Stalking

Stalking Facts

Stalking – a course of conduct directed at a specific person that would cause a reasonable person to feel fear; the willful, malicious and repeated following and harassing of another person. It is a criminal offense under the laws of all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and the federal government. Although its prevalence is high, public awareness that stalking is a crime remains dangerously low. Many victims are told that nothing can be done until he or she is harmed or police are reluctant to do anything. Victims are often left feeling defenseless.

Stalking Statistics

  • 1 in 12 women are stalked
  • 1 in 45 men are stalked
  • 1,006,970 American women are stalked each year
  • 370,990 men in America are stalked each year
  • 87% of stalkers are men
  • 59% of women and 30% of men are stalked by their intimate partners
  • 76% of female homicide victims were stalked prior to death, more than half of these victims reported stalking to the police before being murdered by their stalkers

Stalking Tendencies

  • Average duration of stalking is 1.8 years
  • Average duration of stalking by intimate partners is 2.2 years
  • 61% of stalkers made unwanted phone calls
  • 33% of stalkers sent or left unwanted letters or items
  • 29% of stalkers vandalized property
  • 9% of stalkers killed or threatened to kill a family pet

Stalking victims take drastic measures to protect themselves including, but not limited to:

  • relocating
  • changing their identities
  • changing jobs
  • 28% of female and 10% of male victims obtained protective orders
  • Of those, 69% of female victims and 81% of male victims had the protection order violated

Effects of Stalking

  • anxiety
  • insomnia
  • social dysfunction
  • severe depression

(Definition and statistics provided by Forensic Nurse.)

Types of Stalkers

  • Simple obsessional (prior relationship exists between the victim and the stalker
    • acquaintance
    • neighbor
    • customer
    • professional relationship
    • dating
    • lover
  • Erotomania
    • delusion that another person is in love with the individual
    • idealized romantic love “a perfect match”
    • object of affection is usually of a higher status and can be a complete strange
  • Love Obsessional
    • victim is almost always known through the media
    • delusion that the victim loves them
    • individual has a primary psychiatric diagnosis

 

Motivation for Stalkers

  • The Rejected – feelings of loss, frustration, anger, jealousy, malevolence, and depression
  • Intimacy Seeker – pursue s an intimate relationship with an individual perceived as their true love, but their attentions are not wanted by the object of their affection
  • The Incompetent – lack s sufficient skills in dating; display s a sense of entitlement that they deserve this person; may have had previous stalking victims
  • The Resentful – goal is to frighten and distress the victim; experience s feelings of injustice and desire revenge
  • The Predatory – power and control gives stalkers great deal of enjoyment; may mentally rehearse a plan to attack the victim; likely to have histories of sexual offense convictions

(Information provided by www.stalkingbehavior.com/definiti.htm)