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Nieuw amerikaans model tegen stalken

Posted at 18:35 on 28/1/2007
Het nieuwe model tegen stalkers is gemaakt click op de link voor het goed leesbare PDF model.
http://www.ncvc.org/ncvc/AGP.Net/Components/documentViewer/Download.aspxnz?DocumentID=41822

The Model Stalking Code Revisited
Responding to the New Realities of Stalking
© 2007 National Center for Victims of Crime

National Center for Victims of Crime

The National Center for Victims of Crime is the nation’s leading resource and
advocacy organization dedicated to serving individuals, families, and communities
harmed by crime. The mission of the National Center is to forge a national
commitment to help victims of crime rebuild their lives. Working with local,
state, and federal partners, the National Center:
􀂃 Provides direct services and resources to victims of crime throughout
the country;
􀂃 Advocates for laws and public policies that secure rights, resources,
and protections for crime victims;
􀂃 Delivers training and technical assistance to victim service organizations,
counselors, attorneys, criminal justice agencies, and allied
professionals serving victims of crime; and
􀂃 Fosters cutting-edge thinking about the impact of crime and the
ways in which each of us can help victims rebuild their lives.
A Leader in Responding to Stalking
The National Center for Victims of Crime has long led the fi eld in enhancing
our country’s response to stalking by advocating for key stalking legislation
and policy at the federal and state level. In 2000, the National Center established
the Stalking Resource Center to increase public awareness about stalking
and help communities across the country develop multidisciplinary responses
to this insidious crime. As the only national training and technical assistance
center focused solely on stalking, the Stalking Resource Center has provided
training to tens of thousands of victim service providers and criminal justice
practitioners throughout the United States and has fostered innovations in programs
for stalking victims and practitioners who support them.
For more information, please contact:
National Center for Victims of Crime
2000 M Street, NW, Suite 480
Washington, DC 20036
202-467-8700 | www.ncvc.org

The Model Stalking Code Revisited
Responding to the New Realities of Stalking
January 2007 Acknowledgements Advisory Board
The National Center for Victims of Crime wishes to acknowledge the
outstanding efforts of the 23 members of the Model Stalking Code Advisory
Board who contributed an extraordinary wealth of knowledge and expertise to
this project.
Howard Black
Detective
Colorado Springs Police Department
Colorado Springs, CO
Mary Boland
Chair, American Bar Association Criminal
Justice Section Victim’s Committee
Assistant State’s Attorney
Cook County State’s Attorney’s Offi ce
Chicago, IL
Honorable Jerry Bowles
Judge
Jefferson County
Louisville, KY
Alana Bowman
City Attorney
City of Los Angeles
Los Angeles, CA
Scott Gibson
Police Offi cer
Domestic Violence Unit
Alexandria Police Department
Alexandria, VA
Gretta Gordy
Managing Attorney
Pennsylvania Coalition Against Domestic
Violence
Washington, DC
Sally Hillsman
Executive Offi cer
American Sociological Association
Washington, DC
Kate Killeen
Director, Violence Against Women Legal
Education Prosecution Project
California District Attorneys Association
Sacramento, CA
Tom Kirkman
Assistant District Attorney, Director
Domestic Violence Prosecution Unit
Cape & Islands District Attorney’s Offi ce
Barnstable, MA
Hedda Litwin
Cybercrime and Violence Against Women
Counsel
National Association of Attorneys General
Washington, DC
Vicky Lutz
Executive Director, Women’s Justice Center
Pace University School of Law
White Plains, NY
Laurie Markon
Children’s Social Worker
Alexandria Domestic Violence Program
Alexandria, VA
Rhonda Martinson
Staff Attorney
Battered Women’s Justice Project
Minneapolis, MN
Nancy Turner
Senior Program Manager
International Association of Chiefs of Police
Alexandria, VA
Jennifer Woods
Policy Director
Alabama Coalition Against Domestic
Violence
Montgomery, AL
Tim Woods
Director of Research and Development
National Sheriffs Association
Alexandria, VA
Seema Zeya
Program Manager, Special Program
Development
District of Columbia Metropolitan Police
Department
Washington, DC
Joan Zorza
Editor of the Domestic Violence Report
and the Sexual Assault Report
Washington, DC
We also acknowledge the outstanding efforts, expertise, and dedication
of the Model Stalking Code drafting committee members: Tracy Bahm, former
program director; Carol Dorris, senior attorney; Becky Hoey, former program
attorney; Matthew Markon, former program attorney; Sandy Bromley, senior
program attorney; and consultant Deborah Goelman.
In addition, many other professionals at the National Center for Victims
of Crime contributed their time and expertise to this project. Many thanks to
Mary Lou Leary, executive director for the National Center; Susan Howley,
director of public policy; Ilse Knecht, deputy director of public policy; Michael
Kaiser, director of program services; Michelle Garcia, program director; Mary
Rappaport, director of communications; Elizabeth Joyce, senior writer; Kristi
Rocap, publications coordinator; Jen McLish, former program coordinator; and
Susan Herman, former executive director of the National Center for Victims of
Crime.
Millicent Shaw Phipps
Senior Attorney, National Center on Full
Faith and Credit
Pennsylvania Coalition Against Domestic
Violence
Washington, DC
Robin Runge
Director, Domestic Violence Section
American Bar Association Commission on
Domestic Violence
Washington, DC
Sudha Shetty
Director, Access to Justice Institute
Seattle University School of Law
Seattle, WA
Tom Smith
Director, Criminal Justice Section
American Bar Association
Washington, DC
Allison Turkel
Senior Attorney, National Center for the
Prosecution of Child Abuse
American Prosecutors Research Institute
Alexandria, VA

The Model Stalking Code Revisited
Table of Contents
Introductory Overview
Introduction
Historical Perspective
Rationale for Revisiting the 1993

Model Anti-Stalking Code
Constitutional Challenges
Process of Updating the Model
Stalking Code
Model Stalking Code for the States
Commentary to the Code
Legislative Intent
Offense
Defi nitions
Defenses
Classifi cation
Jurisdiction
Conclusion
Appendices
Appendix A: “Project to Develop
a Model Anti-Stalking Code for
States” (1993)
Appendix B: Stalking Fact Sheet
Appendix C: OVC Bulletin
“Strengthening Antistalking Statutes”

Responding to the New Realities of Stalking • 9
Section 1
Introductory Overview
The National Center for Victims of Crime has developed The Model
Stalking Code Revisited: Responding to the New Realities of Stalking to
assist states that are working to strengthen their stalking laws. This report
examines and recommends updates to the 1993 Model Anti-Stalking Code
for the States developed at the direction of Congress by the National Institute
of Justice, U.S. Department of Justice.1
Introduction
How to Use This Document
The Model Stalking Code Revisited: Responding to the New Realities of Stalking
suggests legislative language that may be used to better defi ne and address the
current realities of stalking, hold stalkers accountable, and enhance the safety
of stalking victims.
