Criminal harassment: a new form of extreme harassment

Follow up with a person, call them on the phone, send them gifts, letters or messages, these are behaviors that are seen in isolation, do not contain criminal overtones or do not involve any crime, but what is happening. does it when someone decides to focus on one person and do it over and over, sometimes causing him to fear for his life?

This is the case with the criminal harassment syndrome or urgent harassment..

What is harassment?

Although there is not yet a scientifically established definition of this phenomenon, one can find a number of characteristics that the authors agree to mention. According to them, this syndrome describes a pattern in which the affected person (stalker), who can be both male and female, obsessively and persistently persecutes a victim, without the victim’s refusals causing them to change their mind.

The stalker uses all kinds of means to approach the victim, phone calls, texts, emails, letters, write her name in public places, bring her gifts, spy on her home, follow her and scold her in the street or on his workplace, in public spaces, etc. In the most serious cases, the victim may receive threats, see their account hacked on the Internet (public profiles and emails) and / or suffer some type of violent crime.

The effects of dropping out on the harassed person

No wonder, however the person who suffers from this continuous harassment presents images of anxiety, insecurity and fear, In addition, a continued fear for their physical integrity and feelings of persecution and destabilization.

For these reasons, they are often forced to change their daily habits, their phone number and sometimes even their work and home.

Psychological profile of the stalker

Who can be a victim of persistent bullying syndrome? The answer to this question is no less worrying, as anyone can be affected and be the victim of this type of harassment. It would be logical to think that this type of behavior only occurs in people who have had some kind of romantic relationship before, but the reality is that it can also happen with friends, neighbors, coworkers or even with a stranger. . So, apparently, it is not necessary that there was previously a degree of intimacy of the victim with the stalker.

From psychology we try to give an explanation to the causes that motivate the behavior of stalkers. Some authors claim that after their behavior, there are feelings of anger, hostility, obsession, guilt or jealousy and malice. These feelings are what led to a classification based on the predominant sentiment in each bully.

  • Felt Stalker: His main motivation is to frighten and upset the victim for whom he feels resentment and resentment.
  • Predatory stalker: This type of bully stalks the victim for sexual reasons until it is time to attack him.
  • Rejected stalker: In this case, hide the victim with vengeful intentions or to resume a relationship that the victim has broken off.
  • Stalker claiming ineffective: This is usually a person with few communication skills and few social skills, so he can become obsessed with someone he identifies with.
  • Stalker hungry for privacy: The main motivation of this tyrant is an irresistible desire for a love affair with the victim, whom he considers his soul mate.

Extreme harassment in the Spanish penal code

Despite the serious repercussions that this type of behavior can have on the victim, Until recently, there was no law in Spain regulating this type of harassment..

It was not until the entry into force of Organic Law 1/2015 of March 30, which modifies the old Organic Law 10/1995 of the Penal Code, which begins to consider criminal harassment as a crime that undermines freedom of action of the person and which can be sentenced to imprisonment from three months to two years or fines ranging from six to twenty – “increasing the sentence if the victim is particularly vulnerable because of his age , illness or situation ”.

Bibliographical references:

  • Lorena Pérez (2016). Stalking: characteristics of harassing behavior. Available on ForCrim:

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