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Stalking

Stalking:

persistent behavior directed at a specific individual that is unwelcome, intrusive or induces fear. Behaviors include unwanted visits to a person’s home, class or work, unwanted letters, e-mails, instant messaging, telephone calls or gifts.

Get the Facts:

Stalking Victimization

  • 3.4 million people over the age of 18 are stalked each year in the United States.
  • 3 in 4 stalking victims are stalked by someone they know.
  • 30% 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 years 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.
Recon Study of Stalkers
  • 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.
These statistics were adopted from the Stalking Resource Center at NCVC.org. To see more, check out the Stalking Fact Sheet.

Stalking - Myth versus Reality

Myth

Reality

Only celebrities are stalked. 3.4 million people are stalked every year in the United States. We hear more about celebrity stalking cases in the media, but the vast majority of stalking victims are ordinary citizens.
If you ignore stalking, it will go away. Stalkers seldom "just stop." In fact, behaviors can turn more violent as time goes on. Victims should seek help from advocates, law enforcement, and courts to intervene to stop the stalking.
Stalking is creepy, but not dangerous. Stalking is creepy and dangerous. Three out of four women who were murdered by an intimate partner had been previously stalked by the killer.
Stalking is annoying, but not illegal. Stalking is a crime under the law of all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and the federal government.
You can't be stalked by someone you are dating. If you current girlfriend or boyfriend follows you around in a way that causes you fear, that is stalking.
Modern surveillance technology is too expensive and consuming for most stalkers to use. Stalkers can by modern surveillance software and hardware for as little as $30 and can easily track victims' every move on their computer.
If you confront the stalker, he'll go away. Stalkers can be unreasonable and unpredictable. Confronting or trying to reason with the stalker can be dangerous.