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Stalking
A study released on January 13, 2008 finds that stalking is more prevalent than previous studies have shown and causes victims to make significant life changes, fear for their safety, and seek help from friends and family members, according to the U.S. Justice Department’s Bureau of Justice Statistics. An estimated 3.4 million persons said they were victims of stalking during a 12-month period in 2005 and 2006. About half these victims experienced at least one unwanted contact per week, 11 percent had been stalked for five or more years, and one in seven moved as a result of the stalking.

The study found that women are nearly three times more likely than men to be stalked, and young people age 18 to 24 experience the highest rates of stalking.

Stalker Characteristics and Behaviors
While women are significantly more likely to be stalked by a male (67 percent) than a female (24 percent), men are just as likely to be stalked by another male (41 percent) than a female (43 percent).

Nearly three in four victims say they know their offender. Stalking victims most often identify the stalker as a former intimate partner (22 percent), or a friend, roommate or neighbor (16 percent). Only about one in ten victims is stalked by a stranger.

Stalking victims are most likely to receive unwanted phone calls (66 percent), be the victim of rumors (36 percent), be followed or spied on (34 percent), receive unwanted letters or email (31 percent) and have their stalkers show up at places with no reason to be there (31 percent). Approximately 60 percent of victims do not report the stalking to police.

The study defines stalking as a course of conduct directed at a specific person that would cause a reasonable person to feel fear. Individuals are considered to have been stalked if they feared for their safety or that of a family member as a result of the course of conduct, or experienced additional threatening behaviors. Individuals are classified as victims of stalking if they responded that they experienced at least one of seven types of stalking behaviors on two or more separate occasions.

Cyberstalking
Technology has become a quick and easy way for stalkers to monitor and harass their victims. More than one in four stalking victims reports that some form of cyberstalking was used against them, such as email (83 percent of all cyberstalking victims) or instant messaging (35 percent).

Electronic monitoring of some kind is used to stalk one in 13 victims. Video or digital cameras are as likely as listening devices or bugs to be used to track victims.

Workplace Impact
About 130,000 victims reported that they were fired or asked to leave their job because of the stalking.

About one in eight employed stalking victims lost time from work because of fear for their safety or because they needed to get a restraining order or testify in court. More than half these victims lost five days or more from work.

Stalking Victimization in the United States is based on the largest data collection of stalking behavior to date. Data was collected by the Supplemental Victimization Survey, a supplement to the National Crime Victimization Survey, and was sponsored by the Office on Violence Against Women. Data collection was conducted over a six-month period in 2006. The report is available at www.ojp.usdoj.gov/bjs/pub/pdf/svus.pdf.
More than seven million women and two million men in the US have been stalked, finds a study from the National Center for Injury Prevention and Control, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Stalking affects seven percent of women (one in 14 women) and two percent of men (one in 50 men) in the U.S. at some time in their lives. The study was published in the August 2006 issue of the American Journal of Preventive Medicine.

“Stalking in the United States, Recent National Prevalence Estimates” defines stalking as “being followed, spied on, or communicated with, without consent at a level perceived to be somewhat dangerous or life threatening.” It finds that individuals who are never married, separated, widowed or divorced report significantly higher rates of stalking than those who are married or living with a partner. Those 55 or older, or retired, are least likely to have been stalked. Results are based on findings from the Injury Control and Risk telephone survey conducted from 2001 to 2003. Nearly 10,000 women and men aged 18 and older participated.
A 2002 study found that the physical and mental health effects of being stalked were not gender-related. Both male and female victims experienced impaired health, depression, injury, and were more likely to engage in substance abuse than their non- stalked peers.

(Davis, KE, Coker L, Sanderson M. 2002. “Physical and Mental Health Effects of Being Stalked for Men and Women.” Violence and Victims 17(4).)
The Los Angeles Stalking and Threat Assessment Unit recently reported that threatening email and other electronic communications are factors in 20 percent of the stalking cases referred to their office.

