Stalking – The term

The term “Stalking” originally comes from the language of hunting and describes the act of following, creeping up upon or encircling a prey.

There is no uniform definition of stalking. Stalking often designates a deliberate, malicious and repeated following and harassment of a person that threatens the safety of this person.

There are no specific behaviours that occur in every case. This means that there is no way of concluding that stalking is taking place based on a particular way of behaving. Stalking is a combination of various different actions that span a long period of time.

Since the 31/03/2007, stalking is a penal offense. In 2007, the offense of stalking was introduced in § 238 of the German Criminal Code (StGB). Ten years later, on the 10/03/2017, legislators saw a need for amendment and undertook a review of the paragraphs on stalking.

According to the new version of the paragraphs on stalking, it is now enough for the behaviour of the offender to be likely to severely impair the way of living of the victim. It is no longer necessary for the victim to have to make changes to their way of life for the behaviour of the offender to be punishable.

Typical behaviours

Constant undesired communication, for example through letters, telephone calls, e-mails, SMS, WhatsApp…
Lasting observation, surveillance and following of the victim, even following them to their place of vacation
Demonstrative loitering, in front of the house for example, the flat or the workplace
Questioning of neighbours, acquaintances, work colleagues
Stealing and/or reading the post of the damaged party
Monitoring the mobile telephone with spy software
Sending presents or objects
Placing ads in newspapers
Mail-ordering in the name of the victim
Resigning the power supply contract for the household of the affected person
Using other people or institutions in order to contact the victims
Insulting and threatening violence, up to actual physical assaults
Damaging the victim’s property
Manipulation of vehicles
Breaking into homes
Harassing close family members, friends, partners
Reputation damage and discrediting

We offer counsel to the affected persons, as well as to relatives, specialists and interested citizens.

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