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Is stalking considered domestic violence?

When someone mentions domestic violence, it’s normal for the immediate images to be of physical or sexual violence. However, there are other behaviors that fall under the legal definition of domestic violence. It’s important to be aware of these behaviors so that you can recognize the signs of domestic violence and talk with an attorney about your legal options to protect yourself.

One of the lesser-known aspect of domestic violence is stalking. Most people understand stalking to be when one person follows the other person, possibly showing up at their home, their place of work or when they are out running errands. However, other behaviors that are considered stalking include repeated phone calls, often threatening in nature, and vandalizing someone’s property.

The exact definition of stalking behavior often differs by state, so it’s important to discuss any scenarios with your attorney to ensure you understand how the Colorado guidelines would apply. In some cases, other behaviors that cause you to fear for your safety may qualify as stalking for legal purposes.

Stalking behaviors may manifest when a domestic violence victim attempts to break off the relationship. Examples may include repeated phone calls or unannounced visits to “check on” the victim, and many of these may seem positive in nature to those unfamiliar with the situation, as the abuser may be attempting to win back the victim.

Stalking is very serious and can be a very real threat to your safety. If you are experiencing any situations in your life that seems to fall under these parameters, it’s best to talk with an attorney as soon as possible to learn more.

Source: FindLaw, “Stalking and Domestic Violence,” accessed Dec. 30, 2015

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