A pattern of repeated, unwanted, attention and contact that causes fear or concern for one’s own safety or the safety of someone else (e.g., family member, close friend).

Stalking acts by a perpetrator can include, but are not limited to:

  • Repeated and unwanted phone calls, voice messages, text messages, pages, and hang-ups
  • Repeated and unwanted emails, instant messages, or messages through websites (e.g., Facebook)
  • Leaving cards, letters, flowers, or presents when the victim doesn’t want them
  • Watching or following from a distance
  • Spying with a listening device, camera, or global positioning system (GPS)
  • Approaching or showing up in places (e.g., home, work, school) when the victim does not want to see them
  • Leaving strange or potentially threatening items for the victim to find
  • Sneaking into the victim’s home or car and doing things to scare the victim by letting them know they (perpetrator) had been there
  • Damaging the victim’s personal property, pets or belongings
  • Harming or threatening to harm the victim’s pet
  • Making threats to physically harm the victim


Criteria for stalking victimization:
Victim must have experienced multiple stalking tactics or a single stalking tactic multiple times by the same perpetrator and:

  • felt fearful or
  • believed that they or someone close to them would be harmed or killed as a result of the perpetrator’s behavior


*Content Source: Center for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Injury Prevention and Control, Division of Violence Prevention

Content source last updated: May 3, 2016