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A Journal on Forensic Medicine
PREDICT TO PREVENT TO INTERVENE: NEW NAMES IN PIEDMONTESE FORENSIC MEDICINE
Minerva Medicolegale 2013 December;133(4):231-40
Stalking: medico-legal considerations
Libero professionista, Specialista medico‑legale, Torino e Cuneo, Italia
The unwanted and obsessive attentions toward another person (violation of personal freedom made by stalking) can lead to mental reactions (of victims) and sometimes these kind of offensive behaviors can result in a real psychopathological disorder and may require a survey of medico-legal damage assessment. Such intrusive and unwanted behaviors have recently found a specific regulatory definition in Italy with the Law n. 38 dated April 23, 2009, introducing the criminal notion of “stalking” (“offense”) as a criminal offence. The author analyzes some aspects of the “new” offense and defines the medical legal implications in the field of compensatory damages and punitive damages. The aim of this study was to highlight the role of the expert witness who have to collect and analyze (more) all the pieces of information about psychological and psychiatric effects on victims due to the stalker’s actions, describing the severity and compatibility between the victim’s mental state and the way of life and the willful and repeated series of harmful actions that occur over a period of time.