Does This Constitute Stalking?


My divorce is almost final but STBX has been sending disturbing emails throughout the process, and now it’s officially creeping me out. They are neither constant (maybe one every few weeks) nor threatening (he doesn’t say he’s going to hurt me) but they are undeniably designed to spook me.

He sent one commenting on my new cat (which is indoors only, indicating that he’s been in my home), then another one making note of a change in my furniture (again, not visible from outside). Most recently, he started an email with “I am able to see you’re not home” - which, to me, is designed to creep me out and give me the willies. When I ask him HOW he is seeing things inside my home, or WHY he is watching my comings and goings, he refuses to respond. We have no friends in common and I do not use social media, so there are no third parties who might be mentioning these things to him, in passing or otherwise.

Since he hasn’t made any overtly threatening statements like saying he’s going to hurt me or kill me, but has only made “mild observations” on what is supposed to be my private space, does this constitute stalking? Or would he have to threaten physical harm for it to be considered such?

He has broken into what used to be the marital home twice since he moved out - smashed locks, cut window screens, you name it. Since no one saw him do it, the police could not arrest him, but he now has property that was not in his possession when he moved out, so… logic aside, I cannot prove it was him. But I’m on edge.

Is any of this enough to get a restraining order to stop him doing drive-bys or whatever it is he’s doing? And to stop him sending creepy “I know where you are” emails? I really don’t think I should have to deal with this. He moved in with a girlfriend he kept secret while we were married, so I’d think he’d have better things to do than to harass me…!


Other than for physical abuse, you can get a domestic violence protective order (DVPO) for continued harassment which rises to a level so as to inflict substantial emotional distress on you. You may qualify for a DVPO if you show the continued harassment and you can show the substantial emotional distress (i.e. you would need to be able to describe the negative effect it is having on you).

Anna Ayscue

Attorney with Rosen Law Firm Cary • Chapel Hill • Durham • Raleigh • Wake Forest

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