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Stalking – Offline

Stalking – Offline

The matter is not trivial. Not ever.

Stalking – Offline


When you’re in the middle of an uncomfortable and at times frightening situation it can be difficult to determine if what’s happening is a crime. Am I just too sensitive? Am I overreacting? Popular media or people around might make it seem like you should ‘appreciate the attention’. Understanding the concept of stalking and victimization can help you distinguish what it is, and give you the language to explain this to others. We’ve set out three key questions to help you understand, avoid or overcome this insidious crime.

What is Stalking?

“Behaviors by an individual that cause inconvenience, discomfort, anxiety, or fear to another person by attempting to approach him/her, expressing interest, or continuing to follow him/her due to one-sided feelings while misunderstanding or ignoring his/her refusal and considering only one's own feelings” - Korea Institute of Criminology and Justice

  • Characteristics of Stalking

The aspects of stalking behaviors are becoming more diverse. One way to determine stalking is by knowing the overall characteristics of the crime instead of identifying each type of behavior. There are typical signs of stalking that experts have discovered.

Kim Jung-hye, a Researcher at the Korea Institute of Criminology and Justice, points out the following as characteristics of stalking:

☑️ Obsession

☑️ Demanding

☑️ Needing attention

☑️ Retaliation

☑️ Compulsive

☑️ Imposing social norms

Law enforcement in the United Kingdom introduced four signs of stalking.

☑️ Fixated

☑️ Obsessive

☑️ Unwanted

☑️ Repeated

  • Criteria for punishing stalking

But not all behaviors that fall under the conditions above are subject to criminal prosecution. The types of punishment are determined by the current laws in your country, though any could be included in a police report in case of an escalation of behaviour.

☑️ Approaching or following you

☑️ Blocking your path

☑️ Waiting or monitoring your residence, work, school, or other places that are part of your everyday life

☑️ Sending objects, writing, signs, sounds, pictures, videos, or images through mail, phone, fax, or telecommunication network

☑️ Sending objects directly or through a third party

☑️ Leaving objects at or near your residence, work etc.

☑️ Damaging objects left at or near your residence

☑️ Family, friends and/or roommates also suffer from any of the above 

✔️ There are preconditions to all behaviors. “Against the will of the other person”

The limitations of the law The current laws around the world are often criticized for not including the various types of stalking. Still, contact the support centers or law enforcement even if it is not stipulated under your countries specific stalking legislation. They could help you by finding laws that can serve as grounds for prosecution for each case.

Is this Stalking?

Stalking at times seems ordinary and trivial. This is because stalking is a complex crime composed of individual behaviors. The series of behaviors that seem like a grain of salt pile up and become a great storm that can ruin lives. Therefore, you should focus on how the series of behaviors, rather than each individual behavior, affects you. Is it stalking? If your not sure try answering these three questions.

  • Three Questions to Distinguish Stalking
Is it against your will?

If the other person’s behavior continues despite expressing in words or actions that you are uncomfortable, be suspicious of stalking. The key characteristic of stalking is that the perpetrator forces his/her intention and desire that is one-sided and obsessive.

Is it Repetitive?

Stalking should be suspected if a certain pattern of behavior continues more than once even if the behavior is not identical. Repetition of a specific behavior is a decisive clue in recognizing a crime. Most investigative agencies recognize a crime and judge the severity when a specific behavior is repeated. Sitting behind you on the bus is fine. Sitting behind you repeatedly, especially when they don’t have to, could be a pattern of behaviour.

Are you Afraid and Anxious?

There is context to feeling fearful. The context of behaviors and the relationship with the perpetrator is an underlining feature of stalking; leading to feeling uncomfortable and anxious in your daily life. You can be afraid even in the most ordinary moments that people around you may not be able to empathize with. Trust your senses if you feel afraid. If you are feeling scared due to someone’s repeated behavior, it is a definite clue to stalking.

How should I handle stalking?

Let’s find out what you can do when caught in the middle. So that you do not become powerless. ‍

Know that it is not your fault

What kind of person becomes a victim of stalking? There is no answer to this question. Anyone can become a victim. In other words, there is no such thing as a valid “reason” for a person to become a victim. You do not become a victim because you cannot firmly refuse, or because you somehow led them on. Words that blame victims simply cover up the reality of stalking crimes. You are not responsible for the perpetrator starting or continuing to stalk you.

These words are wrong If anyone makes an issue of the victim’s conduct and response, then their words are wrong. Their words side with the perpetrator and overlook the fear or anxiety of the victim. Words that minimize the damage are also wrong. No one has the right to invade someone else’s private life just because they are ‘interested’ in them or ‘like’ them. ❌ ”Their just expressing their affection” ❌ ”It’s romantic, they’re not hurting anyone” ❌ ”You’re just not firm enough with them”

Alert people around you about the stalking

If you have recognized stalking behavior, quickly ensure your own safety. Tell people around you in detail about your situation and prepare in case of an emergency. If the perpetrator is someone they know, alert the people around you about the stalking and make sure that they do not share your information with the perpetrator. Be sure to block information to prevent the perpetrator from knowing your movements and mental state. Alerting the people around you is an important step to prepare in case of an emergency.


The surest evidence that the behavior is against your will is reporting it. This becomes a record to prove the continuity of stalking behavior and also a warning to the stalker. Accumulated reports enable the investigative agency to recognize the crime and increase the chances of them being attentive to the case.

If contemplating whether to report You can get counselling even if you don’t report. Many counselling services are available online, over phone or text, or through social platforms like Kakaotalk. Search online for support services in your country or local area. Talking to someone who has experience with the issue can help you make the best decision for you.

Collecting Evidence

It’s best defence is to collect evidence even if you do not wish to report to the police. If you wish to report later due to the situation worsening or a change of mind, the evidence you have collected will be reliable support. This is also the case if there is a victim around you. You could become a reliable witness for the victim.

Situations you should especially be attentive to Collect evidence of stalking through phone, text messages, and social media. But you should try to get direct evidence for behaviors such as waiting and hanging around your location. Accurately record the day such behaviors occurred, obtain surveillance footage, or report to the police to request for patrol and leave a record of the case.

In Solidarity with Victims

What victims of stalking need most is people around them who are reliable and supportive. The people you can contact in a dangerous situation and share details of the situation with, or who can judge the situation together, are the most reliable supporters. However, a society where victims of stalking are safe is created through strong ties. Forming such ties is not as difficult as it may seem.

✅ Listen and remember that stalking is dangerous even if there is no physical abuse

✅ Do not treat stalking as “an everyday occurrence”

✅ Support victims when planning a response such as reporting to the police

✅ Do not blame the victim under any circumstances


  • The responsibility of stalking crimes lies solely with the perpetrator.
  • Even if you don't intend to report it right away, gather evidence just in case.
  • A report can be evidence in itself.
  • Know the weight of stalking behavior and don't blame the victim. Stand instead in solidarity.

같이 알아두면 좋을 → 가스라이팅 사랑일까 폭력일까 데이트 폭력 도움이 필요할 때 여성 안심 복지 제도

Expert Advice
Trying to understand stalking as a personal relationship, like courtship, causes victims to experience repeating cycles of extreme harm, sometimes culminating in murder. (Dohwi Jung, Professor of Law at the Gyeongsang National University, South Korea)
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