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Unit 7 Critical Issues in Domestic Violence


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  • 1. Looking Ahead:Critical Issues in Domestic Violence
    Stalking, Intervention and Prevention
    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.
    Identify the unique dynamics in teen dating violence.
    Explain the role prevention plays in decreasing domestic violence.
    Describe why coordination is important and ways it can be accomplished.
  • 3. The Link Between Stalking and Domestic Violence
    Part I
  • 4. 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.”
  • 5. 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
  • 6. 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)
  • 7. 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,
  • 8. 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;
  • 9. “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;
  • 10. 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.
  • 11. 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
  • 12. 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
  • 13. General Stalking Characteristics
    Above average intelligence
    Low self-esteem
    No or few personal relationships
    Obsessive personality
    Lack of embarrassment/discomfort
    Sociopathic thinking
  • 14. 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
  • 15. 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
  • 16. 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
  • 17. 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;
  • 18. Stalking Laws in Arizona
    Harassment A.R.S. 13-2921
    Aggravated Harassment A.R.S. 13-2921.01
    Stalking A.R.S. 13-2923
  • 19. 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
  • 20. 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
  • 21. 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
  • 22. 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
  • 23. 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.
  • 24. 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);
  • 25. 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);
  • 26. 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.”
  • 27. 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
  • 28. 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.
  • 29. 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);
  • 30. 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
  • 31. 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);
  • 32. 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);
  • 33. 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
  • 34. 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);
  • 35. Conclusion of Part I
    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.
  • 36. Domestic Violence Intervention & Prevention
    Part II
  • 37. 1. Early Intervention: Teen Dating Violence
    1 in 5 female high school students report being physically and/or sexually abused by a dating partner.
    50% of reported date rapes are teen victims.
    1 in 3 teens know a friend or peer who has been physically hurt by a dating partner.
    Only 33% of teens in abusive relationships told anybody.
    Source: “Teen Dating Violence Facts,” American Bar Association; National Teen Dating Violence
    Prevention Initiative;
  • 38. Unique Issues in Teen Dating Violence
    Have little experienced with dating.
    Are pressured by peers and others to find a boyfriend (or girlfriend).
    Being in a dating relationship can bring popularity and status.
    Seek independence from parents; want to solve own problems.
    Have "romantic" story book views of love.
    Emotional intensity increases quickly; madly in love after one week.
    Source: Taken in part from
  • 39. Unique Issues Continued
    Avoiding abuser even when relationship ends is difficult if they go to same school or have common friends; risk increases.
    Victim perceives jealousy, possessiveness and controlling behavior as signs of love and commitment.
    Relationships are typically short but intense.
  • 40. Dating Bill of Rights - I have the right to:
    Ask for a date
    Refuse a date
    Suggest activities
    Refuse any activities, even if my date is excited about them
    Have my own feelings and be able to express them
    Say, "I think my friend is wrong and his actions are inappropriate"
    Source: Arizona Coalition Against Domestic Violence:
  • 41. I have the right to:
    Tell someone not to interrupt me
    Have my limits and values respected
    Tell my partner when I need affection
    Refuse affection
    Be heard
    Refuse to lend money
    Refuse sex any time, for any reason
    Have friends and space aside from my partner
    Source: Arizona Coalition Against Domestic Violence:
  • 42. Solutions
    Dating Bill of Rights
    What a dating partner is entitled to
    Teen Safety Planning
    Options that can be identified and used in the future
    Parental Intervention
    Like drugs, need to openly talk about date violence and watch for signs
    School programs, public service announcements to increase awareness and help teens understand the issue; encourages teens to tell and talk to parents
  • 43. Solutions Continued
    Promotion of Healthy Dating Relationships
    Identification of what a healthy relationship is and early warning signs of an abusive one.
    National Teen Dating Violence Awareness and Prevention Campaign
    Designated by Congress to unite communities and criminal justice agencies to publicly profile the problem and solutions (February).
