Pattern of Behavior
All fifty states have some form of stalking and harassment law. These laws define the ‘pattern’ or ‘course of conduct’ involving unwanted, disturbing, and threatening behavior toward a person. Some of the behaviors that make up the crime of stalking are criminal on their own (like property damage). Still, even if the behavior is not a crime on its own (like texting excessively), it may be part of the ‘pattern’ of stalking behavior and victims should consider documenting and reporting it (SPARC). Oftentimes, people don’t know that a perpetrator’s behavior is actually stalking until it has been going on for some time.
Intersection of Stalking and Intimate Partner Violence
There is a real and frighteningly significant connection between stalking and intimate partner violence. In fact, intimate partner stalking is the largest category of all stalking cases. Stalking often co-occurs with intimate partner violence and can be an indicator of other forms of violence. Many abusers use stalking to intimidate and control their victims.
There is also a significant connection between stalking and intimate partner homicide. Several studies have found that stalking is an indicator or precursor behavior to intimate partner homicide.
Additional Information and Resources on Dating Violence
To learn more about stalking, find resources for service providers and victims, for training opportunities, and to learn what to do if you are being stalked, visit the website of our national partner the Stalking Prevention, Awareness, & Resource Center (SPARC).