What is Stalking?

If you are in fear of your own or your family's safety or have been the victim of physical assault or threats of physical assault
Call The Police NOW
The following information is for New South Wales residents.
For residents of other states check with the Police in your state or your Lawyer for information regarding stalking and harassment.

There are laws in every state that deal with Threatening behaviour, Stalking, Harassment and Intimidation see the Links below

Our NFH Stalking Story

Our NFH stalked us for some time before he actually physically assaulted one of us which resulted in him being charged and an AVO being issued. We didn't realise that when he turned up at all hours of the day and night to drive around the boundary very very slowly , or when he would stand opposite our house and stare in the window, he was actually committing the crime of stalking, we rang the police on one occasion when he was holding up his hand and pretending to shoot at us and we described the generally creepy behaviour, the officer told us that it would be his word against ours, he failed to mention the possibility of stalking, harassment AVO's, threat to kill etc. We knew that what he was doing wasn't right but we hoped that he would get sick of it and stop, so we tried to ignore him as much as possible, we still kept a detailed diary of his behaviour and every incident was noted, but eventually he escalated to physical contact. In hindsight we should have rung the police on every occasion to report him, and made sure to get the officers name and asked for an event number (receipt of the call/report). If we had been better informed we may have been able to act sooner to obtain an AVO for stalking & harassment rather than after a physical assault.

The following information is:
? State of New South Wales through the NSW Police Force

Stalking is a crime.? Under the Crime (Domestic and Personal Violence) Act 2007, stalking includes the following of a person about or the watching or frequenting of the vicinity of, or an approach to a person?s place of residence, business or work or any place that a person frequents for the purposes of any activity.

Stalking involves a persistent course of conduct or actions by a person which are intended to maintain contact with, or exercise power and control over another person.? These actions cause distress, loss of control, fear or harassment to another person and occur more than once.?

Stalking can involve threats or sexual innuendo and the stalker generally tries to intimidate or induce fear in the person they are stalking.? The person being stalked may only realise they are being stalked once they identify a pattern of strange or suspicious incidents occurring, such as:?

  • phone calls
  • text messages
  • messages left on social networking sites (My Space, Face book)
  • notes left on their car
  • flowers left at their home
  • an awareness that they are being followed
  • being continually stared at by another person.

The person being stalked often develops a sense of loss of control over their lives and is forced into changing their life routine and behaviours.??

Stalking is committed when a person:?

  • Intentionally and persistently
  • Without legitimate reason
  • Engages in a course of conduct directed at another specific person
  • Against their will
  • This causes the other person to develop fear, or to believe that harm would come to them

Simply this means that whatever intentional actions the stalker takes to put you in fear can be considered stalking when it occurs more than once and against your will.??

Victims of Stalking

Anyone can be a victim of stalking.? People who engage in stalking behaviour can be a former intimate partner, acquaintance, stranger, relative, spouse, etc.?

If you are a victim of stalking you need to understand that you are not responsible for the behaviour of the stalker (known as the offender) and that you should not be blamed in any way.? Read through the information contained here and make a report to the police so that they may initiate an investigation.?

The Australian Bureau of Statistics Personal Safety Survey 2005, released in 2006, identified that ?men and women who had experienced violence during the last 12 months were more likely than those who had not experienced violence, to have also experienced stalking or harassment during this time.?? (ABS Personal Safety Survey 2005)? This means if you have recently left an abusive relationship that you may be at risk of being stalked and you need to know what to do if this occurs.?

You may be a victim of stalking if someone is:?

  • Repeatedly following or spying on you
  • Repeatedly calling your home and/or work
  • Repeatedly sending you unwanted emails, letters, faxes, text messages, etc.
  • Leaving unwanted gifts or items for you
  • Vandalising or damaging your property
  • Threatening you or someone close to you
  • Repeatedly showing up for no legitimate reason at places you go to, eg. the gym, dinner with friends, shopping, movies

Stalking is a crime.? It needs to be reported to the police so they may assist in preventing the stalker from committing a more serious crime such as assault, sexual assault, domestic homicide, or cyber theft of identity.??

Recording incidents of stalking

It is important for you to document all incidents of possible stalking and to report them to the police.? Your local Domestic Violence Liaison Officer (DVLO) is available to help you and if they are unavailable, then any police officer at a station can take the report.?

