Stalking is a deliberate and structural harassment of a person, as a result of which that person feels his or her freedom and safety have been compromised. This can also be done by telephone or via the internet. Stalking is a crime. Since 2000, the Netherlands has had a special anti-stalking law. Stalking disrupts the victim’s life, sometimes for months or even years.
Stalking can manifest itself in different ways, such as:
- persistent unwanted letters, e-mails, phone calls, text messages and social media messages;
- threats of violence;
- being waited for, spied on or chased;
- lies or gossip are being spread about you or your family;
- property is destroyed or damaged;
- someone is placing orders in your name;
- children, friends, family or colleagues are harassed.
These are signs that you should take the stalking seriously:
- If the stalker invests a lot of time, money and/or energy
- If the stalking gets more serious or frightening
- If the stalker is an ex-partner
- If there is still (mandatory) contact, for example with the children
- If there are still conflicts about children and/or possessions
- If the stalker physically approaches you or unintentionally enters your housing/school/work
- If the stalker has used violence before
- If the stalker has previously destroyed your belongings
- If the stalker indicates that he’s in need of advice
- If the stalker has threatened violence, murder or suicide
- If the stalker has anything to do with guns
- If the stalker has problems related to substance use
- If the stalker has recently experienced a major loss that causes a lot of stress
- If you’re very scared. Listen to your feelings.