Examining the Factors that Influence the Duration and Seriousness of the Stalking Experience

Elizabeth Ehrhardt Mustaine, University of Central Florida

ABSTRACT
Until recently, research on stalking has remained minimal. However, in the past several decades more and more scholars have examined this type of crime. What has been given less attention in the academic literature is how such social characteristics as: stalking strategies used by offenders, the victim and offender relationship, the responses and methods of coping of the victim influence the duration and severeity of the stalking experience. Many practical guides about stalking suggest various strategies for victims to engage in if/when they are stalked (e.g., having no contact with stalker). But, how do these strategies impact the stalking experience? For example, do victims who call the police tend to have a stalking experience that is shorter than victims who do not call the police? Using the Violence Against Women survey (Tjaden and Thoennes, 1998), the present research examines how the reactions and avoidance/coping strategies of stalking victims, the techniques of ofenders, and the relationship between and past behavior of the victim and offender influence the duration and seriousness of stalking victimization experiences.

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Updated 05/20/2006