There is no widely accepted definition of "stalking." Nevertheless, the term "stalker" arouses certain common images in most people's minds. In a generic sense, the word "stalking" refers to predatory behavior and brings to mind a wide range of harassing behaviors that frighten or terrorize the victim.
Stalkers use several methods and instruments to harass and threaten their victims:
computer (Internet or email)
following (walking or transport)
going to the victim's home or work
Stalking is a Crime in Arkansas
Stalking in the first degree is when someone knowingly engages in a course of conduct that places another person in fear for their safety and either (1) is violating an Order of Protection, (2) has previous stalking convictions, or (3) is or says they are armed with a deadly weapon. This is a Class C felony. A.C.A. §5-71-229(a)
Stalking in the second degree occurs when someone knowingly harasses another person and makes a terroristic threat to make another person fear death or serious physical injury to themselves or a family member. This is a Class D felony. A.C.A. §5-71-229(b)
Stalking in the third degree is when someone knowingly commits an act that would normally place a person in fear for their or another’s safety. A.C.A. §5-71-229(c)
Stalking behavior can be found in many people, and stalkers come from all income levels. Experts say it is almost impossible to create a single profile for stalkers. However, most stalkers exhibit some shared traits or commonalities. These include intense interest in the media, an inability to develop relationships, and a desire for recognition or attention.
Responses to Being Stalked
Contact your local law enforcement agency immediately to file a complaint and be prepared to give details about the stalking. Write down occurrences after they happen so that you can clearly communicate to authorities what has taken place. Be specific when answering questions.
The Four Questions
What threat has been made?
When were the threats made?
How were the threats made?
Who made the threats?
Remember Specific Information
Remember information such as specific acts of violence that were threatened and whether weapons were present during the threat. Record the exact location and time of day that events occurred.
save communications with threats made in writing
if threats are made over the telephone, you may want to check with your local phone company about the possibility of tracing or recording phone calls
give police a description of the stalker and names of any witnesses who could help identify the person
What Happens Next?
You can file a complaint. When you file a complaint with local authorities concerning stalking, terroristic threatening, harassment, or harassing communications, a warrant may be issued for the arrest of the accused.
If the accused is arrested there will be an arraignment proceeding and the court will issue either a "no contact order" or a "protective order." The court may also order a mental health examination of the defendant. §5-71-229 It is important to get copies of these documents and keep them accessible at all times. If a violation of the order takes place, law enforcement officials will need to know the exact language of the document to determine what action can be taken against the accused.
Civil remedies include a no contact order or an order of protection if the case involves being stalked by an estranged or former spouse, someone you once dated, or immediate family.
Criminal remedies can include conviction of Class B felony for Stalking in the first degree or Class C felony for Stalking in the second degree, or a Class A misdemeanor for Stalking in the third degree.
course of conduct: a pattern of conduct—two or more acts—that occurred within one year, separated by at least 36 hours
harassment: shoving, striking, kicking, or otherwise touching a person without good cause, or even threatening to do so; harassment can also involve the use of obscene language or gestures in a public place; following a person or continually being present outside of a school, place of employment, vehicle, or residence may be considered harassment
terroristic threatening: someone purposely terrorizing another person by threatening them with death, serious physical injury, or substantial property damage
immediate family: any spouse, parent, child, any person related by marriage or blood within the second degree, or any other person who either currently resides in the household or resided in the household within the prior six months
defenses: if the alleged stalker is a law enforcement officer, licensed private investigator, attorney, process server, licensed bail bondsman, or a store detective acting within the reasonable scope of their duty while conducting surveillance on an official work assignment or another constitutionally protected activity, they may have a defense against prosecution