New Report on Stalking
The Bureau of Justice Statistics issued a special report on stalking this month. The report estimates that over 3.4 million people age 18 years and older were victims of stalking. Stalking is defined as a course of conduct directed at a specific person that would cause a reasonable person to feel fear. Stalking behaviors that do not elicit fear in the victim are termed harassment. Women were at greater risk than men for stalking, but women and women were equally likely to be harassed. Examples of stalking and harassing behaviors include: unwanted phone calls and messages, unwanted letters and emails, spreading rumors, following or spying, showing up at places, waiting for victim, and leaving unwanted presents. Persons ages 18-24 experienced the highest rates of stalking with young women being three times more likely to be stalked than men. Nearly 3 in 4 of all victims knew their offender in some capacity, most often a former intimate, friend, roommate or neighbor. The full report is available at http://www.ojp.usdoj.gov/bjs/abstract/svus.htm .