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National Crime Victims' Rights Week: April 18-24, 2004 banner


Eight percent of women and 2 percent of men in the United States have been stalked in their lifetime. Seventy-eight percent of stalking victims are female and 87 percent of stalking perpetrators are male. The average duration of stalking behavior lasts 1.8 years. (National Institute of Justice 1998. Stalking in America: Findings From the National Violence Against Women Survey. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Justice.)

Stalking is a crime under the laws of all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and the Federal Government. Fourteen states classify stalking as a felony upon the first offense, and 34 states classify stalking as a felony upon the second offense and/or when the crime involves aggravating factors. (Ibid).

Strangers are the perpetrators in 23 percent of female stalking incidences. Current or former husbands are the perpetrators 38 percent of the time; current or former co-habitating partners are the perpetrators 10 percent of the time; and current or former boyfriends are the perpetrators 14 percent of the time. (National Institute of Justice 2001. Stalking and Domestic Violence: The Third Report to Congress Under the Violence Against Women Act. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Justice.)

A study that examined the experiences of female stalking victims who had been stalked by intimate partners found that 72.7 percent of victims were verbally threatened with physical violence (direct or implied). Almost 46 percent of victims experienced one or more violence incidents by the stalker. Thirty-seven percent of victims sustained physical injuries as a result. (McFarlane, et al. 1999. "Stalking and IntimatePartner Femicide." Homicide Studies, 3 (4).)

Seventy-five percent of intimate partner femicides reviewed in a recent study were preceded by one or more incidences of stalking within a year of the crime. (Ibid.)

Victims reported that their stalkers abused alcohol in 57.8% of cases, and abused drugs in 51.3% of cases. (Ibid.)

The prevalence of anxiety, insomnia, social dysfunction, and severe depression is much higher among stalking victims than the general population, especially if the stalking involves being followed or having one’s property destroyed. (Blauus et, al. (2002). “The Toll of Stalking.” Journal of Interpersonal Violence, 17 (1).)

Thirteen percent of college women were stalked during one six to nine month period. Eighty percent of those victims knew their stalkers, and three in ten college women reported being injured emotionally or psychologically from being stalked. (Fisher, Cullen, and Turner 2000. “The Sexual Victimization of College Women,” Washington, DC: National Institute of Justice/Bureau of Justice Statistics, U.S. Department of Justice.)

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National Crime Victims' Rights Week: Victims' Rights: America's Values April 18–24, 2004
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