The legal definitions for stalking seem to vary slightly from one court jurisdiction to the next. However, one consistent in these definitions is that stalking involves conduct that is directed at a specific person. That conduct is undesired and causes the victim to be anxious or feel fear. These victims fear for themselves and/or they fear that a loved one or someone close to them will be hurt or murdered. Learn more on Men and Women Stalkers below…
Stalking victims can be male or female
As strange as it may sound, there are both men and women stalkers out there causing pain and fear and victimizing others. Consider these points when it comes to victimization and understanding women stalkers.
- There are approximately 6.6 million people stalked every year in the United States
- Statistics show that 1 in 6 women and 1 in 19 men have already experienced being stalked.
- Most victims of stalking are stalked by someone they know.
- 66% of female victims are stalked by a current of former intimate partner or spouse.
- 41% of male victims are stalked by a current or former partner or spouse.
- More than half of the female victims reporting said they were 25 or younger when stalked.
- Approximately 1/3 of the male victims reporting said they were stalked before the age of 25 years.
- About 1 in 14 males and 1 in 5 females reporting experienced this victimization between the ages of eleven and seventeen years.
- 46% of those stalked said they had at least 1 unwanted contact with the stalker every week.
- 11% reported that the stalking lasted 5 or more years.
According to JR Meloy, (Am J Psychother. 1997 Spring; 51(2):174-84), stalking is “the willful, malicious, and repeated following or harassing of another person that threatens his or her safety.” Stalking is also illegal in every state in America even though the penalties and classification of the crime does vary from state to state.
An international study conducted by Meloy and Boyd,(Meloy JR, Boyd C. Female stalkers and their victims. J Am Acad Psychiatry Law. 2003. 31(2)211–219.) found the following to be true based on the collected data.
- The typical perpetrators were Caucasian
- Most were heterosexual and single
- The average age was 35 years but all ranged from 18-58 years
- Most of these women did not have children
- Most were well educated having graduated high school and a strong minority having graduated college with a degree
- Most were intelligent which is believed to have assisted them in pursuing victims.
- Most used drugs during pursuits but did not have substance abuse history
- Their was a high rate of sexual and physical abuse in the stalker’s history
- Most of these women knew their victims although 1/5 of the victims were strangers
- The average victim was Caucasian, heterosexual and around 41 years old
- One third of the victims were women
- The average time these victims were harassed was 22 months
- Common reasons given for the stalking included: anger, dependency, loneliness, obsession and feelings of abandonment.
Women Stalkers : Identifying 5 Common Stalker-Types
The rejected stalker makes up the largest group type. The stalking behavior from this group is usually the result of an ended relationship with a romantic partner. These also could be the result of relationships broken with mothers, friends or co-workers. Many of these stalkers tend to suffer from personality disorder and are ambivalent about reconciliation and revenge. This group uses a lot of methods for their stalking including a high incidence of telephone harassment.
The intimacy seeking stalker has a desire to be intimate with someone and usually has determined that their victim is their true love. This group of stalkers seem to be the most persistent.
The incompetent stalker tends to lack normal social skills and know-how for a appropriate courtship but hope that their persistence and stalking will lead to intimacy. They know that their feelings are not being reciprocated but believe that they are entitled to a relationship. This type of stalker has usually stalked before.
The resentful stalker intends to frighten and worry their victim. These usually hold a grudge against the victim or have picked a person at random because of their own unhappiness. These stalkers are most likely to threaten and harm their victims.
The predatory stalker is the most notorious group of stalkers. This tends to be the smallest group and almost always is comprised of men. These are usually preparing for a sexual attack and are enjoying a power surge they get from their stalking. Many of these stalkers have a prior record or conviction on sexual offense charges.