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Stalking is a crime of intimidation. Stalkers harass and even terrorize through conduct that causes fear or substantial emotional distress in their victims. A recent study sponsored by the National Institute of Justice (NIJ) (U.S. Department of Justice) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that 1 in 12 women and 1 in 45 men have been stalked during their lifetime.1 Although stalking behavior has been around for many years, it has been identified as a crime only within the past decade. Most laws at the state level were passed between 1991 and 1992. As more is learned about stalking and stalkers, legislatures are attempting to improve their laws.2

In 1993, under a grant from NIJ, a working group of experts was assembled to develop a model state stalking law.3 Many of its recommendations have been followed as states have amended their laws.4

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Strengthening Antistalking Statutes, Legal Series Bulletin #1
January 2002
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