States may use this document as a guide to analyze current stalking statutes
and to identify changes needed in their law.2 The statutory language recommended
in this report and the accompanying commentary are designed to
1 National Criminal Justice Association, Project to Develop a Model Anti-Stalking Code for States,
(Washington, DC: National Institute of Justice, U.S. Department of Justice, 1993).
2 The model legislation offered in this document is also applicable to territories and tribes. For ease
of writing and reading, we have chosen to use only “states” throughout this document.
10 • The Model Stalking Code Revisited
help legislators, criminal justice and victim assistance professionals, and others
work toward amending current laws by expanding their awareness of the range
of options available to them and of the impact that legislative language and
structure can have on the enforcement of the law.
Document Roadmap
This document is presented in four sections. Section One provides an overview
that includes a historical perspective of stalking legislation, a rationale for
revisiting the 1993 Model Anti-Stalking Code for the States, and a description
of the process used to update the code. Section Two provides model language
for state stalking laws. Section Three provides a detailed commentary on each
section of the model legislation, and Section Four provides a summation. The
Appendices provide additional resource materials, including the 1993 Model
Anti-Stalking Code for the States; a fact sheet produced by the Stalking Resource
Center of the National Center for Victims of Crime that provides a comprehensive
overview of all current relevant data on stalking; and the Strengthening
Antistalking Statutes Bulletin, published by the Offi ce for Victims of Crime, U.S.
Department of Justice.
Historical Perspective
The criminalization of stalking occurred only after several high-profi le cases,
including the 1989 murder of actress Rebecca Schaeffer, gained national attention.
Prior to its common usage and designation as a crime, stalking was referred
to as harassment, obsession, or in some cases, domestic violence.
Stalking is a crime of intimidation and psychological terror that often
escalates into violence against its victims. Stalkers can destroy the lives of victims,
terrorizing them through a course of conduct that may include monitoring,
following, threatening, or harassing victims in a variety of ways. Stalking
often has devastating consequences for victims. Many are forced to profoundly
alter their lives—going as far as relocating to another state and changing their
identities—to protect themselves and their families.
Victims’ experiences vary greatly—both the actual experience of being
stalked and the subsequent interactions with the criminal justice system and
Responding to the New Realities of Stalking • 11
victim services fi eld. The victim experience is largely dependent on the extent
to which state laws hold offenders accountable and help keep victims safe.
In 1990, California enacted the fi rst state stalking law. Since then, all fi fty
states, the District of Columbia, and the federal government have passed laws
criminalizing stalking. In 1996, Congress criminalized interstate stalking as a
federal offense, later amending the statute to include stalking via electronic
communications.3 An amendment adopted in 2006 expanded the federal stalking
statute to include conduct which causes the victim substantial emotional
distress.4 The new law also added language that would cover surveillance of a
victim by a global positioning system (GPS).5
Following the introduction of federal and state stalking laws—which vary
greatly in scope and severity of penalties—law enforcement offi cers, prosecutors,
and victim service providers began to steadily strengthen their response to
stalking and their support for victims. But, as will be discussed later in this section,
the laws have not kept pace with rapidly evolving stalking methods and
have, in fact, posed serious barriers to law enforcement offi cers and prosecutors
in making arrests and securing convictions.
1993 Model Anti-Stalking Code
In 1993, Congress directed the National Institute of Justice (NIJ) at the U.S.
Department of Justice to develop a model anti-stalking code to encourage
states to adopt anti-stalking measures and to provide them with direction in
drating such laws.6 NIJ entered into a cooperative agreement with the National
Criminal Justice Association (NCJA) to research existing stalking laws and develop
model legislative language. NCJA sought additional expertise and input
from the National Conference of State Legislatures, the American Bar Association,
the National Governors’ Association, the Police Executive Research
Forum, the National Center for Victims of Crime, and other national organizations.
3 18 U.S.C. § 2261A(2006).
4 18 U.S.C. § 2261A(2)(B).
5 18 U.S.C. § 2261A(2)(A).
6 U.S. Departments of Commerce, Justice, and State, and the Judiciary and Related Agencies Appropriations
Act for Fiscal Year 1993, Pub. L. No. 102-395, § 109(b).
12 • The Model Stalking Code Revisited
When NCJA drafted the original anti-stalking code, many states had yet
to enact stalking statutes, and stalking laws that had been enacted were new
and untested in the courts. Because few courts had ruled on any constitutional
challenges to stalking laws, the drafters created a model law designed to withstand
the legal arguments that experts predicted at the time.
The 1993 Model Anti-Stalking Code for the States served as an excellent
template for its time, an important early step toward ensuring that state criminal
justice systems responded appropriately to stalking crimes. Many states
incorporated provisions of the original model code when drafting or expanding
their state stalking statutes, and some courts referred to the model law when
interpreting provisions in state stalking laws. (See Appendix A of this document
for the 1993 model anti-stalking code.)
Rationale for Revisiting the 1993 Model Anti-Stalking Code
Since the 1993 model anti-stalking code was developed, much more is known
about the behavior of stalkers and the effectiveness of state stalking laws.7 We
have witnessed an alarming rise in the use by stalkers of sophisticated—yet
widely available—tracking and monitoring technology. We also now possess
quantifi able national data that documents the prevalence and severity of stalking.
These developments strongly suggest the need for revisiting and updating
the original model stalking code so that it refl ects the current realities of stalking.
Research on Stalking
Until recently, very little empirical data was available about stalking in the
United States. A more accurate picture of stalking began to emerge with the
release of results from three major studies: the National Violence Against
Women Survey in 1998, the Intimate Partner Stalking and Femicide Study
in 1999, and the National Sexual Victimization of College Women Survey
7 In 1993, the drafters titled the sample law the “Model Anti-Stalking Code for the States.” Due to
the current practice across the country of labeling such state laws “stalking laws” instead of “antistalking
laws,” the updated sample law is called the “Model Stalking Code for the States.”
