STOPPING THE STALKER: VICTIM RESPONSES TO STALKING An Examination of Victim Responses to Determine Factors Affecting the Intensity and Duration of Stalking

Dr Terry Goldsworthy, Matthew Raj


Victims of stalking are exposed to threatening behaviours over prolonged periods of time and their experiences have been described by them as “emotional or psychological rape”, “psychological terrorism”, and “rape without sex”. Research has shown that the more victimisation a person experiences, the more he or she resorts to a variety of attempts to manage the stalking behaviour. Many methods have attracted criticism, specifically the use of civil injunctions to reduce the risk of violence and continued stalking. This article discusses the phenomenon of stalking, victim responses, and factors that may escalate stalking behaviour. It is posited that duration and intensity of stalking, in addition to the risk and harm to victims, can be reduced by researching the effectiveness of a myriad of proposed responses. This article looks to inform the best practices in the strategic intervention of stalking by distinguishing maladaptive and adaptive victim initiated responses.

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