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Criminal Law Blog NSW

Stalking is a crime that is defined and punished in Australia

All the states define stalking as acts which tend to put apprehension or fear in the person who is being stalked either by following the person, putting the person stalked under constant watch or surveillance; entering the person’s property without his knowledge or consent; taking any of his possessions; leaving offensive material where it can be seen or found by the person stalk; repeatedly communicating with the person being stalked by phone, by fax, email or through the internet; loitering about the person’s home or office or any other place the person frequents for leisure or social activity.

By committing any or all of these acts, the stalker intends to harass the person stalked or to make that person feel that he or she may be at risk of physical harm. The stalker is intimidating the person stalked, making that person feel that he or she is constantly being watched or followed such that he or she has lost her privacy, his or her sense of private personal space and safety.
 
As stalking is a crime of personal violence, just as domestic violence, the person stalked can not only file a criminal complaint against the person stalking him or her, the person can also as for orders to be issued by the court restraining the stalker from following him or her on pain of criminal contempt. All the states have provisions for restraining orders to be issued against the stalker in order to protect the person stalked.
 
Unlike in domestic violence cases where there must be a relationship between the person inflicting the violence and the victim of the violence, in stalking, there need not be any relationship between the stalker and the person stalked. It often happens that the person stalked does not even know who his or her stalker is. 

Reference:

Australian Government Solicitor (2009). ‘Domestic violence laws in Australia’, Australian Government, Department of Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs (FAHCSIA).   

Disclaimer : This article is just a summary of the subject matter being discussed and should not be regarded as a comprehensive legal advice for you to defend yourself alone. If you are charged with criminal offences, it is recommended that you seek legal assistance from criminal lawyers.

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