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Learning Unit 7: Stalking and D.V.-CRJ 461
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Learning Unit 7: Stalking and D.V.-CRJ 461



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  • 1. The Link Between Stalking and Domestic Violence
    Learning Unit 7
    A mini content lecture designed as a supplemental learning resource for
    CRJ 461 by Bonnie Black.
  • 2. Unit Learning Objectives
    Explain the relationship between stalking and domestic violence.
    Describe stalking dynamics.
    Explain why stalking victims play a role in building evidence and list ways they can do it.
  • 3. Voice of a Stalking Survivor
    “The more I gave in to his pleas to meet or talk with him, the more power he had over me, even though he made me
    believe I was the one in control.”
  • 4. What is Stalking?
    Course of conduct that places a person in fear of safety
    Specific behavior which is repetitive
    Unwanted contact
    - directly or indirectly communicates a threat
    - creates fear
  • 5. How Common is Stalking?
    3.9 million adults stalked annually.
    3 of 4 are stalked by someone they know.
    60% of female victims and 30% of male victims are stalked by an intimate partner; 10% by a stranger.
    Source: - National Center for Victims of Crime; as noted in Katrina Baum et al.,
    "Stalking Victimization in the United States," (Washington, DC: BJS, 2009)
  • 6. Is Stalking Dangerous?
    66% of female homicide victims were stalked prior to their death.
    “According to data gathered by the Center for Problem-Oriented Policing, 81% of females stalked by an intimate partner are physically assaulted by their stalker and 31% are sexually assaulted.”
    Source: National Center for Crime Victims as cited in MacFarlane et al., “Stalking and Intimate Partner Femicide,”
    Homicide Studies 3, no. 4 (1998): 300-16) & National Crime Prevention Council,
  • 7. Who is the Victim?
    Mostly women – Approximately 75% of stalking victims
    Women have greater stalking risk than men
    Men and Women have equal risk for harassment
    Equal reporting to police
    men = 37%, women = 41%
    Every walk of life
    No Discrimination
    Source: “Stalking Victimization in the U. S.” Bureau of Justice Statistics, January 2009;
  • 8. “Cyberstalking”
    Use of the internet, email, electronic communication devices and other technology.
    Targets victims through chatrooms, message boards, discussion forums and email.
    1 in 4 stalked with some form of technology*
    83% used email
    35% instant messaging
    Source: “Stalking Victimization in the U. S.” Bureau of Justice Statistics, January 2009;
  • 9. Examples of Cyberstalking
    Threatening or obscene e-mail
    Leaving improper messages on message boards or guest books
    Sending electronic viruses
    Sending unsolicited email
    Electronic identity theft
    NOTE: Technology is also used to find victim, their friends and relatives; identify personal information, employment, etc.
  • 10. Stalkers Come in All Shapes
    “The most frightening thing was he would tell me very personal information that no one else would have known. It made me feel paranoid that he was watching me all day.”
    Stalking Survivor
  • 11. Who Are Stalkers?
    Prior criminal, psychiatric, substance abuse history
    No single psychological or behavioral profile
    No boundaries
    Can be anyone
    Women stalked by intimate; men by acquaintance
    Mostly male – particularly in intimate situations
    Majority seek to re-establish or initiate a relationship
  • 12. General Stalking Characteristics
    Above average intelligence
    Low self-esteem
    No or few personal relationships
    Obsessive personality
    Lack of embarrassment/discomfort
    Sociopathic thinking
  • 13. Stalker Type: Simple Obsessive
    Prior intimate relationship; typically male stalker
    Abuse during relationship – D.V.
    Relationship Discord
    - Victim ended it
    - Stalker hopes for reconciliation; domestic stalker represents 75 to 80%* of all stalkers
    - Wants to get back at victim
    Shorter stalking period but dangerous
    - Threats and violence
    - Suicidal
    - Targets others
  • 14. Stalker Type: Love Obsessional
    Minimal or no relationship at all; stranger or movie star
    Long-term stalking period
    Stalker creates “fantasy” of special relationship; idealizes victim and invents relationship
    - any contact reinforces stalker
    - wants victim’s attention
    - can result in threats and violence
    - represents 20 to 25% of stalkers*
    Extreme Cases Called – “Erotomania”
    *Source: and image from
  • 15. Stalker Type: False Victim
    Stalker fabricates evidence to convince others they are being stalked
    Motivated by:
    - re-establishing relationship using sympathy
    - seeks out attention
    May be delusional or irrational
    Only 2% of stalkers
  • 16. Length of Stalking Period
    64% = One year or less (40% less than 6 months)
    10% = Five years or longer
    46% experienced at least one unwanted contact per week.
    Source: “Stalking Victimization in the U. S.” Bureau of Justice Statistics, January 2009;
  • 17. Stalking Laws in Arizona
    Harassment A.R.S. 13-2921
    Aggravated Harassment A.R.S. 13-2921.01
    Stalking A.R.S. 13-2923
  • 18. Harassment A.R.S. 13-2921
    Intent to harass or with knowledge
    Specific person
    Causes reasonable person to be seriously alarmed, annoyed or harassed
    Conduct does seriously alarm, annoy or harass
    Class 1 Misdemeanor
  • 19. Aggravated Harassment A.R.S. 13-2921.01
    Harassing conduct combined with certain conditions:
    a valid O. P. or Injunction against the person
    Class 6 Felony
    Person has previously been convicted of 13-3601
    involves same victim
    Class 5 Felony
  • 20. Stalking A.R.S. 13-2923
    Intentionally or knowingly engages in course of conduct and conduct either:
    - causes reasonable person to fear for own safety or that of immediate family and that person in fact fears
    - Class 5 Felony
    - causes reasonable person to fear death of self or immediate family and that person in fact fears
    - Class 3 Felony
  • 21. Interstate Stalking Act
    “…crime for any person to travel across state lines with intent to injure or harass another and places that person or a member of that person’s family in a reasonable fear of death or serious bodily injury.”
