What does it mean to be a stalker?
A stalker threatens, follows, monitors or harasses another person in some way. A stalker harasses others in order to control and threaten.
The Icelandic term for stalking is “umsáturseinelti,” while the word for stalker is “eltihrellir.” Stalking is when someone harasses you repeatedly with unwanted attention or communication. The behaviour is often incessant, does not stop even if you request it, and can make you feel as if you can’t escape it.
Examples of stalking are:
- Repeated emails or messages on social media.
- Repeated phone calls.
- The person follows you to and from home or work.
- Notes left at your home or work or in your car.
- Unsolicited flowers or gifts are sent to your home.
- Social media is used to monitor you, harass you or threaten you, or to disturb you with unwanted behaviour.
- Devices such as GPS or AirTags are used to monitor where you are.
- The person shows up to your home, work or school uninvited.
- The person shows up to the same places as you when there is no reason for them to be there.
The behaviour is sometimes nice at first but becomes more aggressive and even violent over time. Sometimes stalking is part of abuse in an intimate relationship. Like other types of violence, stalking is about control. It creates insecurity and frightens you so that you change your routine and behaviour.
Who can be a stalker?
Stalkers can be strangers or people you barely know. They are also often someone that you know well, for example:
- Romantic partners.
- Parents, guardians or other family members.
- Adult children.
- Other people who you live with or see often.
No one has the right to threaten you or control you using unwelcome attention. If you or someone you know is being stalked you can get help at Bjarkarhlíð in Reykjavík, Bjarmahlíð in Akureyri or Sigurhæðir in Selfoss.