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- is not a trivial offense!

Stalking includes a variety of harassment and stalking that is carried out with persistence and is likely to seriously affect your life.

The majority of victims of stalking are women. Therefore, the masculine form "stalker" is used below to simplify the language and improve readability. Nevertheless, both male and female perpetrators are expressly meant.


What is stalking?

A stalker acts against your will, against your wishes, and not just once:

  • You receive calls or text messages at all hours of the day and night.
  • You are showered with unwanted gifts.
  • You are followed and threatened.
  • The stalker lies in wait for you outside your home, at work, while shopping or in your free time.
  • The stalker has parcels delivered to you that he has ordered in your name.
  • The stalker damages your property.
  • The stalker insults and slanders you.
  • The stalker asks your acquaintances questions about you.
  • They publish untruths, rumors and private pictures of you on social networks (link to cyber-stalking info)

These are just a few examples of the evil "ingenuity" of stalkers.

The stalker wants your attention by any means necessary. And sometimes you don't even know who the stalker is.

Stalking law on the criminal liability of persistent stalking

Love mania, power and revenge are not only male motives. Women also resort to stalking, are perpetrators and torment their victims.

Stalking is a punishable offense!

The law on the criminal protection of stalking victims has been in force since March 31, 2007. Ten years later, in March 2017, a new version was passed in which the high legal hurdles for the prosecution of stalkers were reduced and better victim protection was to be guaranteed. The improved protection against stalking is set out in Section 238 of the German Criminal Code, "Stalking".

When does this law apply?

If someone is stalking you without authorization and seriously interfering with your way of life by persistently

  • seeking you out,
  • making contact by telephone or otherwise,
  • placing unwanted orders for goods or services in your name (example: you repeatedly receive parcels that you have not ordered).
  • threatens you with injury or similar.

In addition to Section 238 of the Criminal Code, there is also the Protection against Violence Act, which provides for penalties in Section 4 of the Protection against Violence Act.

Your options:

  • If you know the stalker by name, you can apply to the local court where you live for a protection order against them under the Protection against Violence Act.
    If the stalker violates this, he is liable to prosecution and you can report him to the police and file a criminal complaint.
  • The stalker's actions not only violate your privacy and make him liable to prosecution for stalking, but often also violate other criminal laws.
    Even if you do not know the stalker, you can file a complaint against "persons unknown" at any police station. The police will then make every effort to identify the stalker.
    Criminal offenses such as insulting, threatening, coercion, trespassing, assault, damage to property are possible. Finally, the stalker can be taken to court for their actions.
  • You can also always call the police emergency number (110).

Protection order

With a protection order, the local court can permanently prohibit the stalker from

  • staying near your home or visiting other specific places where you regularly spend time (such as your workplace, shopping centers or leisure facilities),
  • contact you (e.g. by telephone, letter, text message or e-mail),
  • arrange meetings with you, even "accidental" ones...

The legal basis for this is the Protection against Violence Act.
(Source: Flyer Stalking from the AK Gewaltschutzgesetz)



Options for action

What can you do?

  • Make it clear to the stalker in no uncertain terms that you do not want any contact.
  • Do not respond to the stalker in any way afterwards.
  • Document all contact attempts by the perpetrator for any subsequent legal proceedings.
  • Inform everyone around you if you have become a victim of stalking. Publicity increases your safety.
  • Contact advice centers and the police as early as possible.




Help and support

There are various counseling services for stalking victims.

Victim hotline of the White Ring. Telephone number: 116 006.

You can call the White Ring's victim hotline every day between 7 a.m. and 10 p.m. for advice. Nationwide, anonymous, free of charge. The Weißer Ring also offers online counseling and personal counseling on site.

Help hotline for violence against women. Telephone number: 116 016.

The violence against women helpline advises women affected by stalking and can refer them to a victim protection organization if necessary. The helpline is available around the clock, 365 days a year. Alternatively, online and chat advice is also available.

Violence against men helpline. Telephone number: 0800 1239900

Further information on the topic:


Digital media, such as the Internet, e-mail, text messages, etc., also offer stalkers more opportunities to pursue their victims.

Manifestations of cyberbullying

  • Spreading untruths and rumors on the Internet.
  • Publication of private and intimate information.
  • Publication of private or falsified images.
  • Unauthorized orders of goods in the name of the victim.
  • Attempts to make contact via electronic media.
  • Misuse of personal data and access data such as user names and passwords to commit fraud or order goods.

Options for action in the event of cyberbullying

  • Pay attention to your personal data.
  • Make sure you change all access data such as your e-mail address, associated passwords etc. on your computer and smartphone.
  • Use a firewall and up-to-date virus software to protect your computer in the best possible way.
  • In the case of a German website (ending in .de), you can find out the operator via the administrative office and file a criminal complaint.
  • When using Internet servers that are not located in Germany, the operator is unfortunately not subject to German law. Contact an expert lawyer to have your legal options checked.

You can find information on the subject of internet security at