Stalking is a crime. In Virginia, stalking is defined as repeated conduct, which places a person, or his or her family, in reasonable fear of death, sexual assault, or bodily injury. To convict a stalker, several legal elements of the crime must be proven to the court (See Code of Virginia, ¯18.2-60.3).The stalking law went into effect on July 1, 1992. Since then, penalties associated with convictions were increased.
Stalking is a unique crime, because stalkers are obsessed with controlling their victims' actions and feelings. Stalkers will frequently threaten and harass, and in many instances will actually physically injure their victims.
Stalking is a crime that can be committed against anyone, regardless of gender, race, sexual orientation, socio-economic status, or geographic location.
If you believe you are in imminent danger, call 911 immediately! Go to a safe place such as a police station, the home of a family member or friend unknown to the stalker, or a public area. If you are in a potentially dangerous situation, develop a safety plan and notify police.
For more information on stalking, please refer to the Stalking: A Guide for Victims, published by the Department of Criminal Justice Services.