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Stalking

 

Recent Research on Stalking

Prevalence

One in 12 women are stalked at some point in their life. ( U.S. Dept. of Justice Study )

Each year an estimated one million women and 371,000 men are stalked in the United States . ( U.S. Dept. of Justice Study )

In one study, 13% of college women had been stalked since the school year began. ( Stalking on College Campuses - (NCWSV);

If the definition of stalking required that the person were actually threatened with harm--as set forth in many state criminal stalking statutes--the extent of stalking dropped to only 1.96%. ( Stalking on College Campuses - (NCWSV );

Seventy-four percent of stalking victims are between 18 and 39 years of age. (Tjaden and Thoennes 1998, 5)

Victim-Stalker Relationship

Eighty percent of victims knew or had seen their stalker before . ( Stalking on College Campuses - (NCWSV)

Twenty-eight percent of stalkers are friends or co-workers. (METRAC 1998, 2)

Duration of Stalking

Stalking incidents lasted on average for 2 months (60 days) . (Stalking on College Campuses (NCWSV)

Harm to Victims

3 in 10 women reported being injured emotionally or psychologically from being stalked. Stalking on College Campuses - (NCWSV)

In 15.3% of incidents, the victim reported that the stalker either threatened or attempted to harm them. Stalking on College Campuses - (NCWSV)

In 10.3% of incidents, the victim reported that the stalker forced or attempted sexual contact . Stalking on College Campuses - (NCWSV)

Reporting Stalking Incidents

Overall, 83.1% of stalking incidents were NOT reported to police or campus law enforcement. Stalking on College Campuses - (NCWSV)

93.4% of victims confided in someone, most often a friend, that they were being stalked. Stalking on College Campuses - (NCWSV)

Communities of color

The survey found that American Indian/Alaska Native women more likely to be stalked than female victims of other racial or ethnic backgrounds. The survey also showed Asian/Pacific Islander women were significantly less likely to be stalked. Stalking on College Campuses - (NCWSV)

Domestic Violence Often Precedes Stalking

Data from 187 women stalked by former intimate partners showed that:

1. 75% experienced controlling behavior during their former relationship with the stalker and 2. 61% experienced restricted access to family members and friends

(Brewster, 2003) NCVC Newsletter Fall 2003

There is a strong link between stalking and other forms of violence in intimate relationships. Eighty-one percent of women who were stalked by a current or former partner were also physically assaulted by that partner and 31% were also sexually assaulted by that partner. (Violence Against Women Grants Office 1998, 10)

Recidivism in Stalkers

A recent study found that of the stalking offenders sampled, 49% re-offended during the follow-up period of 2.5-13.0 years. Of that 49%, 80% re-offended during the first year. The presences of a personality disorder and a history of substance abuse were strong predictors of recidivism. However, the presence of a delusional disorder (e.g., erotomania) was associated with a lower risk of re-offending (Resenfeld, 2003). NCVC Newsletter Fall 2003

Female Stalkers and Their Victims

A study of female stalkers revealed that female stalkers often pursued their victims to establish intimacy rather than to restore it. Frequency of interpersonal violence was 25%, (Meloy & Boyd, 2003). NCVC Newsletter Fall 2003

Stalking and Femicide

Researchers found stalking to be one of the significant risk factors for femicide (homicide of women) in abusive relationships (Campbell et al, 2003). NCVC Newsletter Fall 2003

References:

METRAC Metropolitan Action Committee on Violence Against Women and Children. 1998. Stalking: Facts and Issues . Toronto : METRAC.

Tjaden, P. and N. Thoennes. 1998. Stalking in America : Findings from the National Violence Against Women Survey. In National Institute of Justice/ Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: Research in Brief. Washington , D.C. : U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs, National Institute of Justice.

Violence Against Women Grants Office. July 1998. Stalking and Domestic Violence: Third Annual Report to Congress Under the Violence Against Women Act . Washington , DC : US Department of Justice. Retrieved Aug 15, 2000 from the World Wide Web: http://www.ojp.usdoj.gov/ovc/ncvrw/1999/stalk.htm

This project was supported by Grant No. 2002-WA-BX-0011 awarded by the Office of Violence Against Women and the U.S. Department of Justice. Points of view in this document are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the official position or policies of the U.S. Department of Justice.