According to the authorities, numbers are likely to be higher given that many victims don't always file a complaint.
Lisa* (now 20 years old) was only 16 when her then best friend started to stalk and harass her - digitally, as well as physically.
In legal terms this would be called "cyberstalking" and "obsessional harassment". Lisa was a minor then, and scared to come forward or to talk to the police about it, which has clearly left its mark. Until this day, Lisa has to grapple with her anxiety issues.
This is a fate that unfortunately many others share in this country. According to Marc Ragnacci, chief-inspector of the National crime prevention service, the number of cases is staggeringly high, due to the fact that victims are scared to report the incidents to the police. Oftentimes, the perpetrators are part of the victim's closest circle - a good friend, an ex-partner, a work colleague.
According to Aline Hartz from "Kanner- a Jugendtelefon" (support service for children and adolescents) and "Bee Secure" (service that promiotes secure and responsible use of information technology), many victims fail to comprehend the situation once they find themselves in the middle of it. Some might not see the perpetrator's behaviour as "obsessive", or even "criminal".
One thing remains clear: if a text message, or a phone call, or an interaction gives you a bad feeling, you should not neglect it. If a person fails to understand someone's boundaries and invades someone's private space, then that is a punishable offence.
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