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Stalking

Definition: Stalking is a pattern of behavior that may cause fear or concern fear for the person who is the focus of the behavior.

Description

While most stalking is committed by someone known to the victim, such as an ex-partner or acquaintance, some victims are stalked by strangers. Stalking can get more serious over time and can happen to anyone regardless of race, culture, gender identity, age, or sexual orientation.

Common staking behaviors include:

  • Repeated calls, text messages, e-mails, or posts via social media
  • Following the victim or showing up where they are (e.g., near home, work, school, or other places the victim might frequent)
  • Using technology to track, find out and/or disseminate personal information about the victim
  • Threatening to hurt the victim and/or people they care about

Stalking is against the law in every state, however, the crime of stalking is defined differently in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and on tribal and federal lands.



Statistics and Facts

National Stalking Statistics

  • 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)

Perpetrators of Stalking

  • More than 80% of survivors reported the person stalking them was known to them in some way. (CDC, 2014)
  • The perpetrator is often someone the survivor is or was in a relationship with, an acquaintance, or family member. (CDC, 2010)
    • Strangers are reported as the perpetrator of stalking in less than 25% of stalking cases. (CDC, 2014)

Stalking Victims by Gender

  • For female survivors:
    • More than 60% reported the person stalking them was a current or former partner. (CDC, 2014)
    • Almost 25% reported the person stalking them was an acquaintance. (CDC, 2014)
    • About 6% said the person stalking them was a family member. (CDC, 2014)
  • For male survivors:
    • 44% reported the person stalking them was a current or former partner. (CDC, 2014)
    • Almost 32% reported the person stalking them was an acquaintance. (CDC, 2014)
    • About 10% reported the person stalking them was a family member. (CDC, 2014)
  • 88% of female stalking survivors reported that the person stalking them was male. (CDC, 2014)
  • 48% of male stalking survivors reported that the person stalking them was male. (CDC, 2014)
  • Almost 45% of male stalking survivors reported that the person stalking them was female. (CDC, 2014)

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300 survivors of stalking were assisted across Safe Horizon programs in 2015.