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Stalking

Definition: Stalking is a pattern of behavior that generates fear and/or safety concerns for the person who is the focus of the behavior.

Stalking can get more serious over time. Most often the stalker is someone the person knows, is or was in a relationship with or dated, but they might not be. Stalking can happen to anyone regardless of race, culture, gender identity, age, or sexual orientation.

Description

What Stalkers Commonly Do:

  • Repeatedly call, text, email, or message you via social media
  • Follow you or show up where you are
  • Use technology to track you or find out and/or disseminate personal information about you
  • Drive by or hang out at or near the places you go
  • Threaten to hurt you and/or people you care about
  • Threaten to “out” you to family, work or friends

What You Might Feel if You are Being Stalked:

  • Fear of what the opposite party might do
  • Unsure of who to trust
  • Anxious, irritable, on edge
  • Hopeless or overwhelmed
  • Have trouble concentrating or trouble sleeping
  • Change in appetite
  • Experience memories or thoughts that you have a hard time shaking
  • Feel isolated or confused

If you do not experience these common reactions, it does not mean that what you are experiencing is not serious or that you should not seek support if you want it.

Stalking is against the law in every state in the U.S., but the way that stalking is treated under the law is slightly different in every state.

Some people decide that getting the help of police and the courts is helpful for them and others feel less comfortable with that choice.

We are available to talk with you about what you’re experiencing and tell you about options so you can make an informed decision about how you’d like to protect yourself.



Statistics and Facts

  • Approximately 15% of women and 6% of men in the United States have ever experienced stalking (CDC, 2014)
  • Young people are at an increased risk for stalking
    • More than 50% of female stalking survivors and more than 30% of male stalking survivors were first stalked before they were 25 years old (CDC, 2010)

Stalking Perpetrator Statistics

  • It is common for the stalker to be known to the survivor.
    • The perpetrator is often someone the survivor is or was in a relationship with, an acquaintance, or family member.
    • More than 80% of survivors reported the person stalking them was known to them in some way (CDC, 2014)
    • Strangers are reported as the perpetrator of stalking in less than 25% of stalking cases (CDC, 2014).

Stalking Gender Statistics

  • For women more than 60% reported the opposite party was a current or former partner, almost 25% reported the person was an acquaintance, and about 6% said the person stalking them was a family member (CDC, 2014).
    • For male survivors a smaller percentage reported that the person stalking them was a current or former partner (44%), almost 32% said the stalker was an acquaintance, and just about 10% reported the person stalking them was a family member (CDC, 2014).
  • Female stalking survivors reported predominantly male perpetrators (more than 88%)
  • Male survivors reported a more even mix of male and female perpetrators: about 48% reported the person stalking them was male and almost 45% reported the person stalking them was female (CDC, 2014).

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