Sexual Assault Resources

Stalking

Stalking is unwanted, repeated and continuing contact which directly or indirectly causes a person to feel threatened, harassed or intimidated.  Learn more about stalking from Health & Wellness.

Warning signs of stalking

There are many tactics that can be used to threaten or intimidate someone. The following is a list of common behaviors; however, there are many more that can be used, depending upon the nature of the stalker and their access to information.

Does someone…?

  • Follow and show up wherever you are.
  • Repeatedly call, email, and/or send text messages.
  • Damage your home, car or other property.
  • Send unwanted gifts.
  • Monitor your phone calls or computer use.
  • Track your whereabouts.
  • Drive by or hang out near your home, school or work.
  • Threaten to hurt your family, friends or pets.
  • Use the Internet or public records to find information about you.
  • Other actions that control, track or frighten you.

Washington State crime definition

Explanation
The crime of “stalking” is defined in RCW 9A.46.110 under the classification of crimes of “Harassment.” There is also a separate crime of “cyberstalking” under RCW 9.61.260 (the Malicious Mischief-Injury to Property crimes).

RCW 9A.46.110(1) – Stalking
A person commits the crime of stalking if, without lawful authority and under circumstances not amounting to a felony attempt of another crime:

a. He or she intentionally and repeatedly harasses or repeatedly follows another person; and
b. The person being harassed or followed is placed in fear that the stalker intends to injure the person, another person, or property of the person or of another person. The feeling of fear must be one that a reasonable person in the same situation would experience under all the circumstances; and
c. The stalker either:
i. Intends to frighten, intimidate, or harass the person; or
ii. Knows or reasonably should know that the person is afraid, intimidated, or harassed even if the stalker did not intend to place the person in fear or intimidate or harass the person.

RCW 9.61.260(1) – Cyberstalking
A person is guilty of cyberstalking if he or she, with intent to harass, intimidate, torment, or embarrass any other person, and under circumstances not constituting telephone harassment, makes an electronic communication to such other person or a third party:

a. Using any lewd, lascivious, indecent, or obscene words, images, or language, or suggesting the commission of any lewd or lascivious act;

b. Anonymously or repeatedly whether or not conversation occurs; or

c. Threatening to inflict injury on the person or property of the person called or any member of his or her family or household….

(5) For purposes of this section, “electronic communication” means the transmission of information by wire, radio, optical cable, electromagnetic, or other similar means. “Electronic communication” includes, but is not limited to, electronic mail, internet-based communications, pager service, and electronic text messaging.