What is Stalking?

What is Stalking?

While legal definitions of stalking vary from one jurisdiction to another, a good working definition of stalking is a course of conduct directed at a specific person that would cause a reasonable person to feel fear. Stalking is serious, often violent, and can escalate over time.

How often does this happen?

  • The majority of husbands who kill their wives stalk them first. 
  • The majority of stalking victims are stalked by someone they know: 61% of female victims and 44% of male victims of stalking are stalked by a current or former intimate partner, 25% of female victims and 32% of male victims are stalked by an acquaintance. 
  • 66% of stalkers pursue their victims at least once per week, many daily.
  • 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. 

When should I be concerned?

Aggravating factors may include: possession of a deadly weapon, violation of a court order or condition of probation/parole, victim under 16 years, or same victim as prior occasions. You can also use the MOSAIC tool online to objectively assess your threat.

Where can you learn more?
Stalking Resource Center
US Department of Justice
RAINN page on Stalki

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