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Iowa

Local Resources

Stalking often occurs along with other crimes, like domestic violence and sexual assault. While there are no state coalitions for victims of stalking, many domestic violence and sexual assault programs are able to provide assistance. Many of the resources can be confusing to navigate, victim advocates are available to talk to you about address confidentiality and your states criminal stalking laws. Victim advocates can also assist you with safety planning, keeping a log of stalking incidents, and how to be safe when using technology. Find services and/or an advocate in your county using the following links:

Address Confidentiality

Address confidentiality programs allow victims of stalking, sexual assault, domestic violence, or other types of crime to receive mail at a substitute address, which keeps their actual address private and prevents offenders from locating the victim through public records. Mail is sent to the legal substitute address, often a post office box, and then forwarded to the victim’s actual address. The substitute address can be provided whenever the victim’s address is required by a public agency.

Click here for more information on the Address Confidentiality Program in Iowa.

Criminal Stalking Laws

Criminal stalking laws define when a perpetrator may be charged with the crime of stalking, and what infractions are required to bring such a charge. The laws usually define various misdemeanor and felony offenses that correlate with the severity of the transgression. Based on police investigation, a state prosecutor will determine what charges to bring against an offender, and will then file charges against the perpetrator (formally known as an indictment). A trial typically follows, and the defendant may be offered a plea agreement. The criminal statute will also delineate potential punishments, if the perpetrator is convicted, which may include probation, house arrest, and incarceration, among others. Restitution may be requested and awarded to the victim by court order following a conviction, usually at a sentencing hearing.

Click here for more information on criminal stalking laws in Iowa.

National Resources

  • VictimConnect Resource Center - Confidential information, support and referrals for victims of crime via telephone, chat and text including safety planning and crime reporting.
  • WomensLaw.org - State-specific legal information related regarding protection orders, custody, divorce, state gun laws and more. WomensLaw.org also operates an email hotline where victims, their family/friends and advocates can write to ask legal questions.

Address Confidentiality

The Iowa State Address Confidentiality Program assists crime victims who have relocated. Click here to find help with your application in your county. Click here to learn more about what the program in your state covers.

Contact Information

  • Website: https://safeathome.iowa.gov/
  • Address: Safe at Home, 321 East 12th Street, Des Moines, IA 50319
  • Phone: (515) 281-0145
  • Email: SafeAtHome@Iowa.gov

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Criminal Stalking Laws

Iowa Code § 708.11. Stalking. (2009)
1. As used in this section, unless the context otherwise requires:


a. "Accompanying offense" means any public offense committed as part of the course of conduct engaged in while committing the offense of stalking.

b. "Course of conduct" means repeatedly maintaining a visual or physical proximity to a person without legitimate purpose or repeatedly conveying oral or written threats, threats implied by conduct, or a combination thereof, directed at or toward a person.

c. "Immediate family member" means a spouse, parent, child, sibling, or any other person who regularly resides in the household of a specific person, or who within the prior six months regularly resided in the household of a specific person.

d. "Repeatedly" means on two or more occasions.

2. A person commits stalking when all of the following occur:

a. The person purposefully engages in a course of conduct directed at a specific person that would cause a reasonable person to fear bodily injury to, or the death of, that specific person or a member of the specific person's immediate family.

b. The person has knowledge or should have knowledge that the specific person will be placed in reasonable fear of bodily injury to or the death of, that specific person or a member of the specific person's immediate family by the course of conduct.

c. The person's course of conduct induces fear in the specific person of bodily injury to, or the death of, the specific person or a member of the specific person's immediate family.

3.

a. A person who commits stalking in violation of this section commits a class "C" felony for a third or subsequent offense.

b. A person who commits stalking in violation of this section commits a class "D" felony if any of the following apply:

(1) The person commits stalking while subject to restrictions contained in a criminal or civil protective order or injunction, or any other court order which prohibits contact between the person and the victim, or while subject to restrictions contained in a criminal or civil protective order or injunction or other court order which prohibits contact between the person and another person against whom the person has committed a public offense.

(2) The person commits stalking while in possession of a dangerous weapon, as defined in section 702.7.

(3) The person commits stalking by directing a course of conduct at a specific person who is under eighteen years of age.

(4) The offense is a second offense.

c. A person who commits stalking in violation of this section commits an aggravated misdemeanor if the offense is a first offense which is not included in paragraph "b".

4. Violations of this section and accompanying offenses shall be considered prior offenses for the purpose of determining whether an offense is a second or subsequent offense. A conviction for, deferred judgment for, or plea of guilty to a violation of this section or an accompanying offense which occurred at any time prior to the date of the violation charged shall be considered in determining that the violation charged is a second or subsequent offense. Deferred judgments pursuant to section 907.3 for violations of this section or accompanying offenses and convictions or the equivalent of deferred judgments for violations in any other states under statutes substantially corresponding to this section or accompanying offenses shall be counted as previous offenses. The courts shall judicially notice the statutes of other states which define offenses substantially equivalent to the offenses defined in this section and its accompanying offenses and can therefore be considered corresponding statutes. Each previous violation of this section or an accompanying offense on which conviction or deferral of judgment was entered prior to the date of the violation charged shall be considered and counted as a separate previous offense. In addition, however, accompanying offenses committed as part of the course of conduct engaged in while committing the violation of stalking charged shall be considered prior offenses for the purpose of that violation, even though the accompanying offenses occurred at approximately the same time. An offense shall be considered a second or subsequent offense regardless of whether it was committed upon the same person who was the victim of any other previous offense.

5. Notwithstanding section 804.1, rule of criminal procedure 2.7, Iowa court rules, or any other provision of law to the contrary, upon the filing of a complaint and a finding of probable cause to believe an offense has been committed in violation of this section, or after the filing of an indictment or information alleging a violation of this section, the court shall issue an arrest warrant, rather than a citation or summons. A peace officer shall not issue a citation in lieu of arrest for a violation of this section. Notwithstanding section 804.21 or any other provision of law to the contrary, a person arrested for stalking shall be immediately taken into custody and shall not be released pursuant to pretrial release guidelines, a bond schedule, or any similar device, until after the initial appearance before a magistrate. In establishing the conditions of release, the magistrate may consider the defendant's prior criminal history, in addition to the other factors provided in section 811.2.

6. For purposes of determining whether or not the person should register as a sex offender pursuant to the provisions of chapter 692A, the fact finder shall make a determination as provided in section 692A.126.

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