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NCJ Number: 228427 Find in a Library
Title: Public Figures and Stalking in the European Context
Journal: European Journal on Criminal Policy and Research  Volume:15  Issue:3  Dated:2009  Pages:293-305
Author(s): Jens Hoffmann
Date Published: 2009
Page Count: 13
Type: Issue Overview
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: Netherlands
Annotation: This overview of research on stalking, threats, and attacks on public figures in Europe focuses on pathological fixations on public figures that result in harassment and aggressive behavior.
Abstract: Violent attacks on public figures in Europe occur at regular intervals. Lethal attacks on public figures often have a symbolic feature that stems from feelings of insecurity and grievance in the population. These attacks are often preceded by warning signs that include unusual contact behavior, harassment, and stalking. The adverse psychological effects on public figures who become stalking victims is often significant. Research has identified a consistent profile of individuals who stalk, threaten, and assault public figures. Most live a socially isolated life with few, if any, attachments to others. They rarely have a stable sexual bond with an intimate partner. They are often unhappy people who have persistent dysphoria and despair, and many have mental illnesses, including psychotic symptoms. They generally aspire to be linked with and benefit from an association with a targeted well-known person. This stems from a pathological narcissism that can lead to aggression and violence when the public figure does not respond appropriately to the stalker. One of the most important and immediate actions that should be taken by the public figure and those involved in his/her security is to create as much distance (both physical and emotional) as possible between the stalker and the public figure. If the stalker perceives any possibility of gaining access to the public figure, this will only reinforce the stalker's aggressive actions and the intensity of any response to subsequent perceived rejection by the public figure. Risk assessment and the management of security for the public figure must be regularly examined in relation to changes in the stalker's tactics and behaviors. 33 references
Main Term(s): Criminology
Index Term(s): Crime in foreign countries; Europe; Offender profiles; Protection of public figures; Stalkers; Stalking; Victims in foreign countries
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