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What is Stalking?

Stalking is a series of repeated, unwanted actions that are intended to make you feel threatened or harassed, making you feel afraid or in danger. Such behaviors can include making harassing phone calls, appearing at your work or home, leaving threatening messages or objects, including vandalizing your property. Stalking is a serious and often violent crime and can escalate over time. Stalkers can be strangers and can be someone you know.


  • 1.4 million people are stalked every year in the United States.
  • 1,006,970 women and 370,990 men are stalked annually in the U.S.
  • 1 in 12 women and 1 in 45 men will be stalked in their lifetime.
  • 77% of female victims and 64% of male victims know their stalker.
  • 87% of stalkers are men.
  • 59% of female victims and 30% of male victims are stalked by an intimate partner.
  • 81% of women stalked by a current or former intimate partner are also physically assaulted by that partner.
  • 31% of women stalked by a current or former intimate partner are also sexually assaulted by that partner.
  • 73% of intimate partner stalkers verbally threatened victims with physical violence, and almost 46% of victims experienced one or more violent incidents by the stalker.
  • The average duration of stalking is 1.8 years.
  • If stalking involves intimate partners, the average duration of stalking increases to 2.2 years.
  • 28% of female victims and 10% of male victims obtained a protective order. 69% of female victims and 81% of male victims had the protection order violated. [Tjaden & Thoennes. (1998). “Stalking in America,” NIJ]

Impact of Stalking on Victims

  • 56% of women stalked took some type of self-protective measure, often as drastic as relocating (11%).
    [Tjaden & Thoennes. (1998). “Stalking in America,” NIJ]
  • 26% of stalking victims lost time from work as a result of their victimization, and 7% never returned to work. [Tjaden & Thoennes.]
  • 30% of female victims and 20% of male victims sought psychological counseling. [Tjaden & Thoennes.]
  • 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.
    [Blauuw et. Al. (2002). “The Toll of Stalking,” Journal of Interpersonal Violence]

Recon Study of Stalkers

  • 2/3 of stalkers pursue their victims at least once per week, many daily, using more than one method.
  • 78% of stalkers use more than one means of approach.
  • Weapons are used to harm or threaten victims in 1 out of 5 cases.
  • Almost 1/3 of stalkers have stalked before.
  • Intimate partner stalkers frequently approach their targets, and their behaviors escalate quickly. [Mohandie et al. “The RECON Typology of Stalking: Reliability and Validity Based upon a Large Sample of North American Stalkers.” (In Press, Journal of Forensic Sciences 2006).]


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