Stalking After Divorce: How Common Is It and What Are Your Options?
Most stalking cases involve a previous relationship between the stalker and the victim. In fact, divorced or separated spouse are more likely to be stalked by former spouses than others. Female victims are most often stalked by former intimate partners, whereas male victims are most often stalked by casual acquaintances. If your ex is stalking you, it may be best to alert the police to ensure your safety. It may also be a good idea to let your family, friends, and other people close to you know so that they can help you devise a safety plan.
In Canada, stalking is a crime referred to as “criminal harassment” pursuant to section 264 of the Criminal Code. This section states that no person shall, without lawful authority, engage in the following conduct:
- repeatedly following from place to place the other person or anyone known to them;
- repeatedly communicating with, either directly or indirectly, the other person or anyone known to them;
- besetting or watching the dwelling-house, or place where the other person, or anyone known to them, resides, works, carries on business or happens to be; or
- engaging in threatening conduct directed at the other person or any member of their family.
This conduct must cause the victim to fear for their safety or the safety of anyone known to them.
If you have good reason to fear for your personal safety and the stalking has no legitimate purpose, please contact the police immediately.