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Outside Looking In: Stalkers and Their Victims. Doris Hall, Ph.D. California State University Bakersfield. Stalking (CA P.C. 646.9). Willfully, maliciously and repeatedly follows or harasses another person, Who makes a credible threat

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outside looking in stalkers and their victims

Outside Looking In: Stalkers and Their Victims

Doris Hall, Ph.D.

California State University Bakersfield

stalking ca p c 646 9
Stalking (CA P.C. 646.9)
  • Willfully, maliciously and repeatedly follows or harasses another person,
  • Who makes a credible threat
  • With the intent to place that person in fear for their safety or the safety of their immediate family
post intimate
Post Intimate
  • Ex-Husbands
  • Ex-wives
  • Ex-boyfriends
  • Ex-girlfriends
prior acquaintances
Prior Acquaintances
  • Acquaintances
  • Neighbors
  • Former friends
  • Co-workers
  • Students
  • Ex-patients
  • Relatives
  • Rapists
  • Early on in a stalking situation
  • You know someone is following and/or harassing
  • But you do not know who it is (yet)
  • Most stalkers will let victim know who they are
false victimization fv
False Victimization (FV)
  • Very rare (2%)
  • Usually females
  • Turns out the victim is actually the perpetrator
  • Attention seeking behavior
fvs red flags
FVS Red Flags
  • Come forward gleefully
  • Wants to share all the details
  • Expresses little fright
  • Seems to be enjoying the attention
  • Encourages police/3rd parties to set up a “meeting” so they can talk to stalker
fvs red flags9
FVS Red Flags
  • Many FVS have history of self mutilation
  • Suicide attempts
  • False claims often follow major life distressors or dramatic moments
stalker contact surveillance techniques
Stalker ContactSurveillance Techniques
  • Following
  • Drive bys
  • Appearing at workplace
  • Wiretap telephones
  • Home surveillance
stalker contact harassment
Stalker ContactHarassment
  • Letters
  • Phone calls
  • Threats
  • Unwanted gifts
  • Mail tampering
  • Cancel utilities
  • False police reports
stalker contact property damage
Stalker ContactProperty Damage
  • Slashed tires
  • Broken windshields
  • Poison outdoor plants
  • Cut up clothing
  • Break into home
stalker contact violence
Stalker ContactViolence
  • Occurs in 30% of cases
  • Physical assault
  • Sexual assault
  • Kidnapping
  • Killing or injuring pets
protective orders
Protective Orders
  • Of the 44% of the respondents who obtained a restraining order
  • 20% rated them as effective in controlling stalking behavior
  • 80% rated them as ineffective
restraining orders
Restraining Orders

Two schools of thought:

  • Yes, always get one


  • Maybe, it depends on the situation
restraining orders cont
Restraining orders (cont).
  • “Law Enforcement Tools”
  • If a restraining order is violated it becomes a felony versus a misdemeanor.
castle rock v gonzales 2005
Castle Rock v. Gonzales (2005)
  • U.S. Supreme Court decision (7-2) held that respondent’s 14th amendment Due Process Clause was not violated by failure of police to enforce restraining order against her estranged husband
  • Tragic case in Colorado.
dramatic moments
Dramatic Moments

life events which are likely to humiliate or shame to perpetrator, stoke his fury, and increase his risk of violence.

