Stalking and Harassment are Crimes in South Carolina!

Stalking or harassing a current or former intimate partner is a form of intimate partner violence. Like other abusive techniques, stalking and harassment are intended to gain power and control over another person through intimidation and fear.

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Stalking is an under-reported crime whose dangers are often underestimated.

South Carolina law defines harassment as a pattern of intentional intrusion into a person’s private life that serves no purpose and causes the person (and would cause a “reasonable person”) mental or emotional distress.

Harassment includes surveillance of a home, workplace or other frequented location; leaving unwanted gifts; maintaining unwanted physical or visual contact; property damage and/or repeated verbal, written or electronic contact.

Stalking is a pattern of conduct or words (verbal, written or electronic) that serves no purpose and is intended to cause a person (and would cause a “reasonable person”) to fear death to, injury to, kidnapping of or property damage to the person or a member of his/her family.

Both stalking and harassment can cause high levels of anxiety and fear, stalking trauma syndrome, missed work and forced relocation.

Women comprise 78% of stalking victims. Of those, 77% know the stalker and 59% are current or former intimate partners.*

Stalking or harassment which begins after the break-up of an intimate relationship can be the most dangerous. Not only does the stalker know the victim’s routines, but he/she may do anything to regain control.

If you are being stalked or harassed:

*National Center for Victims of Crime - Stalking Resource Center (www.ncvc.org)