Scholars note that the majority of men and women admit engaging in various stalking-like behaviors following a breakup, but stop such behaviors over time, suggesting that "engagement in low levels of unwanted pursuit behaviors for a relatively short amount of time, particularly in the context of a relationship break-up, may be normative for heterosexual dating relationships occurring within U.
People characterized as stalkers may be accused of having a mistaken belief that another person loves them erotomania , or that they need rescuing. Stalkers may use overt and covert intimidation, threats and violence to frighten their victims. They may engage in vandalism and property damage or make physical attacks that are meant to frighten.
Less common are sexual assaults. Intimate partner stalkers are the most dangerous type. It is rarely used for stalking as portrayed by the media since only a small minority of cases in the survey involved such behaviour.
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Disruptions in daily life necessary to escape the stalker, including changes in employment , residence and phone numbers, take a toll on the victim's well-being and may lead to a sense of isolation. Moreover, the separated acts that make up the intrusion cannot by themselves cause the mental abuse, but do taken together cumulative effect. Stalking has also been described as a form of close relationship between the parties, albeit a disjunctive one where the two participants have opposing goals rather than cooperative goals. One participant, often a woman, likely wishes to end the relationship entirely, but may find herself unable to easily do so.
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The other participant, often but not always a man, wishes to escalate the relationship. It has been described as a close relationship because the duration, frequency, and intensity of contact may rival that of a more traditional conjunctive dating relationship. According to one study, women often target other women, whereas men primarily stalk women. Census Bureau for the U. She says, "gender is associated with the types of emotional reactions that are experienced by recipients of stalking related events, including the degree of fear experienced by the victim.
She discusses how victims might view certain forms of stalking as normal because of gender socialization influences on the acceptability of certain behaviors.
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She emphasizes that in the United Kingdom, Australia, and the United States, strangers are considered more dangerous when it comes to stalking than a former partner. Media also plays an important role due to portrayals of male stalking behavior as acceptable, influencing men into thinking it is normal. Since gender roles are socially constructed, sometimes men don't report stalking. She also mentions coercive control theory, "future research will be needed to determine if this theory can predict how changes in social structures and gender-specific norms will result in variations in rates of stalking for men versus women over time in the United States and across the world.
Psychologists often group individuals who stalk into two categories: However, most stalkers are nonpsychotic and may exhibit disorders or neuroses such as major depression , adjustment disorder , or substance dependence , as well as a variety of personality disorders such as antisocial , borderline , or narcissistic. The nonpsychotic stalkers' pursuit of victims is primarily angry, vindictive, focused, often including projection of blame , obsession , dependency , minimization , denial , and jealousy.
In "A Study of Stalkers" Mullen et al. In addition to Mullen et al. This research culminated in one of the most comprehensive books written to date on the subject. It is considered the "gold standard" as a reference to stalking crimes, victim protection, safety planning, security and threat assessment published by CRC Press, Inc.
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The National Victim Association Academy defines an additional form of stalking: Both the vengeance stalker and terrorist stalker the latter sometimes called the political stalker do not, in contrast with some of the aforementioned types of stalkers, seek a personal relationship with their victims but rather force them to emit a certain response. For example, most prosecutions in this stalking category have been against anti-abortionists who stalk doctors in an attempt to discourage the performance of abortions. Stalkers may fit categories with paranoia disorders. Intimacy-seeking stalkers often have delusional disorders involving erotomanic delusions.
With rejected stalkers, the continual clinging to a relationship of an inadequate or dependent person couples with the entitlement of the narcissistic personality, and the persistent jealousy of the paranoid personality. In contrast, resentful stalkers demonstrate an almost "pure culture of persecution ", with delusional disorders of the paranoid type, paranoid personalities, and paranoid schizophrenia. As discussed above, these specific apparently stalking behaviors may have multiple motivations.
In addition, the personality characteristics that are often discussed as antecedent to stalking may also produce behavior that is not stalking as conventionally defined. Some research suggests there is a spectrum of what might be called "obsessed following behavior. Some of these people get extruded from their organizations—they may get hospitalized or fired or let go if their behavior is defined in terms of illegal stalking, but many others do good or even excellent work in their organizations and appear to have just one focus of tenacious obsession.
Cyberstalking is the use of computers or other electronic technology to facilitate stalking. In Davis , Lucks identified a separate category of stalkers who instead of a terrestrial means, prefer to perpetrate crimes against their targeted victims through electronic and online means. Alcohol and physical abuse both played a role in predicting women's cyberstalking and in men, "preoccupied attachment significantly predicted cyber stalking". According to a U. Department of Justice special report  a significant number of people reporting stalking incidents claim that they had been stalked by more than one person, with The report did not break down these cases into numbers of victims who claimed to have been stalked by several people individually, and by people acting in concert.
A question asked of respondents reporting three or more stalkers by polling personnel about whether the stalking was related to co-workers, members of a gang, fraternities, sororities, etc. Census Bureau for the Department of Justice.
Over a quarter of all stalking and harassment victims do not know their stalkers in any capacity. About a tenth responding to the SVS did not know the identities of their stalkers.
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In , Pathe, Mullen and Purcell wrote that popular interest in stalking was promoting false claims. News reports have described how groups of Internet users have cooperated to exchange detailed conspiracy theories involving coordinated activities by large numbers of people called "gang stalking". These have been reported by external observers as being examples of belief systems , as opposed to reports of objective phenomena.
They may reinforce the troubled thinking of the mentally ill and impede treatment. A study from Australia and the United Kingdom by Lorraine Sheridan and David James  compared self-defined victims of 'gang-stalking' with a randomly selected group of self-declared victims of stalking by an individual. All 'victims' of gang-stalking were judged to be delusional, compared with only 3. There were highly significant differences between the two samples on depressive symptoms, post-traumatic symptomatology and adverse impact on social and occupational function, with the self-declared victims of gang-stalking more severely affected.
The authors concluded that "group-stalking appears to be delusional in basis, but complainants suffer marked psychological and practical sequelae. This is important in the assessment of risk in stalking cases, early referral to psychiatric services and allocation of police resources.
There was no significant difference between the incidence of stalking in rural and urban areas. A similar retrospective study published in in Psychological Medicine based on a sample of threats to the Royal Family kept by the Metropolitan Police Service over a period of 15 years, suggested that Every Australian state enacted laws prohibiting stalking during the s, with Queensland being the first state to do so in The laws vary slightly from state to state, with Queensland's laws having the broadest scope, and South Australian laws the most restrictive.
Punishments vary from a maximum of 10 years imprisonment in some states, to a fine for the lowest severity of stalking in others. I actually run from adult dating sites on the website.
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