  • Examples include but are not limited to:
  • stalkers first approach to and rejection by the target
  • Unacknowledged gifts, letters, etc.
  • Issuance of restraining order
  • First court appearance
tjaden findings
Tjaden findings
  • 1 in 12 females will be stalked during their lifetime (8-12% of population)
  • 1 in 45 men will be stalked during their lifetime (2-4% of population)
  • 15% of the population will be stalked sometime during their lifetime
  • Australia has a less stringent definition of stalking than the U.S.
u s college students
U.S. College students
  • Several studies have found that approximately 27% of college students are stalked during their college years
  • Possible reasons for this finding
  • Developmental deficits in social skills
  • Structure of college life
routine activities theory
Routine Activities Theory
  • Three elements:
  • Motivated offender
  • Suitable target
  • Lack of capable guardianship
  • When compared to other criminals, stalkers tend to be:
  • Older
  • Higher IQ
  • More educated
demographic characteristics of stalkers
Demographic Characteristics of Stalkers
  • Male (75%-87%)
  • Mid to late 30s
  • Average or above average intellectual functioning
  • High School or above educational attainment
  • History of failed intimate relationships
  • Immigration may be a risk factor (10%)
  • Prior psychiatric history
zona s typology
Zona’s Typology
  • Erotomania
  • AKA Old Maid’s Syndrome
  • Delusional belief that another person, usually of a higher status, is in love with them
zona s typology erotomania
Zona’s TypologyErotomania
  • Subtype: Male Erotomanic
  • Usually from countries where the genders are kept separate.
  • Example Tarasoff v. U.C. Berkeley
zona s typology erotomania27
Zona’s TypologyErotomania
  • Athena Rolando broke into Brad Pitts home
  • Wore his clothes, slept in his bed, fed his dogs
  • What did she get?
zona s typology athena
Zona’s TypologyAthena
  • Two days in jail
  • 36 months probation
  • 15 days graffiti removal
  • 3 years psychological counseling
  • 100 yards restraining order
  • And….
zona s typology athena continued
Zona’s TypologyAthena (continued)
  • A guest on the Leeza Gibbons Show
  • Howard Stern Show
  • And Inside Edition
zona s typology love obessional
Zona’s TypologyLove Obessional
  • Person knows that the other person is not in love with them…yet…
  • Example John Hinckley, Jr.’s obsession with Jodie Foster
  • This type of stalker might be the one that flattens your tire and then offers to fix it.
zona s typology simple obsession
Zona’s TypologySimple Obsession
  • Basically everyone else.
  • Includes all
stalker typology boone sheridan
Stalker TypologyBoone & Sheridan
  • A law enforcement perspective
  • Developed by a profiler in England
  • N=124
  • Four types
boone sheridan expartner harassment stalking
Boone & SheridanExpartner Harassment/Stalking
  • 50%
  • Overt threats
  • Hostile
  • Recruits family & friends
  • High risk for violence
  • Victim should avoid perpetrator
  • May want to consider relocating
boone sheridan infatuation harassment
Boone & SheridanInfatuation Harassment
  • 19%
  • Target is “beloved”
  • Non-malicious ruses
  • Low levels of danger
  • Perpetrator in teens to mid-life
  • Police need to be sympathetic, but explain victim is not interested
boone sheridan sadistic stalker
Boone & SheridanSadistic Stalker
  • 13%
  • Victim seen as prey
  • Initially low level acquaintance
  • Communications blend of love and threats
  • Take very seriously
  • Very difficult to stop this stalker
  • Do not give victim false hope
  • Victim should move to secret location & change identity
boone sheridan delusional fixation stalking
Boone & SheridanDelusional Fixation Stalking
  • 15%
  • Incoherent, yet fixated
  • High risk for physical and/or sexual violence
  • Borderline personality
  • Not responsive to rejection
  • Protective orders do not deter
  • Refer to forensic psychologist
mullen pathe typology rejected
Mullen & Pathe TypologyRejected
  • Desire for reconciliation
  • Stalking is substitute for lost relationship
  • Very intrusive & persistent
mullen pathe typology intimacy seeker
Mullen & Pathe TypologyIntimacy Seeker
  • Object is their true love
  • Star stalkers
mullen pathe typology incompetent
Mullen & Pathe TypologyIncompetent
  • Intellectually limited
  • Short duration
  • Serial stalker
mullen pathe typology resentful
Mullen & Pathe TypologyResentful
  • Aggrieved workers
  • Feels humiliated
  • Vendetta for specific person
mullen pathe typology predatory
Mullen & Pathe TypologyPredatory
  • Exclusively male
  • Physical and sexual assault
  • Often serial killers
spitzberg s obsession relational intrusion
Spitzberg’s Obsession Relational Intrusion
  • Repeated and unwanted pursuit and invasion of one’s sense of physical or symbolic privacy by another person, either stranger or acquaintance, who desires and/or presumes an intimate relationship
spitzberg s ori
Spitzberg’s ORI
  • Even mild forms are viewed as moderately threatening
  • Behaviors are on a continuum
  • At some point they can cross over into stalking behavior
  • Discusses the “Gray Area” of when behavior becomes stalking
spitzberg s ori44
Spitzberg’s ORI
  • Four different motives
  • “Lovers” seek to care for and cherish target
  • “Haters” seek to harm, scare, intimidate, destroy or seek revenge
  • “Controllers” seek to plan, manipulate and contain or restrain
  • “Expressers” display their feelings and inner urges as they occur without cognitive editing
conviction rate of stalkers
Conviction rate of stalkers
  • Approximately 50% of stalking victims report the crime to the police
  • 13% of female victims report conviction of stalker versus 9% of male victims
  • If you include other crimes committed by stalker (but not the actual crime of stalking) conviction rates increase to:
  • 24% for female victims and 19% for male victims
debecker s jaca
DeBecker’s JACA
  • JACA is a prediction about violence
  • Justification for violence
  • Alternatives to violence
  • Consequences of violence
  • Ability to follow through on the violence
risk management
Risk Management
  • Critical part of risk management is frequent and effective communication.
  • If the police or employer takes action which might anger or embarrass the stalker
  • Target needs to be advised or the stalking victim is put at further risk
red flags continued
Red flags (continued)
  • ingratiation with the target’s co-workers or family members
  • Chronic lying or excuse making
  • Repeat questioning about how the target spends time and with whom
stalking red flags
Stalking Red Flags
  • Chronic privacy intrusions at work or at home
  • A need for the stalker to be physically close and to frequently touch the target
  • Prolonged staring at the target without verbalization
  • Repeat and unwanted gift giving
debecker says
DeBecker says:
  • “No matter what you may have assumed till now, and no matter for what reason you assumed it, I have no romantic interest in you whatsoever. I never will. I expect that knowing this, you’ll put your attention elsewhere, which I understand, because that is what I intend to do.”
psychosocial impact on stalking victims
Psychosocial Impact on Stalking Victims
  • Anxiety (83%)
  • Sleep disturbances (74%)
  • Overwhelming Powerlessness (75%)
  • Flashbacks/Intrusive recollections (55%)
  • Fatigue (55%)
  • Weight fluctuation (48%)
  • Headaches (47%)
  • Reduced social outings (70%)
  • Reduction in work/school attendance (53%)
  • Relocation (39%)
  • Change in workplace, school, or career (37%)
risk management strategies for victims
Risk Management Strategies for Victims
  • Document, document, document
  • Maintain log of all contact
  • Change daily schedule and routes
  • Alert trusted neighbors, coworkers, family and friends
  • Cease all contact with stalker
  • Code word on all utilities
  • Have a safety plan
  • Carry a disposal camera and a video camera