Why Evidence is Important
What has changed since the ‘Act on the Punishment, etc. of Stalking Crimes’ took effect in South Korea on October 24, 2021. According to an analysis of the sentencing of trials and appeals of related cases for about a year, perpetrators were generally sentenced to 6months-1.5years in prison and 40 hours of mandatory stalking treatment completion.
It is a far cry from what we think of as ‘strong punishment’, but society is slowly changing. On October 19, 2022, an amendment was announced to strengthen punishments and protect victims. We must continue to bring perpetrators to justice, demand just punishment, and demand improvements to the current judicial system.
It’s also important to look at what measures lead to the ‘strongest punishments’ possible for stalking perpetrators in the current legal system. Over the past year, hints can be found through the court's rulings.
"Even though the victim
expressed their intention not to be contacted the perpetrator
repeatedly called and sent text messages, which gave the victim a sense of fear and caused mental pain and damage"
"B used soju bottles to damage the door lock of the victim's residence, causing anxiety or fear in the victim, and
repeatedly engaged in stalking behavior."
"Visiting the victim's workplace or calling them
repeatedly even though the victim, who has no relationship to them, has
clearly expressed their refusalis enough to cause anxiety or fear"
It can be seen that our court judges ‘repetition’, ‘continuity’, ‘victim's clear refusal’, and ‘fear’ as important grounds when deciding on the sentence of stalking crimes. In order to ensure the punishment of the perpetrator, we must leave evidence of ‘repeated offending’ and a ‘clear expression of refusal’. Let's look at nine specific ways.
9 Ways to Catch a Stalker
Write down the situation at the time of any violence (Physical, sexual, verbal, and/or emotional), with as much detail as you can. It is better to write it down as soon as possible when your memory is clear. Even if it's not violence, it's best to record anytime you felt threatened. Even if each is not a crime, it can be recognized as a crime if a specific pattern emerges. It is effective to include information such as;
- The date and time of each event
- The location or a description of the location
- The perpetrator's words and actions and the specific situation at the time
- Details of any damage
- A description of the perpetrator
- The name and contact details of anyone who saw the situation at the time and could be a witness
If the perpetrator is not known, it is easy to track the perpetrator in the future by carefully recording their description, appearance, and any locations they have been noticed at. In the case of online stalking capture and record any and all accounts (ID and related information) that have stalked you.
- All moments of facing the perpetrator should be recorded with video or audio.
- If there is a broken object, take a picture and video.
- If you are bruised or injured, go to the hospital and receive an injury certificate and leave it as a medical record.
Records of SNS messages, texts, mails, and calls sent by the perpetrator should be saved as much as possible. If you delete it, make sure to secure a copy (message content, mobile phone number, and reception time) with all the specific circumstances remaining.
Records of complaints of damage can also be used as evidence. However, don’t forget that the specific damage situation should always be recorded.
It can be used as forensic evidence to trace the fingerprints the perpetrator. It is recommended to use gloves when moving packages to prevent fingerprints from being erased or mixed with your own.
CCTV records can be deleted, so it is recommended to secure them within a week. It can also be helpful to check the frequency of deletion of nearby CCTV devices.
If anyone has witnessed the victimization, write down their name, address, and contact information.
In dangerous situations, you must report to the authorities and ask for help at a counselling center. Even if it doesn't look seriously threatening, the report is still significant. Consultation records and report records are evidence to prove the victimization. The more reports accumulate, the more reliably the continuity of the crime can be shown.
If your not sure about reporting
You can get counselling without reporting a crime. Text message and online counselling services are also available. If you have any concerns, just ask for help. Vague and unconfirmed worries are fine. Search stalking victim support services in your country or local area.