Sen. StadelmanROCKFORD – State Senator Steve Stadelman advanced legislation through the Senate Judiciary Committee that keeps victims and survivors safe from their abusers by expanding the definition of stalking to include electronic tracking systems.

"As tracking devices become more popular, people are caught using them for the wrong reasons,” said Stadelman (D-Rockford).

With advances in technology, people are using electronic devices to keep track of their luggage, wallets and other personal belongings. However, people are also using them to stalk others.

Through Senate Bill 2683, Stadelman is working to change the Stalking No Contact Order Act to be consistent with the criminal definition of stalking. The new legislation would change the definition of “course of conduct” of stalking to include the use of an electronic tracking system to determine a person’s location, movement or travel patterns. The legislation would also allow judges to prohibit respondents from using electronic tracking systems and acquiring tracking information in a court order.

Nearly one in three women and one in six men have experienced stalking. An estimated 13.5 million people are stalked a year in the United States. Law enforcement reports more than twice as many victims of stalking have been followed with technology than without.

“Cyberstalking is a serious crime, especially in this day and age where someone’s personal information and even location data can be accessed through the internet", said Stadelman.

Senate Bill 2683 passed the Senate Judiciary Committee on Tuesday and heads to the floor for further deliberation.