Since 1-4-2007 the phenomenon of stalking has explicitly been included in German criminal law as a criminal offence. The “Act on the Criminal Liability of Stalking” criminally penalises actions by which people seek the physical closeness of the victim by “unauthorisedly and persistently following” the victim, establish a contact with the victim by using means of communication or via third parties, or place orders or require services by abusively using the victim’s personal data for example.
This Act makes it possible to institute criminal proceedings directly and possibly take judicial measures upon request of the victim; this is best done by submitting all the evidence gathered. In these proceedings, no costs need to be incurred by the victim. The stalker must be reported to the police to open criminal proceedings. The victim may join the action as a joint plaintiff.