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January is Stalking Awareness Month

FACTS ABOUT STALKING

 

What is Stalking? 

While legal definitions of stalking vary from one jurisdiction to another, a good working definition of stalking is:  a course of conduct directed at a specific person that would cause a reasonable person to feel fear.

 

Who are the Victims of Stalking?

• An estimated 6-7.5 million people are stalked in a one year period in the United States.  

• Nearly 1 in 6 women and 1 in 17 men have experienced stalking victimization at some point in their lifetime.  

• Stalkers use many tactics including:  Approaching the victim or showing up in places when the victim didn’t want them to be there; making unwanted telephone calls; leaving the victim unwanted messages (text or voice); watching or following the victim from a distance, or spying on the victim with a listening device, camera, or GPS.

• The majority of stalking victims are stalked by someone they know. Many victims are stalked by a current or former intimate partner, or by an acquaintance. 

• People aged 18-24 have the highest rate of stalking victimization.

 

What is the Impact of Stalking on Victims?

• 46% of stalking victims fear not knowing what will happen next.  

• 29% of stalking victims fear the stalking will never stop.  

• 1 in 8 employed stalking victims lose time from work as a result of their victimization and more than half lose 5 days of work or more.  

• 1 in 7 stalking victims move as a result of their victimization.   

• Stalking victims suffer much higher rates of depression,  anxiety, insomnia, and social dysfunction than people in the general population. 

• Stalking impacts diverse communities across the age, race, gender and socioeconomic spectrum.

 

Stalking Offenders 

• 2/3 of stalkers pursue their victims at least once per week, many daily, using more than one method. 

• 78% of stalkers use more than one means of approach.  

• Weapons are used to harm or threaten victims in 1 out of 5 cases.  

• Intimate partner stalkers frequently approach their targets with hostile behaviors that escalate quickly.