  • 44. The Expected Results
    "Teen dating violence victimizes students in their middle and high school years, a time during which they are developing attitudes and behaviors that will shape later relationships………If we work together now, we can make a real difference in the lives of teens, and improve their prospects for a healthier adulthood.“
    Regina B. Schofield, Assistant Attorney General for the Office of Justice Programs.
  • 45. 2. Law Changes: D.V. Continues to Evolve
    Does Arizona have a spousal rape law?
    Think about it!
  • 46. Law Changed in 2005
    Spousal rape, a Class 6 felony with an option to lower it to a class 1 misdemeanor was eliminated.
    Sexual assault, a Class 2 felony includes all rapes regardless of who the perpetrator is.
    Crimes by spouses no longer minimized by relationship.
    A crime is a crime!
  • 47. 2011 Law: D.V. Protections Extend to Pets (ARS 13-3602)
    “This Arizona law provides that, if a court issues an order of protection, the court may grant the petitioner the exclusive care, custody or control of any animal that is owned, possessed, leased, kept or held by the petitioner, the respondent or a minor child residing in the residence or household of the petitioner or the respondent, and order the respondent to stay away from the animal and forbid the respondent from taking, transferring, encumbering, concealing, committing an act of cruelty or neglect in violation of section 13- 2910 or otherwise disposing of the animal.”
  • 48. Federal Laws: Violence Against Women Act
    Scope of laws continue to expand including firearm violations, stalking, interstate violations of protective orders, Full Faith and Credit, victim rights and petitioning options for battered immigrant women and children.
    Continued funding to support training and programs.
    New International Violence Against Women Act 2010 Congressional proposal.
    Do we have a global responsibility
    to end intimate violence?
  • 49. 3. Collaborative Response: Mesa Police Example
    Center Against Family Violence
    “The Center Against Family Violence, where criminal justice joins forces with helping professions; where police and social workers, prosecuting attorneys and on-site physicians, work together to reduce the trauma of physical and sexual abuse; where victimization is transformed into empowerment.”
  • 50. Benefits of a One Stop Coordinated Response
    Reduces revictimization
    Personnel trained in family violence
    One stop forensic evidence gathering and interviewing
    Medical exam conducted on site rather than in hospital
    Services in one place to assist victim including crisis intervention
    Nurturing and less threatening environment
    This model has been
    duplicated in several other
    local cities and nationwide.
  • 51. 4. Victim Rights:Continues to Expand
    New – Enforcing Rights
    Arizona Attorney General’s Office
    Hiring of a Victim Rights Enforcement Officer to address complaints and hold criminal justice system accountable
    Holding the system
  • 52. 5. Coordinating Councils: AZ Supreme Court Efforts
    Supreme Court Committee on Impact of Domestic Violence and the Courts (CIDVC)
    “….acknowledge the severity of D.V. problem in AZ
    increase awareness of victim resources
    provides sanctions for criminal conduct
    enhance follow-through by law enforcement to enforce orders of protection
    assess state and local proceedings and services and make recommendations for system changes…..” (emphasizing victim safety and offender accountability).
  • 53. What is the Council Accomplishing?
    Go to
    Scroll down and click on 2010 Minutes and read the minutes from the last meeting
  • 54. 6. Educational Focus: ASU Law School and D.V.
    Creation of ASU’s Diane Halle Center for Family Justice
    “Diane Halle, President of the Bruce T. Halle Family Foundation, said the center will serve an urgent need. ‘Providing access to justice both for victims of family violence and for other poor families who are in need of legal service is often a matter of life and death," Halle said. "To make real change happen for our families, we need to make sure that all who are in need have access to justice. There is real urgency to take action now.’"
  • 55. Conclusion: What does the future hold?
    Things to Consider:
    D.V. offender registration? (New York)
    Lifetime probation for D.V. offenders?
    Increased media exposure to D.V.?
    New academic classes related to victimization and D.V.; degrees in Victimology?
    More or less murder-suicides and homicides related to D.V.?
    What else?