Responding to the New Realities of Stalking • 13
in 2000.8 These studies provided new data on the prevalence of stalking, the
relationship between victim and stalker, the lethality of stalking, and common
stalking behaviors.9
According to the National Violence Against Women Survey, an estimated
1.4 million people are stalked annually in the United States. This means that
one in 12 women and one in 45 men will be stalked at some point in their lives.10
Seventy-eight percent of stalking victims are women, and 74 percent are between
the ages of 18 and 39. Overall, 87 percent of stalkers are men: ninetyfour
percent of women and 60 percent of men are stalked by men. Seventyseven
percent of female stalking victims (and 64 percent of male victims) are
stalked by someone they know, and 59 percent of female stalking victims (and
30 percent of male victims) are stalked by an intimate partner or former intimate
partner.11
The Intimate Partner Stalking and Femicide Study, which studied female
murder victims who had been killed by intimate partners, found that 76 percent
of femicide victims and 85 percent of attempted femicide victims had
been stalked by their intimate partners in the year prior to their murders.12
The National Sexual Victimization of College Women Survey showed a
particular vulnerability within a specifi c subgroup of victims, with thirteen
percent of college women reporting that they had been victimized by a stalker
in one six- to nine-month period.13 Consistent with the fi ndings from other stud-
8 Tjaden and Thoennes, “Stalking in America”; Judith McFarlane et al., “Stalking and Intimate
Partner Femicide,” Homicide Studies 3, number 4 (November 1999); Bonnie Fisher, Francis T. Cullen,
and Michael G. Turner, Sexual Victimization of College Women, (Washington, DC: National Institute of
Justice, U.S. Department of Justice, 2000).
9 Beginning in 2006, stalking will be included in the annual National Crime Victimization Survey,
conducted annually by the Bureau of Justice Statistics, U.S. Department of Justice, providing a reliable
and regularly updated source of data on stalking prevalence rates.
10 Tjaden and Thoennes, “Stalking in America,” 3.
11 Ibid., 5-6.
12 McFarlane et al., “Stalking and Intimate Partner Femicide,” 308. Femicide is the murder of a
female.
13 Fisher, Cullen, and Turner, Sexual Victimization of College Women Survey, 27.
14 • The Model Stalking Code Revisited
ies, more than 80 percent of these women knew their stalker, who was often a
current or former boyfriend.14
These landmark studies shed new light on specifi c stalking behaviors. The
most commonly reported stalking behaviors were surveillance behaviors, such
as following or spying on the victim, or waiting outside the victim’s home,
work, or school. Unwanted phone calls, letters, and gifts were also commonly
reported by victims. Fewer than 50 percent of victims reported being directly
threatened by their stalkers. (For additional stalking data, see the stalking fact
sheet in Appendix B of this document.)
Signifi cance of These Studies. The fi ndings from this research provide
crucial cues to drafters of stalking legislation. The research shows, for example,
that stalking is often linked closely with intimate partner violence. Law enforcement
experts and victim advocates understand intimate partner violence
as a pattern of controlling behavior that one intimate partner directs at another.
When a victim leaves an abusive relationship, the risk of violence actually
increases because the victim has challenged the perpetrator’s unilateral exercise
of power and control. The perpetrator often lashes out violently toward the
victim in an attempt to retain or regain power and control. This “separation
violence” often includes both stalking and physical violence.15 Stalking laws
need to be drafted in such a way that law enforcement can intervene as early as
possible in intimate partner situations, before behaviors escalate into more serious
violence.
The research also shows that surveillance is the most common type of
stalking behavior victims experience. Stalkers can now terrorize their victims in
almost any environment. Additionally, stalkers infl ict terror and severe emotional
distress without ever communicating direct or overt threats. Stalkers
14 Ibid., 28.
15 “Stalking in America: The National Violence Against Women Survey,” by Tjaden and Thoennes,
documented the danger of separation violence by asking women who had been stalked by their former
husbands or partners at what point in the course of the relationship the stalking had occurred. Twenty-
one percent of the victims said the stalking occurred only before the relationship ended; 43 percent
said it occurred only after the relationship ended; and 36 percent said it occurred both before and
after the relationship ended. Callie Marie Rennison and Sarah Welchans, in “Special Report: Intimate
Partner Violence,” with results drawn from the National Crime Victimization Survey, also found that
divorced or separated persons were subjected to the highest rates of intimate partner victimization.
Responding to the New Realities of Stalking • 15
torment their victims, who often cannot perform everyday tasks such as answering
their phones, reading their mail, or using their computers without fear
of unwanted contact from the person who is stalking them.
The variability of stalking behaviors suggests that laws must be broad
enough to address stalking in all its forms.
Stalking through New Technology
Stalkers increasingly use technology to surveil, monitor, track, and terrorize
victims. When the original model anti-stalking code and most of the state
stalking statutes were drafted in the early 1990s, many of today’s technologies
did not exist or were not affordable or readily available to the public. New, affordable
technology has fundamentally and profoundly changed the way stalkers
monitor and initiate contact with their victims. A stalker no longer needs to
be in close proximity to his victim to monitor or surveil her. He can use a global
positioning system (GPS) to track her in her car as she travels to virtually any
location. He can put a small hidden camera (often called a “spycam”) in his
victim’s home and have access to even the most private moments of her life. He
can put a spyware program on her computer and intercept all of her e-mails
and Internet searches.
All of these forms of technological stalking can be done from a distance—
something that was not anticipated when the early stalking laws were drafted
to prohibit physically following and pursuing another person. In the early
1990s, many stalking laws required physical proximity to satisfy the defi nition
of stalking—a requirement made irrelevant by the new widely available monitoring
technology.
Stalkers’ use of e-mail to contact victims has prompted many jurisdictions
to pass so-called “cyberstalking” laws. While these laws provide another means
of holding stalkers accountable, enacting multiple statutes that criminalize
different types of stalking behavior has signifi cant drawbacks. Stalkers often
use a variety of methods to terrorize victims, and the course of conduct required
under many stalking laws is established by looking at the totality of the
stalker’s conduct. Passing separate laws for stalking and cyberstalking often
creates unintended consequences such that prosecutors have trouble choosing
the statute under which to prosecute a case. The bifurcation of stalking laws,
16 • The Model Stalking Code Revisited
for example, can make it diffi cult to collect suffi cient evidence to convict under
one or the other statute.
