Prague - If you are being stalked, threatened or harassed in letters, you are not a victim of a crime.
The Government Council for Equal Opportunities headed by Human Rights Minister Džamila Stehlíková is however determined to change this.
The council asked the government to classify "dangerous stalking" as a criminal offence in penal law, pointing to a number of precedents in developed countries that prosecute this type of psychological abuse.
Legally, stalking is defined as obtrusive or intimidating behavior aimed at a concrete person that includes, for example, repeated searching for and making of visual or physical contacts, enforced communication, threats or uninvited displays of interest and favor.
Domestic violence revisited
Stehlíková highlighted the possibilty of stalking in situations when one partner leaves the other because of domestic violence. The aggressor then may continue abusing the former partnet with impunity.
"The victim is thus left unprotected and, paradoxically, it was often easier for the victim to find protection by staying with the aggressor in the same household," warned Stehlíková.
The council asked the government to make the Justice Ministry come up with a special proposal that would classify stalking as a criminal offence. The proposal should be submitted to the government before the end of this year.