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NCJ Number: 203928 Find in a Library
Title: Characteristics of False Stalking Reports
Journal: Criminal Justice and Behavior  Volume:31  Issue:1  Dated:February 2004  Pages:55-72
Author(s): L. P. Sheridan; E. Blaauw
Date Published: February 2004
Page Count: 18
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This article discusses the characteristics and incidence of false reports of stalking.
Abstract: One sample of stalking victims had identified themselves as such to a London-based charity that provides support and advice on matters of personal safety in the United Kingdom (U.K.), and the other sample of self-proclaimed victims had identified themselves to a similar foundation in the Netherlands. This study investigated whether the subtypes of false stalking victims may be identified within these nonclinical samples. These subtypes are those stalkers that claim to be victims themselves; those that have severe mental disorders and persecutory or erotomanic delusions that encompass stalking; those that have been previously stalked and have become hypersensitive to perfectly innocent actions of others because of fear of recurrence; factitious victims that seek gratification of dependency needs through adopting victim status; and malingerers that consciously fabricate or exaggerate claims of victimization for understandable external incentives, such as financial rewards. The results showed that 11.5 percent of the cases were considered to be false reports of stalking (9 percent in the Dutch study and 19 percent in the U.K. study). The majority (70 percent) of these false reports were made by delusional individuals. The next largest group of false reports were made by factitious victims, followed by reports of false revictimization. Only one case was a stalker-victim reversal, and there were no malingerers found. It is clear that the various reported methods of identifying both intentionally false stalking claims and false perceptions of stalking victimization cannot adequately provide reliable prevalence rates. Rates of false reporting will likely vary according to the nature of the sample and the definition of stalking provided. All current estimates of the prevalence of false stalking reports must be treated with extreme caution. 2 tables, 22 references
Main Term(s): Fraud; Stalkers
Index Term(s): Criminal justice research; Mentally ill offenders; Personal Security/Self Protection; Research methods; Threat assessment; Victimization
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