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Post by Bryan Buckner
Chances are you or an acquaintance have been victimized by a stalker at some point in your adult lifetime. Statistics from the US Department of Justice show that an estimated 3.4 million people age 18 or older were victims of stalking last year. What exactly is stalking? Any course of conduct that targets a specific person with the intention of to cause that person to feel fear. Some identified stalking behaviors include:
- making unwanted phone calls
- sending unsolicited or unwanted letters or e-mails
- following or spying on the victim
- showing up at places without a legitimate reason
- waiting at places for the victim
- leaving unwanted items, presents, or flowers
- posting information or spreading rumors about the victim on the internet, in a public place, or by word of mouth.
- During a 12-month period an estimated 14 in every 1,000 persons age 18 or older were victims of stalking
- About half (46%) of stalking victims experienced at least one unwanted contact per week, and 11% of victims said they had been stalked for 5 years or more.
- The risk of stalking victimization was highest for individuals who were divorced or separated—34 per 1,000 individuals.
- Women were at greater risk than men for stalking victimization; however, women and men were equally likely to experience harassment.
- Male (37%) and female (41%) stalking victimizations were equally likely to be reported to the police.
- Approximately 1 in 4 stalking victims reported some form of cyberstalking such as e-mail (83%) or instant messaging (35%).
- 46% of stalking victims felt fear of not knowing what would happen next.
- Nearly 3 in 4 stalking victims knew their offender in some capacity.