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The course and nature of stalking: A psychological perspective

By Lorraine Sheridan

Abstract

Stalking may be described as an extraordinary crime, one that is easy to commit but difficult to define and prosecute. This is because many activities of stalkers are ostensibly routine and harmless. Section one of this thesis however demonstrates that although English and Welsh law does not define criminal stalking, the general public hold shared ideas on what does and does not constitute stalking behaviour. It is concluded that anti-stalking legislation that does not tightly prescribe stalking acts may best capture public concerns about this highly prevalent form of harassment.\ud Further, researchers in different countries are investigating the same phenomenon in that previous studies have detailed similar patterns of stalker behaviour. Section two reports two victim surveys that provide a preliminary picture of stalking experiences in the United Kingdom. These indicate that both stalking and the victims' reaction to it are changeable rather than constant, that any person can become a victim of stalking, and that stalkers themselves are a diverse group. Section three deals with the classification of stalkers. First, one specific classificatory factor, the nature of the stalker-victim prior relationship, is focused upon. Evidence that ex-partner stalkers are the relational group most likely to be violent toward their victims is provided, although stranger stalkers are most likely to be convicted for stalking activities. Next, a vignette study demonstrates how social psychological theory can account for the misattribution of ex-partner stalkers' behaviour. Finally, a taxonomy of stalkers that was specifically created for use by law enforcement agencies is presented. This classification illustrates how different interventions can have varying success according to the type of stalking involved. More generally, this thesis confirms some previous work for the first time with British samples, and provides practical insight into the course and nature of stalking as it occurs in the United Kingdom

Publisher: University of Leicester
Year: 2001
OAI identifier: oai:lra.le.ac.uk:2381/9916

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Citations

  1. 1 If you knew the stalker before you realised that they were stalking you, what did you think of them?
  2. 2 Looking back, how did you feel when you first became aware that you were being stalked?
  3. A casual acquaintance engaging the target in `inappropriate' personal and intimate discussion.
  4. A casual acquaintance engaging the target in 'inappropriate' personal and intimate discussion.
  5. A man met at a pub/night-club/party asks the target if she is interested in sexual intercourse.
  6. A man the target is not involved with moves (house) closer to where she lives or places she frequents - just to be nearer to her.
  7. A particular individual is seen by the target at roughly the same time each day.
  8. A person met at a pub/night-club/party asks the target if they are interested in sexual intercourse.
  9. A person the target is not involved with moves (house) closer to where they live or places they frequent - just to be nearer to the target.
  10. A stranger offering to buy the target a drink in a public house or cafeteria.
  11. An inappropriate man sending sexually explicit letters to the target.
  12. An inappropriate person sending sexually explicit letters to the target.
  13. Asking the target for a date more than once (having previously been refused).
  14. Comes round to visit, uninvited, on a regular basis.
  15. Confining the target against her will.
  16. Constant `drive-bys' (i. e. persistently driving past the target, her house, workplace, etc.
  17. Constant `drive-bys' (i. e. persistently driving past the target, their house, workplace, etc.
  18. Constant 'drive-bys' (i. e. persistently driving past the target, her house, workplace, etc.
  19. Constant 'drive-bys' (i. e. persistently driving past the target, their house, workplace, etc.
  20. Constantly watching/spying on the target.
  21. Criminal damage/vandalism to the target's property.
  22. Ex-partner insults the target upon finding out they are in a new relationship.
  23. Ex-partner insults the target when he finds out she is in a new relationship.
  24. Furtively taking photographs of the target without her knowledge.
  25. Furtively taking photographs of the target without their knowledge.
  26. Hanging around/telephoning the target's workplace continuously after being expressly told not to do so.
  27. He is seen by the target at roughly the same time each day.
  28. Making arrangements including the target without consulting her first (e. g., booking a table at a restaurant).
  29. Making arrangements including the target without consulting them first (e. g., booking a table at a restaurant).
  30. Now read through the list of behaviours below, and .
  31. Obscene comments from a stranger.
  32. Obscene suggestions from a stranger.
  33. (1995). Obsessional harassment and crotomania in a criminal court population. doi
  34. Often purposefully visiting places he knows that the target frequents.
  35. Often purposefully visiting places the target is known to frequent.
  36. or mysterious telephone calls from an unknown caller.
  37. Outstaying welcome' in the target's house.
  38. Refusing to accept that a prior relationship with the target is over.
  39. Sexual comments from a stranger on the street.
  40. (1995). Stalking and restraining orders: A legal and psychological perspective, doi
  41. (1998). Stalking part I: an overview of the problem.
  42. (2000). Stalking: Seeking the victim's perspective. doi
  43. staring regularly at the target's home and/or workplace.
  44. Threatening behaviour towards the target's family and/or friends,
  45. Threatening behaviour towards the target's family and/or friends.
  46. through the list of behaviours overleaf, and circle the numbers beside any which you do consider to be stalking behaviours. That is, ways in which you consider that a stalker may behave or act. Stalking may be
  47. Trying to become acquainted with the target's friends in an attempt to get to know her better.
  48. Trying to become acquainted with the target's friends in an attempt to get to know them better.
  49. Trying to become acquainted with the target's friends in an attempt to get to know them better. 41, Threatening behaviour towards the target's family and/or friends.
  50. Unasked for offers of help: lifts in his car,
  51. Unasked for offers of help: lifts,
  52. Wolf-whistling' in the street.

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