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Technology and Stalking: Legal Remedies for Survivors of Domestic Violence


In an era where technology permeates every aspect of our lives, it has also become a tool for perpetrators of domestic violence to harass, intimidate, and control their victims. This digital dimension of abuse, often termed as cyberstalking, has brought new challenges to the forefront of family law. At Foster Hsu, LLP, in San Jose, California, we are committed to protecting the rights and safety of domestic violence survivors, including those facing the invisible yet pervasive threat of technological stalking.

What is Cyberstalking?

Cyberstalking can manifest in various forms, including but not limited to, excessive messaging, email harassment, social media abuse, location tracking through GPS, unauthorized access to personal data, and the misuse of surveillance technology. Such actions not only invade the privacy of survivors but can also lead to a constant state of fear and anxiety, significantly impacting their mental and emotional well-being.

California on the Forefront

Recognizing the severity of this issue, California has been at the forefront of implementing laws designed to protect individuals from digital harassment and stalking. Under California Penal Code Section 646.9, stalking is defined as following, harassing, and threatening another person to the point where that individual fears for their safety or the safety of their family. This definition has been interpreted to include cyberstalking, reflecting an understanding of the changing dynamics of abuse in the digital age.

Legal Remedies

Survivors of technological stalking have several legal remedies at their disposal:

  • Restraining Orders: California law allows victims of stalking, including cyberstalking, to seek restraining orders against their abusers. These orders can prohibit the stalker from contacting or coming near the victim and may also restrict the abuser’s ability to use certain technological tools for surveillance or harassment.
  • Civil Lawsuits: Victims may also have the option to file a civil lawsuit against their stalkers for damages resulting from the stalking. This can include compensation for emotional distress, loss of earnings, and costs associated with improving personal security.
  • Criminal Charges: In cases where cyberstalking behaviors violate specific laws, such as unauthorized access to computers, identity theft, or the distribution of intimate images without consent, criminal charges can be pursued against the perpetrator. California’s robust cybercrime laws provide a framework for prosecuting these offenses.

Schedule a Consultation Today

At Foster Hsu, LLP, we advise and support our clients in navigating the complexities of the legal system to address technological stalking. We work closely with technology experts to gather evidence of cyberstalking, which can be crucial in securing protective orders. Additionally, we collaborate with a network of professionals who can offer support services, including digital security consultants who can assist in protecting against further technological intrusions.

The fight against domestic violence and stalking in the digital age requires a multifaceted approach, combining legal action, technological solutions, and support services. For anyone facing the terror of cyberstalking, remember that you are not alone. Legal protections are in place, and with our San Jose domestic violence lawyers, we are here to help you navigate these options to ensure your safety and well-being.


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