January 26, 2021
Domestic violence occurs between spouses, domestic partners, or other family members and can take a variety of forms. In addition to hitting, making threats, sexual assault, and other types of abuse, it can also include stalking. If you are the victim of this type of behavior, it is important to be aware of your legal rights and the steps you can take to protect yourself.
Like any type of domestic violence, stalking is often used by abusers as a means of controlling and manipulating the victim. Under the Illinois Statutes, it is defined as following, surveilling, harassing, or having any otherwise unwanted contact. This may be in person, such as appearances at your home, work, or school, or via telephone, email, or other means. In 2019, Illinois broadened the definition of stalking to include online activities and social media, such as monitoring posts and hacking into web pages, chats, and other online accounts.
In addition to being a common form of domestic violence, stalking is also a crime that could result in potentially severe penalties. As a class 4 felony, your stalker could face fines up to $25,000 and up to three years in prison. If they have been convicted of stalking in the past, jail time increases to five years or more.
If you suspect your partner, or anyone else for that matter, is stalking you, it is important to take it seriously. In many cases, stalking can lead to more violent types of crime. When it occurs, notify the police immediately. Other actions you can take to protect yourself include:
At the Women’s Divorce and Family Law Group, we can take the swift legal actions needed to protect you from stalkers. To discuss your options, call or contact our Chicago domestic violence attorneys online and request a confidential consultation today.