Stalking is a crime governed by Italian Criminal Code with the Legislative Decree n. 11/2009 that art. 612 Penal Code introduces the crime of “persecution”, which states that “unless the fact constitutes a more serious offense, shall be punished with imprisonment from six months to four years anyone with conducted repeated, threatening or harassing anybody so causing a persistent and serious state of anxiety or fear, or give rise to a well-founded fear for their safety or in person to the same linked to emotional relationship or to force the same to alter their choices and lifestyles. “
So this is a set of behaviors characterized by threats and repeated and continuous harassment that result in the victim a deep state of anxiety, fear and discomfort to the point that the affected person has to change their lifestyle habits, such as changing telephone number or work.
According to the latest Istat report, released on the International Day Against Violence Against Women, 3 million and 466,000 women victims of stalking, about 16.1%. But more concern are the data on women who have not asked for help: about 78% of the victims did not seek help from specialized centers and only 15% turned to the police and 1.5% sought help an anti-violence or anti-stalking center.
The offense may take the form of different behaviors like chasing the victim, insistently call or send e-mail and text messages, as well as publish posts on social networks threatening in nature against the person concerned. It is considered stalking even spread of defamation and the threat of violence against the victim and people close to her, such as family. However, so that we can configure the crime of stalking it is necessary that the persecutors behaviors adopted by stalkers are a source of real distress and psychological imbalance in the victim and are continuous over time.
Under the provisions of the Criminal Code, the penalty for the crime of stalking varies from 6 months to 5 years imprisonment. If the persecutors behaviors are implemented against a person with whom he had a romantic relationship in the past, as a former boyfriend or spouse separated or divorced, the penalty is increased.
Stalking: the role of the investigative agencies
It is in this context that the action carried out by the investigative agencies can be of great help to combat a phenomenon that poses a real threat for the person and his safety. The investigation is in fact aimed at the collection of legally valid evidence in court which may be decisive to prove the guilt of the stalker and help the victims concretely.
To this end Phersei Investigations established the ‘ Observatory on Violence , an organization that thanks to the professionalism of experts from different backgrounds and expertise, intends to carry out analysis and research on violent behavior of various kinds in order to combat them effectively with a scientific approach.