"Stalking is a pattern of repeated and unwanted attention, harassment, contact, or any other course of conduct directed at a specific person that would cause a reasonable person to feel fear" according to the Department of Justice.  Similar to crimes of sexual violence, stalking is about power and control.  Stalking laws and definitions differ from state to state.

Stalking behavior can take many forms including:

  • Making threats against someone, or that person's family or friends
  • Non-consensual communication, such as repeated phone calls, emails, text messages, and unwanted gifts
  • Repeated physical or visual closeness, like waiting for someone to arrive at certain locations, following someone, or watching someone from a distance
  • Any other behavior used to contact, harass, track, or threaten someone


Perpetrators now use technology to stalk their victims.  Cyber stalking is a broad term used to cover all forms of stalking that relies on technology.  

Some forms of using of technology to stalk include:

  • Persistently sending unwanted communication through the internet, such as spamming someone's email inbox or social media platform
  • Posting threatening or personal information about someone on public internet forums
  • Video-voyeurism, or installing video cameras that give the stalker access to someone's personal life
  • Using GPS or other software tracking systems to monitor someone without their knowledge or consent
  • Using someone's computer and/or spyware to track their computer activity

As technology and digital platforms continue to grow, so do the chances that someone could stalk you in an unwanted, sexual manner.  Not all of these behaviors are considered stalking, but they can be violating and make you  feel uncomfortable.  

When you learn more about stalking behaviors, you're more likely to notice them before they escalate, and you can take steps to protect yourself.  If you discover that you are currently being stalked-either in person, online, or via technology-it can be unsettling and even dangerous.  Consider taking steps to protect yourself or involve an authority figure who can help you.  Advocates at ARC are available to assist and support in stalking matters.