(National Institute of Justice. Violence Against Women Office. 2001. "Stalking and Domestic Violence." The Third Report to Congress under the Violence Against Women Act. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Justice.)
Strangers are the perpetrators in 23 percent of female stalking incidents. Current or former husbands are the perpetrators 38 percent of the time; current or former cohabiting partners are the perpetrators 10 percent of the time; and current or former boyfriends are the perpetrators 14 percent of the time.

(National Institute of Justice. Violence Against Women Office. 2001. "Stalking and Domestic Violence." The Third Report to Congress under the Violence Against Women Act. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Justice.)
Intimate partners that stalk are four times more likely than intimate partners in the general population to physically assault their victims and six times more likely to sexually assault their victims.

(National Institute of Justice. Violence Against Women Office. 2001. "Stalking and Domestic Violence." The Third Report to Congress under the Violence Against Women Act. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Justice.)
A recent survey of college women indicates that the incidence rate of stalking on campuses is far higher than previous surveys indicate. Stalking behavior, defined as obsessive behavior that causes the victim to fear for her safety, occurred at rates as high as 156.5 per 1000 female students or 13.1 percent of female students on college campuses.

(National Institute of Justice. 2000. The Sexual Victimization of College Women. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Justice.)
Female stalking victims on college campuses reported that they were stalked two to six times a week. The duration of the stalking was an average of 60 day

(National Institute of Justice. 2000. The Sexual Victimization of College Women. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Justice.)
Three of the correlating factors that increase the risk of a female being stalked on a college campus are spending time in bars; living alone; and being in the early phase of a dating relationship, as opposed to being married or living with an intimate partner.

(National Institute of Justice. 2000. The Sexual Victimization of College Women. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Justice.)
The most common consequence of the stalking of college women was psychological harm and emotional injury. Fifteen percent of the time, the stalker threatened or attempted to harm the victim and 10 percent of the time, the stalker forced or attempted sexual contact.

(National Institute of Justice. 2000. The Sexual Victimization of College Women. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Justice.)
Current or former intimate partners stalk approximately 503,485 women and 185,496 men in the United States annually.

(National Institute of Justice. 2000. Extent, Nature and Consequences of Intimate Partner Violence. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Justice.)
Between 85.4% and 93.6% of stalking perpetrators are not prosecuted. About 40% of those who are prosecuted are convicted, however only 56.3% of convicted stalkers are sentenced to jail.

(Tjaden and Thoennes, 2000, US Department of Justice)
Most (78%) stalking victims are female and most (87%) stalking perpetrators are male.

(Tjaden, P. and Thoennes, N., Stalking in America: Findings From the National Violence Against Women Survey, 1998, NCJ 169592)
Women are significantly more likely than men (59% and 30%, respectively) to be stalked by intimate partners.

(Tjaden, P. and Thoennes, N., Stalking in America: Findings From the National Violence Against Women Survey, 1998, NCJ 169592)
81% percent of the women who were stalked by a current or former husband or cohabiting partner were also physically assaulted by the same partner, and 31% of the women who were stalked by a current or former husband or cohabiting partner were also sexually assaulted by the same partner.

(Tjaden, P. and Thoennes, N., Stalking in America: Findings >From the National Violence Against Women Survey, 1998, NCJ 169592)
On one college campus, between 26.6% and 35.2% of female students and between 14.7% and 18.4% of male students have been stalked.

(Fremouw, W.J., Westrup, D., & Pennypacker, J., 1997. "Stalking on Campus: The Prevalence and Strategies for Coping with Stalking," Journal of Forensic Science, July 1997; 42(4): 666-669.)
Adults between 18 and 29 years old are the primary targets of stalking, comprising 52% of all victims.

(Los Angeles Commission on Assaults Against Women website)
Most stalking cases involve perpetrators and victims who know each other; only 23% of all female victims and 36% of all male victims are stalked by strangers.

(Los Angeles Commission on Assaults Against Women website)

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