In addition, cyberstalking laws typically only address stalking committed
through the Internet (cyberspace). Instead of a state passing a new law to
cover each new method of stalking, the focus should be on drafting a single law
that covers stalking by any method, whether in person or by vehicle, telephone,
pager, GPS, e-mail, spycam, or other means. The challenge is to enact laws that
address stalking perpetrated through all of the currently known technologies,
as well as through future technologies not yet developed or available to stalkers.
The National Center Experience
For nearly two decades, the National Center for Victims of Crime has led the
fi eld in enhancing our country’s response to stalking. Since the enactment of
the country’s fi rst state stalking law in 1990, the National Center has supported
scores of legislators and victim advocates across the country in their efforts to
pass state stalking laws or strengthen existing laws.
The National Center has also played a pivotal role in shaping federal stalking
law by providing technical assistance to lawmakers, commenting on proposed
legislation, and testifying before Congress. The National Center was critical
in ensuring that legal protections keep pace with technology by advocating
that the federal stalking statute include stalking behaviors that occur via the
Internet or by other electronic means, such as tracking by GPS.
In 2000, the National Center established the Stalking Resource Center, the
only national training and technical assistance center focused solely on stalking.
The Stalking Resource Center has provided training to tens of thousands
of victim service providers and criminal justice practitioners throughout the
United States and has fostered innovations in programs for stalking victims and
practitioners who support them.
The National Center operates the National Crime Victim Helpline,
1-800-FYI-CALL, through which victims receive one-on-one support to help
them understand the impact of crime, access victim compensation, develop
safety plans, navigate the criminal justice and social service systems, learn
about their legal rights and options, and fi nd the most appropriate local services.
Nearly one-fi fth of the calls received by the National Center come from
Responding to the New Realities of Stalking • 17
stalking victims, many of whom relay disturbing experiences with a criminal
justice system that poses signifi cant hurdles to making stalkers accountable for
this crime.
The National Center’s extensive stalking policy and training experience
and its regular interaction with law enforcement professionals, victim service
providers, and victims of crime have provided a unique insight into the inadequacies
of the nation’s current body of stalking laws. We’ve learned that:
• Stalkers often can “get away” with their criminal behavior and continue
to wreak havoc on a victim’s life with little or no risk of intervention
by law enforcement.
• The burden of proof is so high under many stalking laws that it is extremely
diffi cult to secure convictions.
• In most jurisdictions, stalking is only a misdemeanor crime, and sentences
longer than a few days or weeks are rare. Most stalkers spend a
remarkably short time in custody if and when they are arrested, prosecuted,
and convicted.
• Statutory provisions written with the “stranger” stalker in mind restrict
the types of stalking behavior that can be prosecuted when the
stalker and victim are in a relationship.
• Without a full appreciation of the role of context in a stalking situation—
the private meaning of certain behaviors that would not necessarily
be evident to an outside observer—many stalking behaviors
can be viewed as harmless, when in fact the behaviors may terrify the
victim. A love letter left on the doorstep of a victim’s apartment, for
example, might seem benign to a law enforcement offi cer. Without
knowing the context, the offi cer cannot fully appreciate how terrifying
that apparently harmless gesture is for a victim who believed her
stalker did not know where she was.
• Current state laws do not address the full range of stalking behaviors,
making it virtually impossible to arrest and prosecute an offender for
many of those behaviors. Consider, for example, a situation in which a
stalker is constantly watching and monitoring a victim’s daily activities
and has posted information about the victim on the Internet, but
has never communicated directly with the victim or threatened the
18 • The Model Stalking Code Revisited
victim in any way. If, as is often the case, the applicable statute requires
proof of some type of communication or threatening contact by
the stalker, it is unlikely that a stalking charge could be brought. Many
state stalking laws simply do not address surveillance by stalkers with
newer forms of technology that do not require proximity to or communication
with the victim.
Constitutional Challenges
Broadening the defi nition of stalking to allow the criminal justice system to
intervene before stalking escalates into violence is the ultimate goal. Changes in
existing stalking laws, however, should always be made with careful consideration
of constitutional limits established by the courts.
Since 1993, courts across the nation have heard appeals from defendants
challenging their convictions on constitutional grounds, with stalking laws
standing up to constitutional challenges time after time.
Many cases challenging the constitutionality of stalking laws have focused
on one of two questions: (1) whether the statute is overbroad and therefore violates
the First Amendment, or (2) whether the statute is vague and violates the
Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments of the United States Constitution.16
Courts have determined that most stalking laws are not overbroad or
vague and do not deny defendants their due process rights. Those cases in
which courts have struck down stalking law provisions have helped legislators
understand the constitutional parameters of stalking laws.17 (For more detailed
16 Offi ce for Victims of Crime, Offi ce of Justice Programs, U.S. Department of Justice, “Strengthening
Antistalking Statutes,” Legal Series Bulletin 1 (January 2002): 3.
The First Amendment “doctrine of substantial overbreadth” allows a person to challenge a stalking
statute on the grounds that it may be unconstitutionally applied to legal behaviors. The Fifth and
Fourteenth amendments guarantee citizens due process rights, including effective notice of the behavior
that is criminalized by stalking statutes. 16 AM. JUR. 2D Constitutional Law § 140 (2006).
A person may also challenge a stalking statute on the ground that the notice given (via the statute)
is so vague that it leaves a person without knowledge of the nature of activity that is prohibited. 16B
AM. JUR. 2D Constitutional Law § 920 (2006).
17 For example, in Commonwealth v. Kwiatkowski, 418 Mass. 543, 637 N.E.2d 854 (Mass. 1994), the
court found the stalking statute unconstitutionally vague and overturned the defendant’s conviction,
but then interpreted the statute and defi ned exactly what type of behavior would be covered by the
statute.
Responding to the New Realities of Stalking • 19
discussion on constitutional challenges to stalking laws, see “OVC Bulletin:
Strengthening Antistalking Statutes,” Appendix C.)
Process of Updating the Model Stalking Code
Legal Research
The National Center for Victims of Crime began this project by reviewing each
state’s stalking law and analyzing several elements in the laws, including:
• Prohibited acts
• Level of intent (general or specifi c)
• Type of fear required (reasonable person, actual fear, or both)
• Degree of fear (e.g., serious bodily injury or emotional distress)
• Target of stalker’s acts (victim, victim’s family, other third parties)
• Threat requirements
• Coverage of technology and surveillance
• Other miscellaneous or innovative provisions
These elements make up the core of almost all stalking laws, but the
language and standards adopted by the states vary greatly. In fact, what constitutes
a crime in one state may be completely legal in another. The variances
in these elements determine what prosecutors must prove to hold stalkers accountable,
as well what stalking victims must experience before the criminal
justice system can intervene.
