stalking and either causes another to fear (on at least two occasions) that violence will be used against them or conduct that causes another person serious alarm or distress which has a substantial effect on their usual day to day activities.
In Scotland, behaviour commonly described as stalking was already prosecuted as the common law offence of breach of the peace (not to be confused with the minor English offence of the same description) before the introduction of the statutory offence against s.39 of the Criminal Justice and Licensing (Scotland) Act 2010;[ citation needed ] either course can still be taken depending on the circumstances of each case. The statutory offence incurs a penalty of twelve months imprisonment or a fine upon summary conviction or a maximum of five years' imprisonment or a fine upon conviction on indictment; penalties for conviction for breach of the peace are limited only by the sentencing powers of the court, thus a case remitted to the High Court can carry a sentence of imprisonment for life.
Provision is made under the Protection from Harassment Act against stalking to deal with the civil offence (i.e. the interference with the victim's personal rights), falling under the law of delict. Victims of stalking may sue for interdict against an alleged stalker, or a non-harassment order, breach of which is an offence.[ citation needed ]
California was the first state to criminalize stalking in the United States in 1990as a result of numerous high-profile stalking cases in California, including the 1982 attempted murder of actress Theresa Saldana, the 1988 massacre by Richard Farley, the 1989 murder of actress Rebecca Schaeffer, and five Orange County stalking murders, also in 1989. The first anti-stalking law in the United States, California Penal Code Section 646.9, was developed and proposed by Municipal Court Judge John Watson of Orange County. Watson with U.S. Congressman Ed Royce introduced the law in 1990. Also in 1990, the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) began the United States' first Threat Management Unit, founded by LAPD Captain Robert Martin.
Within three yearsthereafter, every state in the United States followed suit to create the crime of stalking, under different names such as criminal harassment or criminal menace. The Driver's Privacy Protection Act (DPPA) was enacted in 1994 in response to numerous cases of a driver's information being abused for criminal activity, with prominent examples including the Saldana and Schaeffer stalking cases. The DPPA prohibits states from disclosing a driver's personal information without permission by State Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV).
The Violence Against Women Act of 2005, amending a United States statute, 108 Stat. 1902 et seq, defined stalking as:
engaging in a course of conduct directed at a specific person that would cause a reasonable person to—
- (A) fear for his or her safety or the safety of others;
- (B) suffer substantial emotional distress.
As of 2011, stalking is an offense under section 120a of the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ).The law took effect on 1 October 2007.
In 2014 new amendments were made to the Clery Act to require reporting on stalking, domestic violence, and dating violence.
In 2018 the PAWS Act became law in the United States, and it expanded the definition of stalking to include "conduct that causes a person to experience a reasonable fear of death or serious bodily injury to his or her pet”.
Stalking is a controversial crime because a conviction does not require any physical harm.The anti-stalking statute of Illinois is particularly controversial. It is particularly restrictive, by the standards of this type of legislation.
The Council of Europe Convention on preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violence defines and criminalizes stalking, as well as other forms of violence against women.The Convention came into force on 1 August 2014.
An assault is the act of inflicting physical harm or unwanted physical contact upon a person or, in some specific legal definitions, a threat or attempt to commit such an action. It is both a crime and a tort and, therefore, may result in either criminal and/or civil liability. Generally, the common law definition is the same in criminal and tort law.
Sexual assault is an act in which a person intentionally sexually touches another person without that person's consent, or coerces or physically forces a person to engage in a sexual act against their will. It is a form of sexual violence, which includes rape, groping, child sexual abuse or the torture of the person in a sexual manner.
A restraining order or protective order is an order used by a court to protect a person, business, company, establishment, or entity, and the general public, in a situation involving alleged domestic violence, assault, harassment, stalking, or sexual assault. In the United States, every state has some form of domestic violence restraining order law, and many states also have specific restraining order laws for stalking and sexual assault.
A significant proportion of victims of rape or other sexual violence incidents are male. Historically, rape was thought to be, and defined as, a crime committed solely against women. This belief is still held in some parts of the world, but rape of males is now commonly criminalized and has been subject to more discussion than in the past.
Rape is a type of sexual assault initiated by one or more persons against another person without that person's consent. The act may be carried out by physical force, or where the person is under threat or manipulation, or with a person who is incapable of valid consent. It is the name of a statutory crime in jurisdictions such as England and Wales, Northern Ireland, Scotland, California, and New York, and is a legal term of art used in the definition of the offence of sexual violation in New Zealand.
Statistics on rape and other sexual assaults are commonly available in industrialized countries, and are becoming more common throughout the world. Inconsistent definitions of rape, different rates of reporting, recording, prosecution and conviction for rape create controversial statistical disparities, and lead to accusations that many rape statistics are unreliable or misleading. In some jurisdictions, male-female rape is the only form of rape counted in the statistics. Countries may not define forced sex on a spouse as "rape". Rape is a severely under-reported crime with surveys showing dark figures of up to 91.6% of rapes going unreported. Prevalence of reasons for not reporting rape differ across countries. They may include fear of retaliation, uncertainty about whether a crime was committed or if the offender intended harm, not wanting others to know about the rape, not wanting the offender to get in trouble, fear of prosecution, and doubt in local law enforcement.
The Domestic Violence, Crime and Victims Act 2004 is an Act of the Parliament of the United Kingdom. It is concerned with criminal justice and concentrates upon legal protection and assistance to victims of crime, particularly domestic violence. It also expands the provision for trials without a jury, brings in new rules for trials for causing the death of a child or vulnerable adult, and permits bailiffs to use force to enter homes.
