- Only strangers can stalk, not your partners
There's nothing really wrong about our own partner keeping a keen eye on us, right? Well, sometimes it might be a cause for worry. Imagine your partner insisting on knowing every single corner of your inbox or being too curious about workplace details that are of no relevance to anybody. We all have an inalienable right to privacy, which being in a relationship needn't take away from us. This is also known as intimate partner violence or domestic violence.
- S/he is not following me physically, so it’s fine
There are non-physical ways in which you may be tracked or controlled too. For example, some people insist on having their partner's bank account details, with or without their permission. This can result in unwarranted control of your spending pattern. The partner may also spend your money with or without your knowledge. Another classic form of non-physical tracking is online stalking. Sometimes stalkers even go as far as hacking their partner's computers or accounts.
- Granted, s/he is tracking me, but it's not really harmful
You might think that being followed by a loved one doesn't really count as harmful. After all, he or she isn't a criminal, right? But often, subtle forms of controlling behaviour like this can cause stress and tension in a relationship, which might not come up to the surface but may manifest itself in other ways. Also, studies have shown that this kind of controlling behaviour is often linked to violence, like sexual or physical abuse.
- It is not very common
One might think that this form of IPV (domestic violence) is really rare and uncommon but intimate partners may be more snoopy than you'd imagine! Statistics show that the rates of its occurrence are slowly rising, especially among young couples. A 2002 study of college women showed that 5.6 percent of the surveyed women had experienced stalking with current or former partners with whom they were intimate.
- It is not really illegal.
You might think that there is very little one can do about such behaviour because there is no legal safeguard against it. But that is a misconception. Criminal Law, whether Indian or international, includes emotional and verbal abuse as part of domestic abuse or domestic violence. So it is broad enough to include being stalked by a partner, because it could count as emotional harassment.
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Have you been tracked by a loved one? Do you know about domestic violence? Share your thoughts in the comments section below or on our Facebook page. If you are a personal question, please visit our discussion forum.