The Model Stalking Code drafting committee compared each state’s treatment
of the above elements. The specifi c fi ndings of this research are integrated
throughout “Commentary to the Code” in Section Three of this document.
The goal of this project is not necessarily to produce uniformity among
the states on all of the reviewed elements, but rather to highlight common issues
for states to consider in modifying existing or developing new laws.
Role of the Model Stalking Code Advisory Board
The National Center for Victims of Crime convened an advisory board of experts
to review the drafting committee’s legal research, identify key issues, and
defi ne the scope of problems that proposed legislative language should address.
The advisory board also provided recommendations to the drafting committee
20 • The Model Stalking Code Revisited
about each of the major legal elements of the model stalking code. Many of
these recommendations have been incorporated into the updated model stalking
code.
Advisory board members represented local stalking and domestic violence
programs as well as national organizations, and included police offi cers, prosecutors,
civil attorneys, judges, victim advocates, law professors, social workers,
and researchers with a wealth of experience regarding stalking and legislative
drafting. (See “Acknowledgements” on for complete advisory board participant
list.)
Advisory board members shared their perspectives on how a model stalking
law could address the stalking behaviors they observed in actual criminal
stalking cases. (See following box.)
Responding to the New Realities of Stalking • 21
Box A. Examples of Stalking Behaviors State Laws Should Cover
The following list of stalking behaviors, generated by the Model Stalking
Code Advisory Board, in no way refl ects the full scope of possible
actions in which a stalker might engage, but rather, provides key
examples of behaviors the advisory board felt should be covered under
a model code.
• Violating protection orders
• Using the legal system to harass a victim (“litigation abuse”) by continuously
fi ling motions for contempt or modifi cations, or by fi ling
retaliatory protection order applications or criminal charges against
victims
• Harassing a victim through visitation or custody arrangements
• Stalking a victim in the workplace
• Using surveillance in person, through technology, or through third
parties
• Using the Internet or a computer to steal a victim’s identity or to
interfere with a victim’s credit
• Engaging in obsessive or controlling behaviors
• Targeting third parties (e.g., a victim’s family member, friend, or
child) to scare a victim
• Committing burglary or trespassing or moving items in a victim’s
home
• Killing animals
• Using cultural context to stalk or scare a victim, such as immigration-
related threats
• Attempting to harm self in a victim’s presence
• Sending fl owers, cards, or e-mail messages to a victim’s home or
workplace
• Contacting a victim’s employer or forcing a victim to take time off
from work
• Using humiliating or degrading tactics such as posting pictures of a
victim on the Internet, or disseminating embarrassing or inaccurate
information about a victim
• Following a victim without the victim’s knowledge with the intent
of sexually assaulting her
• Assaulting a victim
• Using children to harass or monitor a victim
• Impersonating a victim through technology or other means

Responding to the New Realities of Stalking • 23
Section 2
Model Stalking Code for the States
SECTION ONE
SECTION TWO
SECTION THREE
SECTION FOUR
Optional Provisions
SECTION FIVE
SECTION SIX
This section provides the text for the updated “Model Stalking Code
for the States,” which states are encouraged to consider when reviewing
and modifying their existing stalking laws. Although legislation is
written and presented differently from state to state, the following sections of
the model stalking code are representative of a format commonly used by state
legislatures.
Legislative Intent
Offense
Defi nitions
Defenses
Classifi cation
Jurisdiction
24 • The Model Stalking Code Revisited
Model Stalking Code for the States
SECTION ONE: LEGISLATIVE INTENT
The Legislature fi nds that stalking is a serious problem in this state and nationwide.
Stalking involves severe intrusions on the victim’s personal privacy and autonomy.
It is a crime that causes a long-lasting impact on the victim’s quality of
life, and creates risks to the security and safety of the victim and others, even in
the absence of express threats of physical harm. Stalking conduct often becomes
increasingly violent over time. The Legislature recognizes the dangerous nature
of stalking as well as the strong connections between stalking and domestic violence
and between stalking and sexual assault. Therefore, the Legislature enacts
this law to encourage effective intervention by the criminal justice system before
stalking escalates into behavior that has serious or lethal consequences.
The Legislature intends to enact a stalking statute that permits the criminal
justice system to hold stalkers accountable for a wide range of acts, communications,
and conduct. The Legislature recognizes that stalking includes, but is not
limited to, a pattern of following, observing, or monitoring the victim, or committing
violent or intimidating acts against the victim, regardless of the means.
SECTION TWO: OFFENSE
Any person who purposefully engages in a course of conduct directed at a specifi
c person and knows or should know that the course of conduct would cause a
reasonable person to:
(a) fear for his or her safety or the safety of a third person; or
(b) suffer other emotional distress
is guilty of stalking.
SECTION THREE: DEFINITIONS
As used in this Model Statute:
(a) “Course of conduct” means two or more acts, including, but not limited
to, acts in which the stalker directly, indirectly, or through third parties, by
any action, method, device, or means, follows, monitors, observes, surveils,
Responding to the New Realities of Stalking • 25
threatens, or communicates to or about, a person, or interferes with a person’s
property.
(b) “Emotional distress” means signifi cant mental suffering or distress that
may, but does not necessarily, require medical or other professional treatment
or counseling.
(c) “Reasonable person” means a reasonable person in the victim’s circumstances.
SECTION FOUR: DEFENSES
In any prosecution under this law, it shall not be a defense that:
(a) the actor was not given actual notice that the course of conduct was
unwanted; or
(b) the actor did not intend to cause the victim fear or other emotional distress.
Optional Provisions
SECTION FIVE: CLASSIFICATION
Stalking is a felony.
Aggravating factors.
The following aggravating factors shall increase the penalty for stalking:
(a) the defendant violated any order prohibiting contact with the victim; or
(b) the defendant was convicted of stalking any person within the previous
10 years; or
(c) the defendant used force or a weapon or threatened to use force or a
weapon; or
(d) the victim is a minor.
SECTION SIX: JURISDICTION
As long as one of the acts that is part of the course of conduct was initiated in or
had an effect on the victim in this jurisdiction, the defendant may be prosecuted
in this jurisdiction.