Victimisation is the process of being victimised or becoming a victim. The field that studies the process, rates, incidence, effects, and prevalence of victimisation is called victimology.
The Protection from Harassment Act 1997 is an Act of the Parliament of the United Kingdom. On introducing the Bill's second reading in the House of Lords the then Lord Chancellor, Lord Mackay of Clashfern said "The aim of this Bill is to protect the victims of harassment. It will protect all such victims whatever the source of the harassment—so-called stalking behaviour, racial harassment, or anti-social behaviour by neighbours." Home Office guidance on the Act says "The legislation was always intended to tackle stalking, but the offences were drafted to tackle any form of persistent conduct which causes another person alarm or distress."
Cyberstalking is the use of the Internet or other electronic means to stalk or harass an individual, group, or organization. It may include false accusations, defamation, slander and libel. It may also include monitoring, identity theft, threats, vandalism, solicitation for sex, or gathering information that may be used to threaten, embarrass or harass.
Harassment covers a wide range of behaviors of an offensive nature. It is commonly understood as behavior that demeans, humiliates or embarrasses a person, and it is characteristically identified by its unlikelihood in terms of social and moral reasonableness. In the legal sense, these are behaviors that appear to be disturbing, upsetting or threatening. They evolve from discriminatory grounds, and have an effect of nullifying or impairing a person from benefiting their rights. When these behaviors become repetitive, they are defined as bullying.
Human trafficking in Australia is illegal under Divisions 270 and 271 of the Criminal Code (Cth). In September 2005, Australia ratified the Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons, especially Women and Children, which supplemented the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime. Amendments to the Criminal Code were made in 2005 to implement the Protocol.
Persecutory delusions are a set of delusional conditions in which the affected persons believe they are being persecuted. Specifically, they have been defined as containing two central elements:
In the United Kingdom, the Fixated Threat Assessment Centre (FTAC) is a joint police/mental health unit set up in October 2006 by the Home Office, the Department of Health and Metropolitan Police Service to assess and manage the risk to politicians, members of the British Royal Family, and other public figures from obsessive individuals.
A false accusation is a claim or allegation of wrongdoing that is untrue and/or otherwise unsupported by facts. False accusations are also known as groundless accusations or unfounded accusations or false allegations or false claims. They can occur in any of the following contexts:
A Civil Harassment Restraining Order (CHO) is a form of restraining order or order of protection used in the state of California. It is a legal intervention in which a person who is deemed to be harassing, threatening or stalking another person is ordered to stop, with the goal of reducing risk of further threat or harm to the person being harassed. Some restraining orders are limited to domestic partners, but the CHO is not. It is frequently used with the purpose of preventing harassment by co-workers, neighbours, strangers and acquaintances.
Domestic violence in India includes any form of violence suffered by a person from a biological relative, but typically is the violence suffered by a woman by male members of her family or relatives. According to a National Family and Health Survey in 2005, total lifetime prevalence of domestic violence was 33.5% and 8.5% for sexual violence among women aged 15–49. A 2014 study in The Lancet reports that although the reported sexual violence rate in India is among the lowest in the world, the large population of India means that the violence affects 27.5 million women over their lifetimes. However, A survey carried out by the Thomson Reuters Foundation ranked India as the most dangerous country in the world for women
The Criminal Law (Amendment) Act, 2013 is an Indian legislation passed by the lok sabha on 19 March 2013, and by the Rajya Sabha on 21 March 2013, which provides for amendment of Indian Penal Code, Indian Evidence Act, and Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 on laws related to sexual offences. The Bill received Presidential assent on 2 April 2013 and came into force from 3 April 2013. It was originally an Ordinance promulgated by the President of India, Pranab Mukherjee, on 3 April 2013, in light of the protests in the 2012 Delhi gang rape case.
Revenge porn or revenge pornography is the distribution of sexually explicit images or video of individuals without their permission. The sexually explicit images or video may be made by a partner of an intimate relationship with the knowledge and consent of the subject, or it may be made without his or her knowledge. The possession of the material may be used by the perpetrators to blackmail the subjects into performing other sex acts, to coerce them into continuing the relationship, to punish them for ending the relationship, or to silence them.
The dowry system in India refers to the durable goods, cash, and real or movable property that the bride's family gives to the bridegroom, his parents, or his relatives as a condition of the marriage. Dowry stemmed from India's skewed inheritance laws, and the Hindu Succession Act needed to be amended to stop the routine disinheritance of daughters. Dowry is essentially in the nature of a payment in cash or some kind of gifts given to the bridegroom's family along with the bride and includes cash, jewellery, electrical appliances, furniture, bedding, crockery, utensils, vehicles and other household items that help the newlyweds set up their home. Dowry is referred to as Dahez in Arabic. In far eastern parts of India, dowry is called Aaunnpot.
Given that stalking may often constitute no more than the targeted repetition of ostensibly ordinary or routine behavior, stalking is inherently difficult to define.
Collapsing across two studies that examined 40 British and 18 Australian false reporters (as determined by evidence overwhelmingly against their claims), these individuals fell into the following categories: delusional (64%), factitious/attention seeking (15%), hypersensitivity due to previous stalking (12%), were the stalker themselves (7%), and malingering individuals (2%) (Purcell, Pathe, & Mullen, 2002; Sheridan & Blaauw, 2004).
STALKING.—The term 'stalking' means engaging in a course of conduct directed at a specific person that would cause a reasonable person to—(A) fear for his or her safety or the safety of others; or (B) suffer substantial emotional distress.
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