Stalking is one of the most frequently experienced forms of abuse. It is insidious and terrifying and can escalate to rape and murder. We need to treat stalking with the seriousness it deserves. There are many misconceptions about what stalking is about. It is not romantic. It is about fixation and obsession. It is a crime. It destroys lives.
Stalking is a pattern of repeat and persistent unwanted behaviour that is intrusive and engenders fear. It is when one person becomes fixated or obsessed with another and the attention is unwanted. Threats may not be made but victims may feel scared. Even if there is no threat this is till stalking and it is a crime.
- Data from the Crime Survey of England and Wales shows up to 700, 000 women are stalked each year (2009-12) although the British Crime Survey (2006) estimated 5 million people experience stalking each year but there are no official statistics on the percentage cyberstalked.
- 1 in 5 women and 1 in 10 men will experience staking in their adult life (Homicides, Firearm offences and intimate violence 2009/10; Supplementary Volume 2 to Crime in England and Wales 2009/10 2nd Edition. Home Office Statistical Bulletin 01/11)
- Office for National Statistics (2013) stated it was 1 in 6 women and 1 in 12 men. We still believe this to be grossly underestimated.
- In 2013/14 CPS figures reveal that 743 stalking offences were prosecuted whereas 9,792 were prosecuted for harassment out of the 61 175 allegations recorded by police. Therefore only 1% of cases of stalking and 16% of cases of harassment recorded by the police result in a charge and prosecution by the CPS (Paladin, National Stalking Advocacy Service, 2015).
- Research reveals that only 11% (n=33) of stalkers received an immediate custodial sentence for Section 2a stalking and just 9% (n=14) for a Section 4a stalking offence in 2013 (Paladin, National Stalking Advocacy Service, 2015).
- Victims do not tend to report to the police until the 100th Incident (Sheridan, 2005).
- 50% of victims have curtailed or stopped work due to stalking (Pathe and Mullen 1997)
- The Workplace Violence Research Institute found that 90% of corporate security professionals had handled 3 or more incidents of men stalking women in the workplace and claimed stalking was related to homicide in 15% of cases (Smock and Kuennen, 2002).
- 75% of domestic violence stalkers will turn up at the workplace.
- 79% of domestic violence stalker will use the work resources to target the victims.
- 1 in 2 domestic stalkers, if they make a threat, will act on it (MacKenzie, McEwan, PathÃ©, James, Ogloff, & Mullen, 2009).
- 1 in 10 stalkers, who had no prior relationship, if they make a threat will act on it (MacKenzie, McEwan, PathÃ©, James, Ogloff, & Mullen, 2009).
- Statistics show that the majority of victims (80.4%) are female while the majority of perpetrators (70.5%) are male. (National Stalking Helpline, 2011).
- The Metropolitan Police Service found that 40% of the victims of domestic homicides had also been stalked (ACPO Homicide Working Group, 2003).