Responding to the New Realities of Stalking • 27
Section 3
Commentary to the Code
The following commentary explains, section-by-section, the rationale
for the language chosen by the drafters of the “Model Stalking Code
for the States,” as presented in Section Two of this document. The
analysis and commentary also provide alternative options states may want to
consider in crafting their own legislation. The drafters recognize that states
have different statutory limitations, guidelines, and political climates that may
dictate the use of language other than that recommended in this document.
SECTION ONE: LEGISLATIVE INTENT
The Legislature fi nds that stalking is a serious problem in this state and nationwide.
Stalking involves severe intrusions on the victim’s personal privacy and
autonomy. It is a crime that can have a long-lasting impact on the victim’s quality
of life, and creates risks to the security and safety of the victim and others,
even in the absence of express threats of physical harm. Stalking conduct often
becomes increasingly violent over time. The Legislature recognizes the dangerous
nature of stalking as well as the strong connections between stalking and domestic
violence and between stalking and sexual assault. Therefore, the Legislature
enacts this law to encourage effective intervention by the criminal justice system
before stalking escalates into behavior that has even more serious or lethal consequences.
28 • The Model Stalking Code Revisited
The Legislature intends to enact a stalking statute that permits the criminal
justice system to hold stalkers accountable for a wide range of acts, communications,
and conduct. The Legislature recognizes that stalking includes, but is not
limited to, a pattern of following, observing, or monitoring the victim, or committing
violent or intimidating acts against the victim, regardless of the means.
Analysis and Commentary
The updated “Model Stalking Code for the States” recommends that states set
forth their legislature’s intent to recognize stalking as a serious crime, encourage
early intervention by the criminal justice system, and encompass a wide
range of stalking behaviors in their stalking laws.
The 1993 model anti-stalking code did not include a legislative intent section.
Several states, including Colorado and Nebraska, specifi cally express their
legislature’s intent in their stalking laws. While New York’s legislature does not
include a legislative intent section within the text of its stalking statute, such
language was enacted in the same bill and is set out in the editor’s notes which
accompany New York’s stalking law.18
The case of People v. Ewing is a good illustration of the importance of
including a legislative intent provision.19 In that case, the California Fourth
District Court of Appeals unanimously reversed the defendant’s stalking conviction.
Because California’s stalking law, Penal Code § 646.9, did not contain a
legislative intent section, the court would have had to rely on the law’s legislative
history. After the enactment of Penal Code § 646.9 in 1993, the California
legislature amended it many times to strengthen penalties against violators and
to broaden the scope of protection for stalking victims. However, this history
was apparently overlooked by the court. In an attempt to clarify the meaning
of “substantial emotional distress,” the court failed to consider the law’s legislative
history, in particular a 1996 amendment lowering the fear element of
the law from the victim’s “fear of death or great bodily harm” to “fear for his
18 N.Y. Penal Law § 120.45 (Consol. 2006), notes § 2.
19 People v. Ewing, 76 Cal. App 4th 199 (1999).
Responding to the New Realities of Stalking • 29
or her safety.” This created a paradox between the legislative objectives underlying
section 646.9 and its judicial interpretation. As was noted in an article
evaluating the appellate court’s analysis:
The Ewing opinion did not adequately consider the legislative objectives
that propelled the creation and subsequent amendments
of Penal Code section 646.9. Instead, the outcome in Ewing creates
a critical paradox in the successful prosecution of stalkers and
protection of victims. While the legislature designed section 646.9
to preempt potential harm to victims, the Ewing court’s decision
implies that a stalker cannot be successfully prosecuted until the
victim has sought medical treatment, psychological counseling, or
some other form of assistance evidencing “substantial emotional
distress.” Theoretically, under Ewing, forcing victims to endure
prolonged harassment while seeking other types of assistance before
law enforcement will intervene, forces them to jeopardize their
safety and their families’ safety. This proposition clearly contradicts
the legislature’s intent to prevent harm to stalking victims.20
The fi rst section of the model stalking code, which discusses legislative
intent, emphasizes the gravity of stalking in our country. Although the prevalence
of stalking may vary by state, a national study sponsored by the Centers
for Disease Control and Prevention and the National Institute of Justice estimates
that one in 12 women and one in 45 men in the United States will be
stalked during her or his lifetime.21 This section helps criminal justice professionals
understand the seriousness of stalking by outlining the context in which
the crime of stalking occurs and highlighting the impact of stalking on victims.
The legislative intent section also sets the tone for early intervention by
the criminal justice system, particularly in jurisdictions where law enforcement
may not have previously recognized the seriousness of stalking. This section acknowledges
that stalking behavior often escalates over time and that the inability
or unwillingness of the criminal justice system to promptly intervene may
give some stalkers greater opportunity to engage in increasingly violent acts. It
also recognizes the strong connections between stalking and other crimes, such
as domestic violence and sexual assault.22
20 Julie A. Finney, “The Paradox of Actual Substantial Emotional Distress within the Context of
California’s Criminal Stalking Law,” W. St. U.L. Rev. 341, number 29 (Spring 2002): 353-54.
21 Tjaden and Thoennes, “Stalking in America,” 3.
22 Eighty-one percent of women who were stalked by a current or former husband or cohabiting
partner were also physically assaulted by that partner, and 31 percent were sexually assaulted as well.
Tjaden and Thoennes, “Stalking in America,” 2.
30 • The Model Stalking Code Revisited
Colorado’s legislature recognized this need for earlier intervention in stalking
cases as is evidenced by the following excerpt from the legislative intent
section of its stalking statute:
Because stalking involves highly inappropriate intensity, persistence,
and possessiveness, it entails great unpredictability and creates
great stress and fear for the victim. Stalking involves severe
intrusions on the victim’s personal privacy and autonomy, with an
immediate and long-lasting impact on quality of life as well as risks
to security and safety of the victim and persons close to the victim,
even in the absence of express threats of physical harm. The general
assembly hereby recognizes the seriousness posed by stalking
and adopts [these] provisions…with the goal of encouraging and
authorizing effective intervention before stalking can escalate into
behavior that has even more serious consequences.23
This premise has also been recognized by courts interpreting stalking laws.
