Anti-Stalking Day in Ukraine Date in the current year: May 14, 2024

Anti-Stalking Day in Ukraine Anti-Stalking Day is observed in Ukraine annually on May 14. It was launched by Amnesty International Ukraine to raise awareness of the problem of stalking and encourage victims of stalking to share their stories.

Stalking is unwanted and/or repeated surveillance by an individual or group toward another person; it may include following the victim or monitoring them. Stalking can involve actions which, by themselves, are harmless and not illegal, such as calling on the phone, texting, sending emails or messaging on social media, sending gifts, etc., but it can also involve intimidation, threats, and violence.

Psychologists divide all stalkers into two categories: psychotic (stalkers with a preexisting psychotic disorder such as schizophrenia or delusional disorder) and non-psychotic. The majority of stalkers are non-psychotic. Although stalking is a gender-neutral behavior, about 80-90% of perpetrators are male, and most victims are female. Women are mainly stalked by men, while men are almost equally stalked by men and women.

Stalkers are divided into five types depending on their motivation: rejected stalkers, resentful stalkers, intimacy seekers, incompetent suitors, and predatory stalkers. Stalking victims are divided into six types based on their prior relationship with the stalker: prior intimates, casual acquaintances and friends, professional contacts, workplace contacts, strangers, and the famous. Most stalking victims have known the perpetrator in some capacity before the stalking begins.

Even when stalking is non-violent, it is considered a form of psychological abuse. Stalking seriously affects victims, disrupting their daily lives and putting significant psychological pressure on them. Victims of stalking start to feel unsafe and isolated; sometimes they end up having to change their phone number, find another job, or even more to another city. The average duration of stalking is two years – two years of living in fear.

In Ukraine, people who are being stalked are not protected by any laws: stalkers cannot be prosecuted until they have caused physical harm. Moreover, stalking is often normalized and justified in Ukrainian society as “positive attention” and “romance”. Due to this, victims of stalking are left to face the problem alone, with no support or means to protect themselves.

Ukraine is one of the countries where stalking is an “invisible problem”, which, of course, doesn’t make it any less problematic. Amnesty International Ukraine launched Anti-Stalking Day to make the problem of stalking more visible and create a space for public discussion in which victims of stalking can share their stories, and everyone who cares can think about the ways to counteract stalking and protect stalking victims.

Amnesty International Ukraine encourages stalking victims and their families to participate in Anti-Stalking Day by sharing their stories and talking about how stalking has affected their lives (of course, only if they are ready to make their experience public). People who have experience helping victims of stalking can post about it on social media with the hashtag #StopStalking so that those who need help can get it.

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Anti-Stalking Day in Ukraine, observances in Ukraine, Amnesty International Ukraine, stalking, psychological abuse