National Stalking Awareness Month
See more information about National Stalking Awareness Month
Since January has been designated as National Stalking Awareness Month, it presents us with the opportunity to help educate the UIS community with some information about stalking. Stalking can happen to anyone, anywhere, and at any time. So how do you know if it’s happening to you?
What is Stalking?
There are two actions required to legally commit stalking in Illinois.
- First, an individual has to follow someone, or place them under surveillance, on at least two occasions.
- Second, that individual must also imply through words or actions that they are going to cause bodily harm, sexual assault, confinement or restraint to another person or their family member.
What is the legal definition of Stalking?
(720 ILCS 5/12‑7.3) (from Ch. 38, par. 12‑7.3)
Sec. 12‑7.3. Stalking.
(a) A person commits stalking when he or she, knowingly and without lawful justification, on at least 2 separate occasions follows another person or places the person under surveillance or any combination thereof and:
(1) at any time transmits a threat of immediate or future bodily harm, sexual assault, confinement or restraint and the threat is directed towards that person or a family member of that person; or
(2) places that person in reasonable apprehension of immediate or future bodily harm, sexual assault, confinement or restraint; or
(3) places that person in reasonable apprehension that a family member will receive immediate or future bodily harm, sexual assault, confinement, or restraint.
(a‑5) A person commits stalking when he or she has previously been convicted of stalking another person and knowingly and without lawful justification on one occasion:
(1) follows that same person or places that same person under surveillance; and
(2) transmits a threat of immediate or future bodily harm, sexual assault, confinement or restraint; and
(3) the threat is directed towards that person or a family member of that person.
(b) Sentence. Stalking is a Class 4 felony. A second or subsequent conviction for stalking is a Class 3 felony.
(b‑5) The incarceration of a person in a penal institution who transmits a threat is not a bar to prosecution under this Section.
(c) Exemption. This Section does not apply to picketing occurring at the workplace that is otherwise lawful and arises out of a bona fide labor dispute, or any exercise of the right of free speech or assembly that is otherwise lawful.
Partial statute quoted from the Illinois Compiled Statutes.
Find more information about support for victims of stalking