In Maryland, stalking is a crime.
What is Stalking?
Stalking in Maryland is legally defined as “a malicious course of conduct that includes approaching or pursuing another where the person intends to place or knows or reasonably should have known the conduct would place another in reasonable fear of suffering serious bodily injury, assault, rap or sexual offense, false imprisonment, or death, or that a third person likely will suffer any of the acts listed.” Criminal Law §3-802
Stalking can take many forms. It includes being followed and being approached by the stalker. The stalker may also leave unwanted voice or text messages. Those messages can include pictures. Stalkers can often make numerous phone calls too. Stalkers may watch, follow, or approach a victim. They may send unwanted gifts. Stalkers often damage the personal property of the victim. They will even threaten to physically harm the person they are stalking.
Intersection of Stalking and Intimate Partner Violence
In a majority of cases, stalkers are not strangers, but someone you know. Often it is a current or former abusive partner. Stalking is another way that current or former intimate partners assert power and control in a relationship. Stalking can happen before, during, and after a relationship.
85.3% of stalkers are someone the victim knows.
63.5% of stalkers known to the victim are current or former intimate partners.
What to Do If You Are Being Stalked
You Have Options
Remember that this is not your fault. You are in control. These are suggestions for what you can do. However, the choice to do any or all of these is up to you.