What to do about cyberstalking

Take all threats to your safety seriously – call the police on Triple Zero (000) if you’re in immediate danger.

If you live with the cyberstalker

Increase your personal safety – both physical and online

If your cyberstalker is a current or ex-partner, call 1800Respect on 1800 737 732 for confidential safety planning. Use a public phone or a friend’s mobile – don’t use your own mobile or home phone in case it’s being tracked or you’re overheard.Use the eSafety Checklist to improve your online safety and secure your electronic devices.

If you don’t live with the cyberstalker

Avoid contact with the cyberstalker

Give them a single clear message at the earliest possible stage that their attention is unwelcome and that you don’t want any of their attention or any contact from them.Instead of responding to their posts, messages, texts or calls, collect them as evidence.

Increase your personal safety – both physical and online

Prepare a safety plan: call 1800Respect on 1800 737 732 and they can help you make a plan. For your own safety, use a public phone or a friend’s mobile.Use the eSafety tips to improve your online safety and secure your electronic devices.

Actions to take

Talk to close friends and family

Tell them what’s happening so they can support you, and help you avoid contact with the cyberstalker and stay safe.

Collect evidence of the cyberstalking

Collect evidence of the cyberstalking when it’s safe to do so:

  • take screen shots of abusive posts, texts or emails
  • keep the evidence safe on a separate device or save it to a USB and leave the USB with a friend.

Police will need evidence of the cyberstalking to prove that a crime is being committed. Ask police what evidence they need, for example, do they need dates, times, photos and recordings?

Keeping evidence of cyberstalking can be risky – you need to make sure the cyberstalker can’t access the evidence you keep. Can you keep a list of the evidence or copies of the evidence somewhere else, such as on a friend’s computer at their house? Mobile apps can collect evidence, but don’t use them if the cyberstalker can access your phone, because they might find the evidence.

Read more on our Collecting evidence page.

Contact the police

Go to your local police station for help:
  • take a friend or family member for support, and have them make notes of what the police tell you
  • tell the police what’s been happening, show them the evidence you’ve collected, and ask them what you can do to improve your safety
  • ask the police what other evidence they need
  • keep notes of your conversations with police and copies of police reports at a safe place, like a friend’s house.

Read more on our Collecting evidence page.

Triple zero

1800RESPECT logo

Take the tour
Watch the case studies
Violence against women - Let's stop it at the start - www.respect.gov.au

Apply for a protection order

Apply through your local police, but first make a safety plan as the cyberstalker might become very angry once they know you’ve reported them and their behaviour.

Protection orders are known by different names in different states and territories:

Australian Capital Territory

Domestic Violence Orders
New South WalesApprehended Domestic Violence Orders
Northern TerritoryDomestic Violence Orders
QueenslandDomestic Violence Protection Orders
South AustraliaIntervention Orders
TasmaniaFamily Violence Orders
VictoriaFamily Violence Intervention Orders
Western AustraliaViolence Restraining Orders

Get the support you need

During this difficult time, remember that family, friends and services can help you. Getting the support you need is important for you – it will help you protect yourself, and your sense of wellbeing.Talking to a counsellor or calling a confidential and anonymous support service can give you a safe space to help you manage your emotions. Call 1800 Respect (1800 737 732) or LifeLine (13 11 14).

If your family and friends are also affected by cyberstalking, encourage them to seek help and support too.If children are involved, go to your GP and their school as their support can help your children feel safer and cope better.

Remember, you might need help even after the cyberstalking has stopped. Talk to your support worker if you have one or visit your GP for a referral to a local support service. If you need to see a psychologist, you may be eligible for a Medicare rebate under Medicare’s Mental Health Treatment Plan. You may be able to see a Mental Health Nurse – your GP can check your eligibility and get a referral for you, and your children too if they need it.

Sign up for eSafety News

Stay up to date with online
issues, new resources, events, and the latest research.