Excerpt: Unrequited love is generally portrayed in movies and songs as a harmless obsession.
Here in the real world, it can be a bit scarier.
State law considers stalking a "repeated course of conduct intended to annoy or harass." That can be interpreted to mean anything from camping out beneath a bedroom window to three phone calls.
In a study released January, an estimated 3.4 million people identified themselves as the victims of stalking during a 12-month period in 2005 and 2006.
The study participants told the U.S. Department of Justice's Bureau of Justice Statistics that unwanted phone calls were the most common form of stalking. Almost a third of the victims said that their stalkers followed them or waited for the victim at a particular location.
But even with a rising number of stalking victims, there are still a number of misconceptions attached to this crime, experts say.
From Amy Germann's perspective, most folks associate stalking with...