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WomensLaw is not just for women. We serve and support all survivors, no matter their sex or gender. Important: Even if courts are closed, you can still file for a protection order and other emergency relief. What is stalking? What is cyberstalking? Can I get a restraining order based on stalking?
Stalking involves a pattern of behavior directed at a specific person that causes fear. It can be carried out in a of ways, many of which involve technology and online spaces. If you believe that you are being stalked or cyberstalked, learn how to increase your safety on our Safety Tips for Stalking Victims. The crime of stalking is defined differently by individual states across the country and there is also a federal stalking law, which makes it illegal to travel between states with the intent to commit stalking.
However, if these acts are done over and over and make you afraid, it may be considered stalking. Cyberstalking is a term that refers to the misuse of the Internet or other technology to stalk and harass someone. The person may also post messages about you, share your personal information or pictures of you online to harass or scare you. In many states, you can file for a restraining order against anyone who has stalked or harassed you, even if you do not have a specific relationship with that person.
In addition, most states include stalking as a reason to get a domestic violence restraining order.
Please check the Restraining Orders for your state to find out what types of restraining orders there are in your state and which one may apply to your situation. Even if your state does not have a specific restraining order for stalking and you do not qualify for a domestic violence restraining order, you may be able to get one from the criminal court if the stalker is arrested.
Since stalking is a crime, the police may arrest someone who has been stalking or harassing you. Generally, it is a good idea to keep track of any contact a stalker has with you.
You may want to keep track of any phone calls, drive-bys, text messages, voics, s print out what you can, with headers including date and time if possibleor anything the stalker does that harasses you or makes you afraid. The Stalking Prevention, Awareness, and Resource Center has a stalking incident log that you may wish you use to record this information. Safety Net, a project of the National Network to End Domestic Violence, has a sample cyberstalking incident log with tips on how to best document evidence of technology abuse.
With or without a restraining order, there are things you can do to try to stay safe. Go to our Safety Tips for Stalking Victims for more information. All rights reserved. Department of Justice. Neither the U. Department of Justice nor any of its components operate, control, are responsible for, or necessarily endorse, this website including, without limitation, its content, technical infrastructure, and policies, and any services or tools provided.
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