Anti-Stalking Law

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In Austria stalking has constituted a punishable act since 1 July 2006 under the term “insistent persecution”.

If a person insistently persecutes another person for a longer period of time against their will and thus impairs the person concerned in their way of living in an intolerable way, this is called stalking.

Stalking includes, for example repeated persecution, harassment through telephone calls, e-mails or other means of communication. Placing purchase orders by using the data of a person or inducing a third person to establish contact with the victim are also punishable offences.

In order to receive immediate protection against stalking you can also apply for a temporary injunction at the district court (Bezirksgericht) of your place if residence.

How should I react?

  • Make it completely clear that a relationship is not wanted now or in the future.
    • Say this only once.
    • Use plain language.
    • Try not to be emotional.
    • Avoid using threatening or humiliating language.
    • You may want to rehearse with a friend before speaking with the stalker.
    • Do not engage in further discussions with the stalker.
    • Do not argue with them.
    • Do not negotiate with them.
  • Ongoing communication will reward the stalker and lead him to maintain contact.
  • Record telephone conversations. Tell the stalker to stop calling and hang up. Screen your calls. Write down the time and date the stalker calls. Keep recorded messages and give them to law enforcement.
  • Tell everyone. Give friends, co-workers and neighbours a description of the stalker. Ask them to document each time they see the stalker.
  • Keep all correspondence (letters, SMS, e-mails, etc.). Make a copy of anything you receive from the stalker.
  • Keep a diary. Write a description of each incident. Obtain the names and addresses of witnesses. Complete records are essential to the successful prosecution of stalking cases.
  • Purchase a mobile phone for emergencies. Use an unlisted home phone number and acquire caller-ID.
  • Have quick access to critical telephone numbers and the location of safe places, such as: Police Stations, friend’s houses, etc.
  • Make use of counselling centres specialised on stalking.

Legal measures

  • Report an offence against the stalker at the police station.
  • Apply for a temporary injunction at the district court (Bezirksgericht) of your place if residence.