If you think you are being stalked it is essential that you keep a diary of incidents including the date, time, what happened, names of any witnesses, etc.? If someone is intimidating you through technology then you need to keep any emails, letters, faxes, SMS messages sent to you.?

Do not delete or erase emails and text messages as these may be used as evidence.? Keep copies of everything so you can provide police with full details about how you are being stalked.? Save any packages or gifts that you receive from the stalker.? Handle these carefully in case they can be used to obtain forensic evidence.?

Even if you do not want to pursue charges at this stage, it is important that you record all incidents in case you change your mind in the future.? Documenting every incident will assist the police in making a stronger case.?

Important Fact

Stalking often involves a long term pattern of events which is why each and every incident you experience must be recorded and reported to police.? One incident on its own may not appear to be associated with stalking, so each incident has to be recorded and reported so that police can identify if there is a pattern occurring.? Make a record of every incident of stalking, no matter how many there are.?

A good way to document incidents of stalking would be to download and print this stalking incident log PDF.

The preceeding information is:
? State of New South Wales through the NSW Police Force

Helpful Links

General Interest

The attached PDF is a paper on Personal Protection and the Law:
by Heather Douglas
Senior Lecturer, Law School, Griffith University


New South Wales

See this page for NSW AVO information

NSW AVO's Frequently Asked Questions

Legal Aid NSW - Apprehended Violence Orders


South Australia

A restraining order can be made (usually through the police) under the Summary Procedure Act 1921. A court will make a restraining order under the Summary Procedure Act 1921 if satisfied that there is a reasonable apprehension that the defendant may, unless restrained:

  • cause personal injury or damage to property, or
  • behave in an intimidating or offensive manner
Legal Services Commission S.A. - Applying for an intervention order



What is a Peace and Good Behaviour Order?

An order made pursuant to the Peace and Good Behaviour Act 1982. Any person is able to make an application when:-

  • they are in fear of another person due to threats to their person from this other person;
  • they are in fear of a third person due to threats being made to their person by a person;
  • another person has threatened to damage or destroy your property; and
  • another person has threatened to have a third party damage or destroy your property.
How can I make an application?

You need to complete a complaint and summons form, which can be obtained online or from the nearest Magistrates Court.? It is important that you provide detailed information as to your complaint.
Qld Legal Aid - Stalking
Applying for protection under the Peace and Good Behaviour Act PDF
Peace and Good Behaviour Act 1982
Applying for a Peace and Good Behaviour Order


Western Australia

An intervention/restraining order form can be obtained either through the police who may apply to a Magistrate for an order by telephone in exceptional circumstances. The local police can also issue a 24-hour temporary restraining order in extraordinary cases while the main application is going through.

WA Attorney General Restraining Orders
Western Australia -Do you need a Restraining Order? - W.A. Police



To obtain an Intervention order in Victoria takes 3 steps:

  1. The person seeking the Intervention order contacts the closest magistrates office, speaks with a court registrar and fills in an application form.
  2. The police notify the Defendant about the complaint.
  3. The magistrate has a court hearing and decides whether to make the order.


Victoria Legal Aid - Intervention orders
The Magistrates' Court of Victoria - Personal Safety Intervention Orders



People who want a restraint order in Tasmania need to apply to the Clerk of Petty Sessions at the Magistrates Court. If an urgent restraint order is needed, you will need to be able to explain why.

The? Magistrates Court of Tasmania


Northern Territory

You can apply for a Personal Violence Restraining Order (PVRO) against a person if that person has committed a personal violence offence against you or it is likely a personal violence offence is going to be committed against you by that person.

Personal Violence Restraining Orders PDF
N. T. Department of Justice
Northern Territory Magistrates Courts


Australian Capital Territory

In the ACT, it is necessary to apply for a Personal Protection Order under the Protection Orders Act 2001 as amended by the Domestic Violence and Protection Orders Amendment Act 2005. This is done through the local Magistrate's Court.

Applicants will need to complete an application form, and affidavit and a further confidential form. The Magistrate can grant interim orders, until a hearing is held and a Final Order granted.

Victim Support ACT


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