As a Wisconsin court reasoned, “[Anti-stalking legislation] serves signifi cant
and substantial state interests by providing law enforcement offi cials with a
means of intervention in potentially dangerous situations before actual violence
occurs, and it enables citizens to protect themselves from recurring intimidation,
fear-provoking conduct and physical violence.”24
Finally, the model stalking code’s legislative intent provision expresses
the legislature’s deliberate intention to cover a wide range of acts in its stalking
law. It encompasses common stalking behaviors that police and prosecutors
have identifi ed in the past, but have been unable to address under many
existing stalking laws. These include burglary or interfering with a victim’s
property—for example, entering a victim’s home and moving objects around to
communicate to the victim that the stalker has been there, or defl ating the tires
on a victim’s car. Similarly, the law is designed to hold perpetrators accountable
for using new forms of technology to stalk, such as surveillance of the victim
through the use of global positioning systems, or using the Internet to track a
victim’s activities, steal a victim’s identity, or interfere with a victim’s credit.
Because stalking may be perpetrated both directly and indirectly against
victims, the legislative intent section also seeks to expand the behaviors that
23 COLO. REV. STAT. ANN. § 18-9-111(4)(a) (2005). Note, two sentences in the Model Stalking Code’s
legislative intent section closely track lines from Colorado’s statute because it so powerfully describes
the impact that stalking has on its victims’ lives.
24 State v. Ruesch, 571 N.W.2d 898, 903 (Wis. App. 1997).
Responding to the New Realities of Stalking • 31
are covered by the statute to include indirect stalking behaviors. In the past,
some state stalking laws have been limited to acts perpetrated by the stalker
directly against the victim, such as when a stalker calls a victim repeatedly,
follows him or her from place to place, or shows up at the victim’s home uninvited.
However, many stalkers use indirect means to threaten or monitor victims
or even stalk through third parties. For example, stalkers may ask third
parties to deliver gift packages to victims or post private information about the
victim in public places or on the Internet, acts that may not seem dangerous
unless taken in context. Stalkers may also indirectly intimidate or threaten the
victim by making contact with the victim’s employer, children, or other family
members. Some stalkers have been known to use the power of the courts to
maintain contact and control over victims by repeatedly fi ling civil or criminal
cases against them.
The model stalking code’s legislative intent provision recognizes that these
types of behavior could constitute stalking if they meet the elements of the offense.
Including the legislature’s intent within the statutory language provides
guidance to state courts, enabling them to liberally interpret a stalking law
after enactment, rather than restricting the application of the law to a narrow
set of acts.
The updated “Model Stalking Code for the States” encourages states to
incorporate a legislative intent section in their stalking laws to highlight the
seriousness of stalking and encompass a wide range of stalking acts so that the
criminal justice system may intervene before the conduct escalates to violence.
SECTION TWO: OFFENSE
Any person who purposefully engages in a course of conduct directed at a specifi
c person and knows or should know that the course of conduct would cause a
reasonable person to:
(a) fear for his or her safety or the safety of a third person; or
(b) suffer other emotional distress
is guilty of stalking.
32 • The Model Stalking Code Revisited
Analysis and Commentary
Level of Intent
The updated “Model Stalking Code for the States” recommends that states
incorporate a general intent requirement into their stalking laws instead of a
specifi c intent requirement.
Virtually every criminal code requires that the defendant intended to commit
the actions that constitute a crime. With the crime of stalking, however,
proving what the defendant intended by his or her action can be particularly
diffi cult.
Generally, the intent requirement is divided into two categories—“general
intent” and “specifi c intent.”
“General intent” means that the stalker must intend the actions in which
he or she is engaging (e.g., following, watching, or calling), but must not necessarily
intend the consequences of those actions. In a jurisdiction with a general
intent statute, a stalker who claims that he or she followed his or her ex-girlfriend
or ex-boyfriend around every day for two months, but did not intend to
frighten him or her, could still be found guilty of stalking, as long as he or she
knows or should have known that his or her behavior would frighten a reasonable
person.
“Specifi c intent” means that the stalker must intend to cause a specifi c
reaction in the victim, such as fear for his or her own safety or the safety of
others. According to the defi nition of specifi c intent from the American Jurisprudence
second edition of Criminal Law, “Conviction with respect to a crime
involving an element of specifi c intent requires the state to prove that the defendant
intended to commit some further act, or intended some additional consequence,
or intended to achieve some additional purpose, beyond the prohibited
conduct itself.”25 Thus, a prosecutor in a jurisdiction with a specifi c intent
stalking statute must prove that the stalker engaged in the prohibited behavior
with the intent to cause the victim fear, emotional distress, or whatever other
reaction is required by the statute.
25 21 AM. JUR. 2D Criminal Law § 128 (2006).
Responding to the New Realities of Stalking • 33
The 1993 model anti-stalking code also recommended the adoption of a
general intent requirement. When it was drafted in 1993 only thirteen states
had a general intent requirement in their stalking laws, and the others all had
stalking laws with specifi c intent requirements. Currently, over half of states
have some version of a general intent requirement in their stalking laws.26 Some
of states require only that the defendant intentionally committed prohibited
acts.27 Others require instead that, in committing the acts, he or she knew or
reasonably should have known, that their actions would cause fear in a reasonable
person.28
In a case interpreting the intent requirement of Iowa’s stalking law, the
court held that “the legislative choice of general over specifi c intent refl ects
sound public policy,” noting that:
Commentators have interpreted the [M]odel [C]ode to contain a
general-intent provision. . . . Stalkers may suffer from a mental
disorder that causes them to believe that their victim will begin
to return their feelings of love or affection. . . . The drafters of
the Model Code believed that the stalker’s behavior, rather than
his motivation, should be the most signifi cant factor in determining
whether to press charges. The Model Code’s general intent requirement
holds the accused stalker responsible for his intentional
behavior if, at the very least, he should have known that his actions
would cause the victim to be afraid. . . . By placing the focus on the
stalker’s behavior, the Model Code effectively eliminates the possibility
that a stalker could assert a successful defense by claiming
that he did not intend to cause the victim to be afraid, but was
instead expressing his feelings and opinions.29
26 It often can be diffi cult to determine the intent element of a state’s stalking law. In some states,
stalking can be either a general or specifi c intent crime depending on the conduct. This count is based
on the interpretation by the Model Code Drafting Committee of the statutory language of each state’s
stalking law.
27 See, for example, ARIZ. REV. STAT. § 13-2923 (2005); 11 DEL. CODE § 1312A (2005); IDAHO CODE § 18-
7906 (2005); ME. REV. STAT. Ann. tit. 17-A, § 210-A (2005); N.D. CENT. CODE § 12.1-17-07.1 (2005); and
OKLA. STAT. ANN. tit. 21, § 1173 (West 2005).
