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What does Illinois law say about stalking?

When a person in Illinois is being subjected to spousal abuse, it can take a great number of different forms. In some instances, the alleged abuser will take to stalking. This is against the law, and those who are facing it should be aware of what the law says about it and how they can combat it. There are strategies that can be taken within the law to put a stop to this form of abuse whether it is stalking in person or online stalking.

Stalking occurs when a person commits acts that can cause the other person to fear for his or her safety or the safety of another person. It is also considered stalking when the behavior causes the victim to suffer other forms of emotional distress. If a person commits stalking, it means that he or she followed the other person or put the person under surveillance in a minimum of two instances and does the following: issues a threat of either immediate or future bodily harm, sexual assault, restraint or confinement and that threat is directed to the person or to family members; or it places the person in reasonable concern of the above threats occurring.

It will also be considered stalking if the person has been convicted of stalking another person and committed the same acts listed above against the same person. In this situation, one instance is enough to be considered stalking. When a person is convicted of stalking, he or she will be charged with a Class 4 felony. If there is a second conviction or conviction beyond that, then it will be deemed a Class 3 felony.

Those who have been subjected to stalking as a form of spousal abuse need to be aware that they have options available to them to put it to a stop. This includes obtaining a restraining order. Speaking to a legal professional who is experienced in aspects of family law that go beyond divorce and into domestic issues like stalking may be able to help address such matters.

Source: Illinois General Assembly, "Sec. 12-7.3. Stalking.," accessed on Aug. 14, 2016

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