What is Stalking?

Stalking Stock Photo

Florida Statute 784.048 states, “Any person who willfully, maliciously, and repeatedly follows or harasses another person commits the offense of stalking”. Harassing behaviors may include vandalism, continuous or threatening phone calls or text messages, physically following the other party, sending unwanted letters or cards, sending gifts, showing up at one’s workplace, home, or school, or attempting to obtain information about the other person from third parties.

Types of Stalking

Simple Obsessional: This type of stalker is the most common. It is usually a male who knows the victim as an ex-spouse, ex-lover or former boss who begins a campaign of harassment against the victim. The stalking behavior begins either after the relationship goes bad, or has ended, or there is a perception of mistreatment.

Love Obsessional: This stalker is a stranger to the victim, but is obsessed, and thus begins a campaign of harassment to make the victim aware of the stalker’s existence. This type of person often stalks a celebrity or public figure, but can also become obsessed with a bank teller or grocery store clerk.

Erotomanic: This stalker is often female and falsely believes that the victim is in love with her and, but for some external influence, they would be together. The victim may be someone rich or famous or in a position of power, such as an employer, movie star, or political figure. In this situation, those who are close to the victim (i.e., a spouse or lover who is perceived as “being in the way”) may be the most at risk.