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Stalking and monitoring

  • Stalking and monitoring happens when someone repeatedly harasses you with unwanted contact or monitors your behaviour and where you are.
  • Stalking and monitoring involves behaviour that aims to scare and control you and is a form of domestic and family violence.
  • If you or someone you know is being stalked or monitored, you can call 1800RESPECT on 1800 737 732, chat online via our website or text 0458 737 732.

What is stalking and monitoring?

Stalking and monitoring happens when someone repeatedly harasses you with unwanted contact or monitors your behaviour and where you are. The behaviour can be constant and can make you feel like you cannot escape.

Sometimes other types of abuse are going on at the same time. If this kind of abuse is being used to scare and control you it is domestic and family violence

Stalking and monitoring can involve a range of behaviour that doesn't stop when you ask. The harassment may come in the form of:

  • Repeated emails or social media messages
  • Monitoring where you are and movements via location apps or surveillance and tracking devices
  • Repeated phone calls, text and voicemail messages
  • The person following you to or from your home, workplace, or social activities
  • Notes left at your home, workplace or on your car
  • Unwanted flowers or gifts sent to your home
  • Getting information about you through online searches, public records, or going through your rubbish
  • Hiring a private investigator to follow you, or discover information about you
  • The person showing up uninvited at your home, work or school

A person can use the internet, social media, mobile devices and other digital technologies to stalk, harass and monitor your whereabouts. This can include a person:

  • using social media to bully, intimidate, or bother you with unwanted attention
  • monitoring your physical location by using your social media and email accounts without your permission
  • using transport tracking and surveillance devices to see where you are
  • installing an application or spyware on your phone that allows them to get access to your information and whereabouts without your permission.

If you are concerned about your online safety, the eSafety Commissioner has an online safety checklist that has safety steps for anyone experiencing domestic and family violence. This checklist helps increase your personal safety so you can continue to use technology and stay connected.

For more information, see the Technology and safety page on the 1800RESPECT website.

It is important to remember that the behaviour may start out friendly but get angrier or violent over time. Like many other forms of domestic and family violence, stalking and monitoring is about control. It scares you into changing your routine and behaviour and stops you from feeling safe.

Stalking and monitoring is a form of domestic or family violence. If you or someone you know is experiencing stalking it is OK to ask for help.

The behaviour may start out seeming friendly but get angrier or even violent over time. Like many other forms of violence, stalking is about control.

Who is responsible for stalking and monitoring?

Stalking and monitoring can be perpetrated by strangers or people you barely know. It can also happen in any relationship, including with:

  • Boyfriends, girlfriends, partners, husbands or wives
  • Ex-boyfriends, ex-girlfriends, ex-partners, ex-husbands or ex-wives
  • Carers or paid support workers
  • Parents, guardians or other family members
  • Adult children
  • People connected to your work
  • Other people you live with or see often, whether inside or outside the home.

None of these people has the right to scare and control you with unwanted attention.