Stalking is a type of domestic violence in which the abuser contacts or follows the victim or surveils their activities without their consent. Georgia’s stalking laws offer protection through the use of restraining orders issued by the court and impose harsh penalties for those who engage in this type of conduct.
Stalking as a Type of Domestic Violence
The Stalking Resource Center advises that, under Section 16-5-90 of the Georgia Criminal Code, a person commits the offense of stalking when they willfully follow, surveil, or contact another for the purpose of harassment or intimidation. Stalking may include contact by any of the following means:
- In person, at home, work, or school, or in any public place;
- Via telephone calls or in writing;
- Via computer, either through emails, social media, or by hacking;
- Through other electronic devices.
Under Georgia domestic violence laws (O.C.G.A. 19-13-1) , victims of stalking may include former or current spouses, intimate partners, and children, as well as other family members, such as parents or grandparents, and other household members.
Protection Against Stalking Under Domestic Violence Laws
As one of the signs of domestic violence, stalking can lead to acts of physical violence. Domestic violence laws can help to protect victims of stalking, through protective orders and consent agreements issued by the court. This can prohibit the offender from engaging in the following:
- Contacting or attempting to contact the victim by any means of communication;
- From following them or appearing at their home or place of business.
These orders may also require the offender to pay child support or alimony, and to undergo counseling or treatment to prevent domestic violence in the future.