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What is stalking and why should Florida residents be worried?

Relationships are not created equal. Many relationships bring happiness and growth. But, some relationships are destructive, or even terrifying. Unfortunately, too many Florida residents experience the latter form of relationships. This group often endures domestic violence and, over time, stalking from an abusive or estranged partner.

What is stalking? In general, stalking is a pattern of behavior in which a person does one or more of the following: harassing or threatening a person; following or shadowing them around; showing up at the victim's home or job; vandalizing the victim's property; and any other acts that make victims afraid for their safety.

What types of stalking exist? There are three forms. The first type is "erotomania." This version is when a person has a delusional fixation with a public figure or someone else that is outside of the stalker's reach. The second type is love "obsessional." This version is when a person stalks someone that they believe they are in love with. The third type is "simple obsessional." This version is when a person stalks someone who they know.

Florida residents being stalked - or suffering from other forms of domestic violence - do not have to endure the fear alone. Help is available. The law provides protection that can put a halt to the harm. Florida residents interested in learning more about the protections available may benefit from seeking out information about legal options. Doing so can be an important first step towards obtaining the help they need to break free from the chains of stalking and domestic violence.

Source: FindLaw, "Stalking and Domestic Violence," Accessed July 19, 2016

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