Stalking is a serious problem that can significantly impact the lives of those involved. To fully understand the extent of this phenomenon and its consequences, it is essential to have a thorough knowledge of what stalking is and how it manifests itself.

Stalking can be defined as unwanted and repetitive behavior that makes the victim uncomfortable and invades their privacy. Stalkers can be strangers, acquaintances, or even former partners, and their purpose can vary from a sick fixation to a desire for control over the victim. The consequences of stalking can be devastating for the victim, who may experience anxiety, fear, depression, and even post-traumatic stress disorder.

The signs of stalking and when to seek help

Recognizing the signs of stalking is essential to protect yourself and to seek the necessary help. Stalkers can engage in a wide range of behaviors, ranging from constant surveillance to invasion of privacy, threats, or even physical violence. It is important to pay attention to these signs and not underestimate the situation’s severity.

There are various signs that could indicate that you are a victim of stalking. These signs may include repeated calls or messages from an unknown number, constant surveillance by a suspicious person, invasion of privacy through unauthorized access to personal information, or sending unwanted gifts. If you experience one or more of these signs, it’s crucial to seek help immediately.

Steps to protect yourself from a stalker

Protecting yourself from a stalker requires a combination of precautions and concrete actions. Here are some steps you can take to increase your security:

  1. Maintain online privacy: Be sure to protect your personal information on social media and other online sites by setting privacy settings correctly and restricting access to trusted people.
  2. Change habits: Vary daily routines, such as work or study schedules, travel itineraries, and recreational activities, to make it harder for the stalker to predict movements.
  3.  Keep evidence: Keep all evidence of stalking, such as messages, emails, unwanted gifts, or anything else that may demonstrate the stalker’s unwanted behavior. This evidence will be useful in case you decide to take legal action.
  4. Inform trusted people: Share concerns with trusted friends, family, or colleagues. Inform them about the situation and ask for their support. This can be especially important in the event of emergency situations.
  5. Contact competent authorities: If you suspect that you are a victim of stalking, it is important to contact law enforcement, or an agency specialized in the field such as investigations S.A.S. Report the facts to them and provide all available evidence to start an investigation.

By following these steps and seeking help from specialized professionals, you can increase your security and put in place measures to protect yourself from a stalker.

Misconceptions about stalking

Stalking is a complex phenomenon and is often surrounded by misconceptions. Here are some of the most common myths about stalking that are important to debunk:

  1. “Stalking is only about celebrities or famous people”: Stalking can affect anyone, regardless of social status or celebrity. Victims of stalking can be ordinary people who find themselves facing an obsessed persecutor.
  2. “Stalking is just a joke or harmless behavior”: Stalking is serious behavior that can have devastating consequences for victims. It should never be considered a joke or harmless behavior.
  3. “Victims of stalking are somehow responsible for what happens to them”: No one is ever responsible for being a victim of stalking. Stalking is a wrong and invasive behavior that is entirely the responsibility of the stalker.
  4. “Stalking resolves itself over time”: Stalking does not simply go away on its own. It is necessary to take concrete actions to address the situation and seek support from specialized professionals.

Debunking these myths is crucial to fully understand the seriousness of stalking and to provide adequate support to victims.

The legal consequences of stalking in Italy

The penalty for the crime of stalking is imprisonment from one year to six years and six months.
The crime, introduced in 2009 (D.L. 11/2019), was recently amended by Law 69/2019 (Red Code), which increased the penalty (originally it was expected to be imprisoned from six months to five years). Stalking may also lead to the application of a precautionary measure already at the preliminary investigation stage. In fact, it is not remote that the Public Prosecutor, if there are serious indications of guilt and one of the precautionary requirements provided for by the code, can ask the G.I.P. for the application of a precautionary measure. It is possible that the measure of the prohibition of approaching the places frequented by the injured person is applied, but also house arrest or pre-trial detention in prison.

The anti-stalker investigations go to identify the offender and his harassing action, which is through: phone calls; messages, and, threats of all kinds, that damage the victim’s property.

Over the years we have gained extensive experience in investigations concerning stalking, threats, harassment, and stalking. Our investigators aim to identify the stalker by providing evidence of the subject’s behavior, highlighting the behavior of the same by providing video / photographic evidence, to be used in the trial.

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