Matt Markon, Esq. 202-467-8727. Stalking and Disability. What is stalking? Defined by statute Common theme present in all statutes Common perceptions What is disability? How do we define it? What statutes do we use?. What is a Disability?. Any physical, sensory, or mental impairment
Any physical, sensory, or mental impairment
>>>NVAW Study (1998)
Women with disabilities experience disabilities?
the highest rate of personal violence –
violence at the hands of spouses, partners,
boyfriends, family members, caregivers, and
strangers – of any group in our society today.
Abramson, W., Emanuel, E., Gaylord, V., & Hayden, M. (Eds.). (2000). Impact: Feature Issue on Violence Against
Women with Developmental or Other Disabilities, 13 (3). Minneapolis: University of Minnesota, Institute on Community Integration.
“Studies suggest that mentally disabled people are at least four times more likely than other Americans to be targets of sexual assault and other violence. Some studies indicate that more than 75 percent of mentally disabled women are sexually abused.”
Justice Dept. background on crime against the disabled:
Published by the Institute on Community Integration (UAP) · Research and Training Center on Community Living Volume 13 · Number 3 · Fall 2000
Independent living centers
Many Stalkers have:
Relationship between stalker and victim is one-way being sexually abused. One researcher estimates that 90% of people with developmental disabilities will be sexually victimized in their lifetime, yet only 3% of the assaults will ever be reported.
Until the first communication – Victim is often unaware
Casual contact – described to victim - to let the victim know that stalker is capable of carrying out threats
Relationship is based on stalker’s psychological fixation
Fusion (stalker blends his or her personality into the victim’s) or
Erotomania (fantasy of idealized love or spiritual union) or
Narcissistic Linking Fantasy
Command Hallucinations or Religious fantasyOrganized Delusional
Former relationship between stalker and victim being sexually abused. One researcher estimates that 90% of people with developmental disabilities will be sexually victimized in their lifetime, yet only 3% of the assaults will ever be reported.
Victim aware of stalking
Prior abuse or conflict with stalker (Domestic Violence)
Stalker often seeks to continue or reestablish a relationship that victim has attempted to end
Motivation evolves into “If I can’t have her, no one can.”
Victim will often express feeling “smothered” in prior relationship
Stalking Investigation being sexually abused. One researcher estimates that 90% of people with developmental disabilities will be sexually victimized in their lifetime, yet only 3% of the assaults will ever be reported.
Thorough documentation of any:
Document and compile all of stalker’s criminal history and contacts with law enforcement
Threats to kill victim knows” may indicate a more serious intention to follow through.
Access to weapons
Violation of Protective Orders
Physical access to victim
Suicidal threats or thoughts
History of stalkingOther Red Flags
Orange County Sheriff’s Office, Florida
Empower victim to play an active role in investigation knows” may indicate a more serious intention to follow through.
Investigate stalker’s past (other victims, acts, cases, witnesses)
Use all techniques available (trash pulls, surveillance)
Show evidence and events within the entire context of the stalking case!Ways that Law Enforcement Can Strengthen Cases:
“It’s going to take getting a bullet put in my head before people understand how serious this is.”
Stalking victim one month before she was murdered