Stalking – Should Employers Be Concerned
Stalking is a common problem. A National Violence Against Women Survey found that 8.1% of all women and 2.2 % of all men surveyed were stalked at least once in their lifetime. This means that approximately one out of every 12 women and one out of every 45 men in America have been stalked.

Since the workplace is the one venue where the stalker is sure of the victim's whereabouts, employers should be concerned about and aware of stalking as an issue.

What is stalking? Though most states define stalking as the willful, malicious, and repeated following and harassing of another person, some include such activities as lying in wait, surveillance, nonconsensual communication, telephone harassment, and vandalism. Most stalking laws require that the perpetrator make a credible threat of violence against the victim; others include threats against the victim's immediate family; and others require only that the course of conduct engaged in by the alleged stalker constitute an implied threat.

Who stalks whom? Female victims are significantly more likely than male victims to be stalked by spouses or ex-spouses. Male victims are significantly more likely to be stalked by acquaintances and strangers. The survey found that victims of stalking are primarily between the ages of 18 to 39.

The link to domestic violence. The survey found strong evidence of a link between stalking and domestic violence. Eighty percent (80%) of women who were stalked by an intimate or former intimate partner reported being physically assaulted by that stalker. Survey results also indicate that in approximately 80% of the cases involving former intimate partners, the stalking either started or continued after the woman left the relationship.

Steps you can take to support employees in cases of domestic violence/stalking:

Remember—when it comes to your workplace, you have a duty and a right to keep it safe and secure for all employees.