    Refer to FBI
  • 22. False Assumptions about Stalking
    Only happens to celebrities.
    Victims exaggerate and overreact.
    Little police officers can do with no physical evidence at scene.
    O.P./Injunctions will stop the behavior.
  • 23. Natural Reactions of Stalking Victims
    Deny problem     
    Bargain with stalker
    Anxiety sets in; never knowing when or what they will do next
    Exhaustion follows; depression
    Blame self
    Angry; do anything to make stalker go away
    Source: E.S.I.A. (Ending Stalking in American);
  • 24. Voice of a Stalking Survivor
    “Many people and police officers tend to believe you're fabricating, overreacting, or that it's simply too bizarre to be real. If only that were true. All of a sudden tires on my vehicles were slashed, damage to my home, unwanted gifts, flowers, pictures and decapitated dead animals were left at my door or sent by other means, not to mention the hundreds of phone calls, and threats on my life.
    Simple things in life, that many take for granted, were soon taken from me. I could no longer answer my phone or drive in my car without constant fear…….
    Source: E.S.I.A. (Ending Stalking in American);
  • 25. Continued
    I couldn't meet family members or friends….. Although I was fortunate to have support from family and friends, I started pulling away for fear that the stalker would take revenge on them. A stalker only sees other people as an obstacle in his/her way and will stop at nothing.  There were times my stalker would make threats to kill whoever he saw me with. In essence, stalking is more than just harassment and threats - it's an act of terrorism that a victim faces every hour of every day.”
  • 26. Criminal Justice Response Needs to be Victim Centered
    Collaboration and mutual cooperation
    Open communication
    Commitment to common goal
    Recognition of danger and continual focus on safety
    Sensitivity to victim’s frustration, fear and anger
  • 27. Importance of Victim Relationship in C.J. Response
    Victim documentation proves “course of conduct” and “series of acts.”
    Repetitive acts require victim to build a case and collect evidence.
    Victim collaboration and communication key.
    Need good victim relationship to preserve evidence; traditional crime scene may not exist.
  • 28. Voice of a Stalking Survivor
    “Stalking victims don't have the physical bruises to show.  Day after day they are mentally raped. Can pictures prove their anguish or their fight to survive?  No.  Are their stalkers there when the police arrive?  No.  Almost every stalking victim you speak with will tell you the same thing.  It would have been much easier if he/she had just shot and killed me than the hell I went through or no one would believe me, especially officers."Everyone thought I was the crazy one."
    Source: E.S.I.A. (End Stalking in America);
  • 29. Examples of Victim’s Role in Case Building
    Keep a detailed journal
    Log all phone calls/messages; save tape recordings
    Print all emails; save electronically
    Proper opening, touching and packaging of all mail, notes, etc.
    Take pictures
    Follow-up/document all flower deliveries
    Call police; insist report be written
  • 30. Example of Case Building
    “….so many small things happened to me. I had totally convinced myself that none of these would be relevant but I still documented….. In the end my journal proved to be one of the most important items in prosecution of my stalker…. Was my journal worth the time I put into it. Absolutely!”
    Actual Victim Statement
    Source: E.S.I.A. (End Stalking in America);
  • 31. Example of Case Building
    “Carry a small cassette recorder in your car. There were so many times, while I was driving that I would see something that instantly reminded me of something that I had forgotten about…. I paid $9.95 for mine. A small price to pay when it came to proving it in court.”
    Actual Victim Statement
    Source: E.S.I.A. (End Stalking in America);
  • 32. Increasing Victim Safety
    No contact with stalker
    Tell others
    Change routines
    Don’t answer phone
    Obtain O.P./Injunction
    All keys are accounted for; change locks
    Car in garage/lighted area
    Lock all outside electrical/phone boxes and gates
    Keep a cellular phone
    All utility accounts coded with password
    Don’t throw personal items in trash or post on web
    Provide pictures to co-workers/family, if stalker known
    Security system
  • 33. Voice of a Stalking Survivor
    “During sentencing, on March 11th, 1999 Judge Keppel stated; "the emotional trauma suffered by the victim in this case was emotional rape, the defendant is a danger to society.  In my opinion the victim was right; these were continual acts of terrorism.  For anybody to have to live through this period of time that she lived through, with these types of activities affecting her everyday life, these are acts of terror."
    Source: E.S.I.A. (End Stalking in America);
  • 34. Conclusion
    Stalking often occurs when a domestic violence victim leaves the relationship; can increases risk of homicide.
    Stalking is repetitive and a pattern of behavior.
    25% of victims are cyberstalked; most using email as the method of choice.
    Law enforcement and stalking victims need to work together to preserve and build evidence.
    Note: Some segments taken in part or modified from Stalking Law Enforcement Training materials developed by Mesa Community College in conjunction with a VAWA grant.