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MHA Stalking Presentation for Clery Center 25th Anniversary Program


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Presentation delivered by Dr. Gary Margolis at the Clery Center 25th Anniversary Event in Washington, DC on Friday, Oct 5, 2012

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MHA Stalking Presentation for Clery Center 25th Anniversary Program

  1. 1. Stalking on Campus Understanding Reporting & Investigative Opportunities
  2. 2. Agenda • Introductions • Context • Law Enforcement Investigations • Threat Assessment • Safety Planning© Margolis Healy & Associates, LLC
  3. 3. TWEET TWEET @margolishealy #Clery25© Margolis Healy & Associates, LLC
  4. 4. Impact on Victims ―It’s going to take getting a bullet put in my head before people understand how serious this is.‖ Statement by Peggy Klinke made one month before she was killed in January 2003© Margolis Healy & Associates, LLC
  5. 5. What is Stalking? • Stalking generally refers to repeated harassing or threatening behavior putting another person in fear • Experiencing repeated, obsessive, and frightening behavior that made the victim afraid or concerned for safety© Margolis Healy & Associates, LLC
  6. 6. Stalking is a... Course of Conduct Crime not Incident Based Crime© Margolis Healy & Associates, LLC
  7. 7. Prevalence of Stalking • Estimated 6.6 million people are stalked annually - Stalking Victimization in the United States, BJS (2011) • 1 out of every 4 U.S. Women and 1 out of every 19 U.S. men has been stalked at some point - National Violence Against Women Survey (2011) • 13.1% of college women were stalked during one semester -of Sexual Victimization of College Women (2000) The college. • Individuals under 25 experience the highest rates National Stalking Resource Center© Margolis Healy & Associates, LLC
  8. 8. Prevalence - Femicide Study • 76% of femicide cases involved at least one episode of stalking within 12 months prior to the murder • 85% of attempted femicide cases involved at least one episode of stalking within 12 months prior to the attempted murder - McFarlane et al. (1999). ―Stalking and Intimate Partner Femicide,‖ Homicide Studies© Margolis Healy & Associates, LLC
  9. 9. IPV and Stalking • 81% of stalking victims who were stalked by an intimate partner reported that they had also been physically assaulted by that partner • 31% were also sexually assaulted by that partner - National Violence Against Women Survey (1998)© Margolis Healy & Associates, LLC
  10. 10. Stalking Victims© Margolis Healy & Associates, LLC
  11. 11. Stalking Reported to LEReported to Law Enforcement Reported to Law Enforcement Campus Police Campus PoliceMunicipal/Local/City Police/911Municipal/Local/City Police/911 County Sheriff County Sheriff State Police State Police Other Other 0% 20% 40% 60% 80% 100% 0% 20% 40% 60% 80% Both On/Off-Campus Stalking Off-Campus Stalking On-Campus Stalking © Margolis Healy & Associates, LLC - The Sexual Victimization of College Women (2000)
  12. 12. Gender of Offenders Female Victims Male Victims Female Victims Male Victims Male Male Offender Offender 67% 41% 24% 43% Female Female Offender Offender - Stalking Victimization in the United States, BJS (2009)© Margolis Healy & Associates, LLC
  13. 13. Stalking Suspects • 94% of female victims were stalked by men • 60% of male victims were stalked by men • Overall, 87% of stalkers were men Why is this relevant to a police investigation??© Margolis Healy & Associates, LLC
  14. 14. Stalking on Campus • Stalking incidents lasted an average of 60 days • 30% of victims were stalked only off campus • 66% of victims reported being stalked at least 2 – 6 times per week - National Sexual Victimization of College Women Survey (2000)© Margolis Healy & Associates, LLC
  15. 15. Reports to Law Enforcement • 54% of femicide victims reported stalking to police before they were killed by their stalkers • 46% of attempted femicide victims reported stalking to police before the attempted murder LETHALITY© Margolis Healy & Associates, LLC
  16. 16. Recognition of Stalking • Report of harassing behavior should raise stalking flag • Check whether incident is isolated or repeated conduct, although a mere report of harassing conduct should be cause to assume the likelihood of prior behavior • If a victim expresses fear of suspect, these fears should be taken seriously and inquiry should be made to determine the origin of the fear© Margolis Healy & Associates, LLC
  17. 17. Case Study 1 John Doe (college age male) is caught touching himself while watching a woman shower in a residence hall. Upon investigation, campus police learn that he has been caught peering in windows, etc., at 4 women at other universities and colleges in 4 other states. What do we know?© Margolis Healy & Associates, LLC
