If a man repeatedly follows you, contacts you or monitors you despite your disinterest or without your consent, it is known as stalking. 1Stalking is a term used for numerous activities done by a man, which when taken together can disrupt the life of the victim. Stalking can happen in close proximity physically or over the phone or even online.
You can identify behaviour that is understood as stalking if it is:
- Repetitive in nature and is consistent. For example, if a man sends you a love letter every day in college, despite your disinterest in him.
- Causes you trauma by making you feel uncomfortable, harassed, tortured, or intimidated. This can be physical, emotional or psychological. For example, if a man keeps sending you flowers to your office and this makes you the subject of ridicule at the office.
- It is an invasion of your personal space. For example, if every day when you step out of the house a man follows you as you go about your day.
- He is attempting to establish a relationship or personal contact with you without your consent. For example, if a man is WhatsApp-ing you multiple times hoping you will reply.
If a man is behaving in any or all of the ways mentioned above then it can be a crime of stalking.
Stalking is punished with jail time up to 3 years with a fine. If your harasser repeats this crime, he will be punished with higher jail time of upto 5 years with a fine.11
- Section 354D, Indian Penal Code, 1860