28 See, for example, IOWA CODE § 708.11 (2005); MD. CODE ANN., CRIM. LAW §3-802 (2005); MINN.
STAT. ANN. § 609.749 (West 2005); N.Y. PENAL LAW § 120.45 (Consol. 2005); UTAH CODE ANN. §76-5-106.5
(2005); VA. CODE ANN. § 18.2-60.3 (Michie 2005); and WASH. REV. CODE ANN. § 9A.46.110 (West 2005).
29 State of Iowa v. Neuzil, 589 N.W.2d 708, 711-12 (Iowa 1999)(fi nding that reading a specifi c intent
into the stalking statute would essentially negate its purpose), quoting Christine B. Gregson, Comment,
“California’s Antistalking Statute: The Pivotal Roles of Intent,” Golden Gate U.L. Rev. 221, number 28
(1998): 244-45.
34 • The Model Stalking Code Revisited
Prosecutors report diffi culty proving stalking cases under specifi c intent
statutes. They fi nd that they must litigate what was in the defendant’s mind
when he or she engaged in the stalking behavior. In considering language for
the model stalking code, the advisory board concluded that any person who
purposefully engaged in a particular course of conduct that constituted stalking
should be held accountable for stalking, regardless of whether the stalker
intended to cause a particular reaction—such as actual fear—on the part of
the victim. In other words, the fact that the perpetrator chose to engage in the
conduct should be enough to prove that the conduct itself was intended and
should satisfy the general intent requirement. “Where a particular crime requires
only a showing of general intent, the prosecution need not establish that
the accused intended the precise harm or precise result which resulted from his
acts. For general intent crimes, the criminal intent necessary to sustain a conviction
is shown by the very doing of acts which have been declared criminal;
the element of intent is presumed from the actions constituting the offense.”30
In addition to the heavy burden it places on prosecutors, a specifi c intent
requirement loses sight of a critical issue: if the stalker’s actions would cause a
reasonable person to feel fear, the behavior should be actionable under criminal
law. Minnesota has addressed this exact issue in its stalking statute by stating,
“No proof of specifi c intent [is] required. In a prosecution under this section,
the state is not required to prove that the actor intended to cause the victim to
feel frightened, threatened, oppressed, persecuted, or intimidated, or…that the
actor intended to cause any other result.”31
Section Four (“Defenses”) of the model stalking code reinforces that stalking
is a general intent crime by specifi cally excluding as a defense that the actor
did not intend to cause the victim fear or other emotional distress.
Fear Element—Standard of Fear
The updated “Model Stalking Code for the States” recommends that states
utilize a “reasonable person” standard of fear instead of an “actual fear” stan-
30 21 AM. JUR. 2D Criminal Law § 127 (2006).
31 MINN. STAT. ANN. § 609.749 (West 2005).
Responding to the New Realities of Stalking • 35
dard, and that this standard be interpreted to mean “a reasonable person in the
victim’s circumstances.”
A “reasonable person” standard of fear asks the question, “Would the
perpetrator’s conduct cause a reasonable person in similar circumstances to be
afraid?”
An “actual fear” standard asks the question, “Did the defendant’s conduct
actually cause this particular victim to feel afraid?” thereby creating a burden
of proof that can often only be satisfi ed by having the victim take the stand
and testify in court.
The 1993 model anti-stalking code recommended that states incorporate a
dual standard of fear: an objective “reasonable person” standard and a subjective
“actual fear” standard.
At present, state stalking statutes vary in terms of what is required regarding
the victim’s fear. Slightly more than half of states apply the dual standard
of “reasonable person” and “actual” fear recommended by the 1993 model
anti-stalking code to some or all of the conduct covered by their stalking laws.32
For example, under Indiana’s stalking statute, “‘stalk’ means a knowing or an
intentional course of conduct involving repeated or continuing harassment of
another person that would cause a reasonable person to feel terrorized, frightened,
intimidated, or threatened [‘reasonable person’ standard of fear] and that
actually causes the victim to feel terrorized, frightened, intimidated, or threatened
[‘actual’ standard of fear].”33 In states like Indiana, prosecutors have to
prove not only that the perpetrator’s acts would cause a reasonable person to be
fearful but also that he or she succeeded in causing the victim of the crime to
actually feel afraid.
Currently, at least fourteen states impose the “reasonable person” standard
of fear in their stalking laws34 while at least fi ve states require the subjec-
32 See, for example, ARIZ. REV. STAT. § 13-2923 (2005); IDAHO CODE § 18-7906 (2005); IND. CODE ANN. §
35-45-10-1 (Michie 2005); IOWA CODE § 708.11 (2005); KAN. STAT. ANN. § 21-3438 (2005); KY. REV. STAT.
§ 508.150 (Michie 2005); ME. REV. STAT. ANN. tit. 17-A § 210-A (West 2005); MASS. GEN. LAWS ANN. ch.
265, § 43 (West 2005); OR. REV. STAT. § 163.732 (2005); WIS. STAT. ANN. § 940.32 (West 2005); and WYO.
STAT. ANN. § 6-2-506 (Michie 2005).
33 IND. CODE ANN. § 35-45-10-1 (Michie 2005).
34 See, for example, ALA. CODE § 13A-6-90 (2005); LA. REV. STAT. ANN. § 14:40.2; MD. CODE ANN.,
CRIM. LAW § 3-802 (2005); N.J. STAT. ANN. § 2C:12-10 (West 2005); N.M. STAT. ANN. § 30-3A-3 (Michie
36 • The Model Stalking Code Revisited
tive “actual fear” standard—that the perpetrator caused the victim to suffer
actual fear.35
The Model Stalking Code Advisory Board considered two main factors
when determining the model stalking code’s standard of fear: (1) the impact
the standard would have on the victim; and (2) the importance of context in
relation to the stalking conduct.
(1) Impact on the Victim. The updated model stalking code drafters rejected
the subjective “actual fear” standard because it places an unnecessary
burden on prosecutors and victims, requiring prosecutors to prove that the
victim actually was in fear and forcing the victim to have to justify his or her
fear in the presence of the perpetrator. While many stalking victims do, in fact,
experience fear, it should not be necessary to expose them to the added trauma
of proving their fear. The problem with stalking laws that impose the “actual
fear” standard is articulated in the following law review excerpt:
The result of such statutes is that stalking victims must take the
stand and painfully testify before the co
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