  18. 18. Investigative Challenges • Difficult to identify / officer misconceptions • Criminal acts in multiple jurisdictions (police, law enforcement, victims) • Multiple victims? • Ongoing crime w/ varying activity levels over several years • Few witnesses & little evidence • Technology • Police response cannot guarantee it will stop BUILD THE CASE© Margolis Healy & Associates, LLC
  19. 19. Investigative Opportunities • Stalking is a course of conduct (ongoing, long- term crime) • Same victim, offender, locations? • Suspects often confess (they want to tell you how/why they are being misunderstood) • Police understand stalkers... • Technology© Margolis Healy & Associates, LLC
  20. 20. Case Study II A female student changes residence hall floors in the same building. She notices that the clock radio in the bathroom on the 5th floor is the same, unique looking clock radio that was in the bathroom on the 2nd floor, where she used to live. Suspicious, she calls campus police… What do we know?© Margolis Healy & Associates, LLC
  21. 21. Threat Assessment Every professional at every stage of a stalking case must be constantly assessing the threat© Margolis Healy & Associates, LLC
  22. 22. Threat & the Status Quo A change in the status quo raises the threat. Risk is high when: - Protective order is served - Following arrest - Trial date approaching - Upon receipt of ―no contact‖ letter from victim - Following any contact with law enforcement - Stalker loses job© Margolis Healy & Associates, LLC
  23. 23. Threat Assessment • How well does suspect know victim? • Is victim in fear? Why? Victim’s family, friends, coworkers? • Is victim naive about the danger?© Margolis Healy & Associates, LLC
  24. 24. Threat Assessment • Develop a timeline of stalking events • Look for escalation 6/6/11 6/8/11 6/12/11 6/15/11 6/20/11 6/25/11 Showed up at gym Parked across Cat Threatening street all night call poisoned Dead roses letters© Margolis Healy & Associates, LLC
  25. 25. The next phase in the violence relationship...© Margolis Healy & Associates, LLC
  26. 26. Stalkers don’t just go awayThis is the address ofthe jail. This was addressed to the victim © Margolis Healy & Associates, LLC
  27. 27. Advantages of Charging ―Stalking‖ • To prove a Course of Conduct, the state may introduce evidence that would otherwise be inadmissible • If viewed within the correct context of the law, stalking statutes can criminalize seemingly benign behaviors • When properly investigated and charged aggressively, stalking cases can save lives© Margolis Healy & Associates, LLC
  28. 28. Important to Remember... • Any type of crime or any type of noncriminal act directed toward the victim can be part of a stalking case • The law criminalizes non-criminal behavior© Margolis Healy & Associates, LLC
  29. 29. Safety Planning – Goals 1.Reduce risk of encounters with the stalker 2.Create contingency plan for what to do if the victim does encounter the stalker© Margolis Healy & Associates, LLC
  30. 30. Safety Planning - Guiding Principles • The victim is responsible for her own safety • Law enforcement can provide the tools to protect herself/himself • Victim must be proactive in planning for his/her safety • Safety planning is case specific© Margolis Healy & Associates, LLC
  31. 31. Strategic Considerations • Safety planning begins at initial contact through duration of case • Communicate regularly with victim • Keep victim actively involved in safety planning • Safety plan must continue to focus on what victim feels will work • Assess victim’s environment—home, work, school, routines • With criminal charges, keep victim apprised of case/defendant status, and release (when applicable)© Margolis Healy & Associates, LLC
  32. 32. Strategic Considerations • Encourage victims to report new offenses, and fully inform victim of actions and reasons for them • Be prepared to intercede for victim if planning puts victim’s job in jeopardy • Activate victim’s social supports • Involve children in planning process • Victim should carry cell phone (and battery) • Discourage victim from contacting stalker© Margolis Healy & Associates, LLC
  33. 33. Things to remember… • Focus on the victim • Ask victim how she interprets the behavior (might not seem threatening to you or me, but to her…) • If victim senses she is in danger… LISTEN! • If the victim OR YOU suspect that the stalker/abuser has too much ―inside‖ info… he probably does!© Margolis Healy & Associates, LLC
  34. 34. 4 things to always strive for 1. Making victims feel it is safe & appropriate to report stalking 2. Recognizing stalking when we encounter it (even if the victim doesn’t) 3. Making victims safer from stalkers 4. Policy connection© Margolis Healy & Associates, LLC
  35. 35. Resources • Stalking Resource Center ( • National Higher Education Center ( • •© Margolis Healy & Associates, LLC 38 3
  36. 36. CAMPUS SENTINEL© Margolis Healy & Associates, LLC
  37. 37. Contact Dr. Gary J. Margolis 1-866-817-5817© Margolis Healy & Associates, LLC