Although the propagation of stalking laws internationally has been swift, comprising approximately a decade, and largely well received, the task of defining stalking has been problematic. Given the plethora of behaviors that fall under the ambit of stalking, debates have centered on the relevance of the intentions of the perpetrator, the question of when arousing fear in another is reasonably foreseeable, and whether the consequences to the victim should be an essential element in the law. There is an emerging body of psycholegal research examining community perceptions of stalking driven by such questions. On the basis of current research and legal debates, recommendations are made as to the essential elements for the proscription of stalking. Perhaps most significant is the suggestion that stalking laws retain an intent requirement. A case is also put forward for generating alternative responses to behavior that falls outside the realm of this criminal law.
Dennison, S. M., & Thomson, D. (2005). Criticisms or Plaudits for Stalking Laws? What Psycholegal Research Tells Us About Proscribing Stalking. Psychology, Public Policy, and Law, 11(3), 384-406. https://doi.org/10.1037/1076-89126.96.36.1994