While legal definitions of stalking vary from one jurisdiction to another, a good working definition of stalking is a a course of conduct directed at a specific person that would cause a reasonable person to feel fear.
- 6.6 million people are stalked in one year in the United States.
- 3 in 4 stalking victims are stalked by someone they know.
- 66% of female victims and 41% of male victims of stalking victims are stalked by a current or former intimate partner.
- 10% of stalking victims are stalked by a stranger.
- Persons aged 18-24 experience the highest rate of stalking.
- 11% of stalking victims have been stalked for 5 years or more.
- 46% of stalking victims experience at least one unwanted contact per week.
- 1 in 4 victims report being stalked through the use of some form of technology (such as e-mail or instant messaging).
- 10% of victims report being monitored with global positioning systems (GPS), and 8% report being monitored through video or digital cameras, or listening devices.
Impact of Stalking on Victims
If you are being stalked, you may...
- Feel fear of what the stalker will do.
- Feel vulnerable, unsafe, and not know who to trust.
- Feel anxious, irritable, impatient, or on edge.
- Feel depressed, hopeless, overwhelmed, tearful, or angry.
- Feel stressed, including having trouble concentrating, sleeping, or remembering things.
- Have eating problems, such as appetite loss, forgetting to eat, or overeating.
- Have flashbacks, disturbing thoughts, feelings, or memories.
- Feel confused, frustrated, or isolated because other people don't understand why you are afraid.
- 46% of stalking victims fear not knowing what will happen next. [Baum et al., (2009). "Stalking Victimization in the United States." BJS.]
- 29% of stalking victims fear the stalking will never stop. [Baum et al.]
- 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. [Baum et al.]
- 1 in 7 stalking victims move as a result of their victimization. [Baum et al.]
- The prevalence of anxiety, insomnia, social dysfunction, and severe depression is much higher among stalking victims than the general population, especially if the stalking involves being followed or having one's property destroyed. [Eric Blauuw et al. "The Toll of Stalking," Journal of Interpersonal Violence 17, no. 1(2002):50-63.]
StalkersA stalker can be someone you know well or not at all. Most have dated or been involved with the people they stalk. Most stalking cases involve men stalking women, but men do stalk men, women do stalk women, and women do stalk men.
- 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.
- Almost 1/3 of stalkers have stalked before.
- Intimate partner stalkers frequently approach their targets, and their behaviors escalate quickly.
Stalking and Intimate Partner Femicide
- 76% of intimate partner femicide victims have been stalked by their intimate partner.
- 67% had been physically abused by their intimate partner.
- 89% of femicide victims who had been physically assaulted had also been stalked in the 12 months before their murder.
- 79% of abused femicide victims reported being stalked during the same period that they were abused.
- 54% of femicide victims reported stalking to police before they were killed by their stalkers.